In a field one summer's day a Grasshopper was hopping about, chirping and singing to its heart's content.  An Ant passed by, bearing along with great toil an ear of corn he was taking to the nest."Why not come and chat with me," said the Grasshopper, "instead of toiling and moiling in that way?""I am helping to lay up food for the winter," said the Ant, "and recommend you to do the same.""Why bother about winter?" said the Grasshopper; we have got plenty of food at present." But the Ant went on its way and continued its toil.  When the winter came the Grasshopper had no food and found itself dying of hunger, while it saw the ants distributing every day corn and grain from the stores they had collected in the summer.We chalk this one up to Aesop and the following to my friends at Buckingham Asset Management who devised the baker's dozen of tips toward a well-planned retirement.1)  Start Saving Early. The young people may have trouble understanding how quickly life moves, so let's take an example. A 35-year old starts saving $5,000 each year for 30 years. With an assumed seven percent compounded annualized return, our hero would have have saved some $150,000 over the 30 years but yielding a portfolio of $505,000.

2)  Develop a Plan. Today, you have to spin out your life expectancy to some 30-35 years from the time of retirement. The financial planners I speak to spin out a 65-year old to age 100. Think about it. Your money has to outlive you a longer period of time than it did, say, your parents. Therefore, you need an investment plan that will meet your goals.

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