12 of 21
BACK NEXT
12. Withhold your inflation raise
There's one big risk that retirement investors don't have much control over: bad timing. If the market crashes soon after you stop working, that can dramatically increase the odds that your money will run out.

The reason: As a retiree, you'll have to sell assets to live on just when they're dwindling in value. That means there will be a lot less left to grow when the market rebounds.

Fortunately, you can keep on track rather painlessly: Spend only a bit less than you were planning to. Say you follow a traditional strategy, taking 4% of your assets out the first year of retirement and boosting the withdrawals by 3% each year for inflation.

If you'd done that starting in 2000, you'd have a 22% chance of running out of money. But if, after the tech bubble burst, you simply hadn't given yourself those inflation raises for the next three years, you'd have cut the odds of your running out of money in half.

NEXT: Check your math

Last updated August 16 2008: 4:37 PM ET
More Galleries
50 years of the Ford Mustang Take a drive down memory lane with our favorite photos of the car through the years. More
Cool cars from the New York Auto Show These are some of the most interesting new models and concept vehicles from the Big Apple's car show. More
8 CEOs who took a pay cut in 2013 Median CEO pay inched up 9% in 2013 to $13.9 million. But not everyone got a bump last year. Here are eight CEOs who missed out. More

Special Offer
Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.