There are a lot of sites that I try to make the rounds on, and the Motley Fool is one of them. Generally, they are going to try to sell you something, their service, but the advice before that is sound. In this case, I have to agree with all of them.
Their primary point is about making a plan. I will talk about that in a later post. I don’t know how many people I have spoken to over the years that just wont spend any time thinking about retirement. Its the result of those conversations that brought me to writing this blog. I am still crafting my big picture post, which will likely end up being a static page, but my point in all of this is that you need to spend time on this subject. Their bullet 1 in the article is a good starting point.
Their second point is really for folks who have more than a few bucks. There is no point in talking to a financial adviser until you have a bunch of money to talk to them about. If you only have a few thousand in your 401k/IRA, then you are wasting your time. If you have a made some headway, and have savings in retirement accounts, and money elsewhere, then it would be a good idea.
Their third point is about how to optimize your retirement accounts. When I was in the workforce for only a few years, I had little money, and was not able to save a lot. Sure, I put like $50 or $100 a month of my salary towards a IRA, and the rest went to paying down my school loans. But if you can start getting near the max, then you might want to reconsider that second point, let alone paying attention to the income and contribution limits of them. There are differences between Roth and Traditional for both 401ks and IRAs. The article gives a good rundown of that.
The fourth point was one I did not consider enough. This is especially true if you want to retire early like I do. Thinking about health, health plans, and how to pay for that is a big deal, and who knows what will happen with regards to single payer or the current system that is in the US.
The last point is about optimizing social security. Well if you are not near the age for Social Security, its not an issue. For those of us who are far from it, there is likely to be some problems. In short, in a decade or two, depending on whose numbers you use, it will only be able to pay out 75% of what it should on paper.