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October 19, 2011

It's a good week to think about retirement savings

(Continued)

Calculate any retirement shortfall. Try to determine if your savings and investments will be enough to provide you with an income stream that's adequate to meet your retirement needs. If it isn't, develop an estimate of the size of the shortfall.

Take steps to close the savings "gap." If it doesn't look like you'll have enough to meet your retirement needs, you may consider adjusting your savings and investment strategy. This may mean contributing more to your IRA, 401(k) and other retirement accounts. Or, perhaps your investment mix may need to be reviewed to find a better balance growth potential with risk. Or you may need to take both of these steps.

Monitor your progress. Once you've put your investment strategy into place, you'll need to monitor your progress to make sure you're on track toward achieving your retirement savings goals. Along the way, you may have to make adjustments, if there are changes in your objectives or your specific situation.

Taking these types of action can be challenging, so you may want to work with a professional financial advisor who has the experiences and resources necessary to help you identify and work toward achieving your retirement goals. In any case, though, National Save for Retirement Week is a great time to consider your course of action.

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Edward Jones Financial Adviser Michael Quinn submitted this column. Quinn's Edward Jones office is at 25 Railroad Square, Suite 201, Haverhill. He can be reached at 978-372-8453.

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