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You wouldn't leave on a vacation without knowing where you are going, how long you expect to be away, and how much the adventure will cost. So why would you approach saving for retirement without the same amount of preparation?

Creating a "roadmap" can help you better navigate the hills and valleys of retirement investing and keep you on track to meet your goals. Here are four questions to ask yourself to help put your plan in gear.

1. When do you want to retire?

Your retirement age will affect how much you need to start setting aside now in order to reach your ultimate savings goal. Remember: The earlier you retire, the longer your savings will have to last. So someone who is 30 years old and wants to retire at, say, age 60 will need to save more each year than a 30-year-old who plans to retire at age 65 or 70.

2. How much income will you need to maintain the retirement you expect?

One rule of thumb says you'll need at least 10 times your final working year's annual salary in retirement savings to maintain your current lifestyle. But you can get a more accurate picture of how much income you'll really need by adding up all your expected yearly retirement expenses. And don't forget to account for inflation.

3. How much should you save every month now to meet these goals?

Once you determine your retirement savings goal, you can figure out how much you need to be contributing to your retirement plan today. Our retirement planner tool can help you crunch the numbers.

4. What is the best way to invest your savings to help ensure financial success?

Your investment strategy plays a big role in helping you meet your financial goals. Maintaining an investment mix that's appropriate for your investing horizon and risk tolerance has the potential to reduce market risk and help you achieve your objectives.

The sooner you start working on your roadmap, the more time you'll have to figure out how to reach your destination — a secure and fulfilling retirement.


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Lincoln Financial Group is the marketing name for Lincoln National Corporation and insurance
company affiliates, including The Lincoln National Life Insurance Company, Fort Wayne, IN,
and in New York, Lincoln Life & Annuity Company of New York, Syracuse, NY. Variable products
distributed by broker/dealer-affiliate Lincoln Financial Distributors, Inc., Radnor, PA. Securities
and investment advisory services offered through other affiliates. Explore Lincoln.