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As you calculate the dollars it may take to retire, remember to factor in your retirement wants as well as your basic needs. What do you picture for your retirement? The top retirement dream for today’s older Americans is vacation and travel.1 Perhaps you’d like to see South America or go fly fishing in Alaska. Maybe you want to work on your golf or tennis game, or enjoy a hobby that you don’t have time for now. You might like to volunteer for your favorite charity or move closer to your children and grandchildren.

Sixty-nine percent of middle-income Americans say they’d like to work in retirement in order to “stay busy.”2 While this could be a worthwhile goal, wouldn’t it be nice to work on your own terms — to pursue your passion instead of a paycheck?

If you’re young, retirement may seem too far off to worry much about. If you’re approaching the end of your working years, you may have a clearer picture of life after work. Regardless of your age, a solid retirement strategy could help you retire more comfortably.

1) AARP, 2011
2) Journal of Financial Planning, August 2011

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