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Create your own pot of retirement gold

Those of us who are nearing retirement are likely starting to think about how we'll fund our next phase in life. Now is time to focus on saving smarter and preparing our nest eggs.

Bruce Helmer and Peg Webb, financial advisers at Wealth Enhancement Group and co-hosts of “Your Money” on KLKS 100.1 FM on Sunday mornings.
Bruce Helmer and Peg Webb, financial advisers at Wealth Enhancement Group and co-hosts of “Your Money” on KLKS 100.1 FM on Sunday mornings.

Those of us who are nearing retirement are likely starting to think about how we'll fund our next phase in life. Now is time to focus on saving smarter and preparing our nest eggs.

This St. Patrick's Day we take a look at what steps to take on that seek to create your pot of retirement gold.

The Size of Your Stash Should be based on Your Goals

What does your pot of gold look like? Everyone's retirement pot of gold will be different. The first step is knowing what you're working towards. If education is important to you, then perhaps one of your goals would be help your grandchildren through college. If adventure is important to you, it might be time to save up for the European vacation you've been dreaming of. Or maybe you really value community and you want to spend your retirement giving to the causes that are closest to your heart.

All of those goals have different price tags. Knowing what you want and how much it will cost before you get to retirement means you can be prepared to reach them when you step into that next phase of your life.

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Start Stashing Away Coins

That magic amount of money that allows you to reach those goals won't just be sitting there waiting for you. You have to plan and consistently build it up yourself. Adding even just 1 percent more to your savings each year can make a big difference in the end.

The way you save is just as important as how much you save. If you have plenty of time, you can be riskier with your investments in hopes of getting a greater return. But if you are getting close to the end of your working years, it's just as important to think about taking that risk out of your portfolio so you don't lose all of the progress you made.

Don't Fall for the Leprechaun's Tricks

Beware of distractions along the way. Just like a leprechaun tries to trick people out of their money, there will be times when you may think about diverting your focus away from your retirement goals. Try using a direct deposit to stay on track and leave you more closed off from temptation.

In case it's a serious issue that arises, be sure you have an emergency savings fund on hand so you aren't dipping into that retirement fund. We recommend putting away about six months of living expenses just to be safe.

Take the Turn into Retirement at the Right Speed

Before you make that leap, test drive your retirement lifestyle to ensure you're really prepared to live on the budget you've set out. By taking a spin down this new retirement road, you can be more confident that your personal pot of gold is really going to be enough for you to live comfortably. If it's not, you can make plans to readjust your savings strategy or your retirement timeline before it's too late.

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Working with a financial adviser who is looking out for you both before and after you retire can help you feel more confident that your pot of gold will last you all the years of your life.

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.

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