Benjamin Franklin is supposed to have once said, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” When we want to get from here to there, leaving success to chance is a fool’s errand. The path to a successful retirement is long and winding. Creating a plan for your family is critical to anticipate and prepare for change, to measure your progress, and clarify roles and responsibilities.

According to the Department of Labor, fewer than half of Americans have calculated, let alone simply thought about, how much they need for retirement. In 2014, 30% of private industry workers with access to a defined contribution plan (such as a 401k), did not participate. Keep in mind that the average American spends 20 years in retirement, which means many spend much more time.

They also suggest the following sensible steps, click here to find out more:

1. Start saving and keep saving. You should save for retirement with your first paycheck and continue to your last. Some experts recommend saving as much as 15 percent of each paycheck — after tax.
2. Figure out your retirement needs. Think about what you want to do.
3. Contribute to your employers retirement savings plan, as much as possible
4. Do you have a pension plan? Learn about it.
5. Consider basic investment principals such as inflation, diversification, compounding and the like. Educate yourself.
6. Don’t touch your retirement savings for anything other than retirement.
7. If your employer doesn’t offer a plan, ask them to start one. Be persistent.
8. Contribute to an IRA.
9. Learn about your social security benefits. Everybody gets them.
10. Ask questions until you get the answers you need. Educate yourself.

This is not easy. Like so much that is ‘good’ for us, it requires discipline and occasional sacrifice along the way. It also requires wise investing, and that requires research and an understanding of your ultimate requirements and objectives. A good investment advisor will join with you in determining your family’s needs along the way — college funds, weddings, travel — and help plan for them, all in the context of meeting your risk tolerance and communicating regularly.

Successful investing is a long-term undertaking. An advisor will offer that perspective, and back it up with careful selection of securities that meet your criteria.

We at Mitchell Capital understand anyone’s reluctance to open up on-line communication, but that is the modern way of establishing relationships. Click here to go to our Contact Us page and let us know you would like to talk about how we can help. We will not share your name and we will contact you once. Period. After that, it’s up to you.

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