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Retirement guide
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A plan for every stage
Welcome to MONEY's lifelong guide to funding your dream retirement.
October 10, 2005: 5:35 PM EDT
By the Editors of MONEY Magazine
The dream retirement

AND...
MONEY's best places to retire

NEW YORK (MONEY Magazine) - At each of the three stages of your life -- mid-career, pre-retirement and retirement -- you need to grasp four shifting factors:

Your goal

As you draw closer to retirement, your investing aim will evolve gradually from building wealth as fast as possible to preserving what you have.

The challenge

As your goals change, so will the risks you face. A market crash, for example, is a far more serious matter right before retirement than when you're young.

Your strategy

Traditional retirement investing advice tends to be too conservative for 21st-century realities. This guide corrects that.

Your investing tools

No investing style fits everyone. At each stage, then, this guide offers three different ways to fill your retirement portfolio:

  1. Index funds These low cost funds reliably perform better than the average fund. There's no risk they'll wildly underperform the market -- but they won't knock your socks off either.
  2. Actively managed funds If you want a shot at even better returns, go with the actively managed choices that we've culled from the MONEY 50, our list of recommended funds.
  3. Target-date funds If you don't want to pick funds, this choice makes sense. Each target fund is a fully diversified portfolio, continually reset at a risk level appropriate for someone planning to retire in a given year.

See the plans for every stage »»

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For more on MONEY Magazine's special report, The Dream Retirement, click here.  Top of page

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