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Taking the worry out of future finances

More than a quarter of U.S. workers say they're "not at all confident" about their ability to afford a comfortable retirement.

That statistic has reached its highest percentage in two decades, according to an Employee Benefit Research Institute report. How confident do you feel?

The most important aspect to your retirement is to have a plan and to have it sooner rather than later say financial planning experts at Minnesota of Certified Public Accountants (MNCPA).

Take the time now to plan for retirement and then monitor your investments so you'll feel confident, rather than apprehensive, about your future.

Small changes now make a big impact in the long run.

Top 10 retirement tips from CPAs

Start saving now

Americans have one of the lowest personal savings rates compared to other countries, and in difficult economic times, retirement tends to fall by the wayside.

This is one time you don't want to be a part of the crowd.

Boost your savings rate and put it toward your retirement.

Control debt

Pay down your debt, free up your funds, and then use those funds to invest in your future.

The less you owe, the more money you'll have to invest for the long haul.

Treat your future like an investment

Monthly bills, your children's college education, the mortgage -- it's easy to get caught up in the day-to-day cost of living.

But pay yourself -- your long-term self -- first, and consider your investment in retirement a non-negotiable payment that must be made each month.


Out of sight, out of mind has never been more applicable.

Have retirement savings deposited directly into your investment accounts.

If you never see it, you'll never spend it.


Regardless of which investment vehicles you choose for your retirement savings -- 401(k); traditional IRA, Roth IRA, etc. -- maximize the amounts you can invest each year.

Contribution limits change periodically, so ask your investment advisor to help you determine the appropriate amounts for your age and income.


The less you spend now, the more you'll have to spend later.

If you're having trouble finding the money to invest, develop and stick to a budget to find the all-important funds to stash away.


If your employer offers 401(k) matching, take advantage of it.

It's like free money. And who doesn't love free? You could increase your investment without lifting a finger.


Remember, don't put all of your eggs in one basket.

Tax deferred accounts aren't the only route to retirement.

Whether you choose to invest in real estate, stocks, bonds, etc. plan to diversify your investments to minimize the effects of economic ups and downs.


Once you've got a plan in place, don't sit back and cool your heels until retirement.

Your investments need constant supervision to make sure you're on track and achieving your goals.