I remember the first time I was hit with something akin to age sticker shock. It was when my 401(k) adviser referenced the number of years before I would reach 50. Yikes. While one hopes and plans to reach milestone birthdays, staring at concrete numbers of years before you reach them can be like having a glass of cold water thrown in your face.
That’s exactly the effect Money magazine goes for in its October cover package, Retirement Guide 2011. The idea is to visualize who you will be upon retirement and to start saving accordingly.
Now, any feature about retirement these days is going to hit a depressing note sooner or later; this package, however, seems largely positive with a focus on making up for lost time (or investments).
- Handling common financial obstacles (health care costs, college tuition bills)
- Getting back on track after personal or economic downturns
- Retirement funding checklists for each stage of life
- Adjusting your retirement vision (working longer, downsizing to a smaller home)
- Choosing college towns over golf course communities
That last story, with its descriptions of welcoming campuses and smaller-town settings, might just inspire you to boost your 401(k) contribution.