Retirement conjures many pleasing visions: moving to a warm climate, spending time with grandchildren, reading all those books you never had time for during your working life. But your so-called golden years can also breed anxiety. Who's going to pay for it all?
"If you don't put away for your retirement, it's unlikely anyone else will," says Ed Slott, a certified public accountant in Rockville Centre, N.Y. and publisher of the Ed Slott's IRA Advisor newsletter. "There are so few real pension plans left -- so you're on your own."
An intimidating thought. Social Security isn't likely to cover all of your expenses in retirement, and few of us are independently wealthy. That means you have to save to support yourself.
You've probably heard about the virtues of 401(k) plans and IRAs before, but they're getting better every year. Not only can you enjoy tax-deferred growth, but these days, you can set aside more than ever before.
Continued on page 2: How 401(k)s Work