One of the most important things you can do is to plan for your retirement. There was once a time when employers provided pension plans to loyal employees that spent their working lives dedicated to the company.
Over the past three decades there has been a complete reversal of retirement funding responsibility from employers to employees. The days of being provided a monthly retirement income, solely funded by an employer, for the most part, are gone. In addition, employees are more mobile and are far less likely to have long-term careers with the same employer.
It is essential that everyone pull together as many resources as possible in order to create a fund that will provide them with income at their desired date of retirement. Among some of the financial resources that you can potentially rely on are; social security, veterans benefits, personal contributions to an employer's retirement plan (such as a 401K Plan), and your own personal savings. There are of course several others.
In order to make an educated guess as to whether you'll have adequate income to live a comfortable life at retirement you'll need to know what your approximate expenses will be. Then you will need to have a conservative, yet somewhat predictable, idea of what you will receive for income. Some individuals may chose, or be required, to work part time, in even a lesser paying job to supplement their income. If your guesstimated expenses exceed your guesstimated income you have an income shortfall.
The best way to close a future income shortfall is by proper retirement planning today. Lower expenses wherever possible and increase the amount dedicated to long-term savings and investments.
Most people look for guidance and advice when developing their retirement planning strategy. A knowledgeable and experienced financial advisor has been through the exercise many times and can be invaluable in helping people to get on the right track. Staying on the right track will take discipline and dedication but as your retirement plan begins to take shape you'll be inspired to continue.