You've heard a lot of information about retirement planning basics: contribute regularly to tax-advantaged accounts like your 401(k) or IRA, choose the right mix of assets for your age and risk tolerance, and rebalance regularly. But you still can't help but wonder if you're missing something crucial.
The sheer number of retirement accounts can make anyone's head spin. Once you've opened a specific type of account -- for instance a traditional 401(k) -- it's tempting to just figure you're set. But with more and more employers now offering a Roth 401(k) as well, it's smart to take a step back and consider the potential benefits of each.
As I always remind people, the younger you are when you start saving for retirement, the better. Start in your 20s and you should be fine by putting just 10 percent of your annual salary away every year until retirement. That sounds easy enough. But how do you get young people who are having trouble making ends meet to even think about saving for the future?
Anyone who's bought groceries, filled their gas tank or paid insurance premiums recently would probably be surprised to learn that the rate of inflation is relatively flat -- only 1.2 percent from September 2012 to September 2013.That's bad news for people who were hoping to boost their contributions to an IRA, 401(k) plan or other tax-advantaged retirement savings accounts.