Money Essentials

1. Most people will be able to retire in style on Social Security payments alone.
2. The best way to estimate how much you must save today to achieve a comfortable retirement in the future is to:
    Wing it.
    Ask your friends and relatives how much they're saving and do the same.
    Estimate the expenses you'll face in retirement and then calculate the amount of savings you'll need to supplement Social Security and other income.
3. Most of us should plan on spending 70% of our pre-retirement salary after we retire:
4. When it comes to investing money for your long-term retirement needs, you should:
    Stick solely to safe investments like CDs and money-market funds.
    Look for whichever investment has performed the best over the past 12 months.
    Open up the financial pages and throw a dart.
    Tilt the mix of assets in your retirement portfolio toward stocks.
5. Once you retire, you should move all your assets into bonds.
6. The best reason to take advantage of tax-advantaged retirement savings plans like 401(k)s and IRAs is:
    You might qualify for an immediate tax break.
    Congress worked long and hard to create these plans, so we ought to use them.
    You get to learn about the arcane and confusing government rules that regulate these accounts.
    These plans provide an array of tax benefits that can turbo-charge your savings plan and dramatically boost the value of your nest egg.
7. The Roth IRA is:
    Named after writer Philip Roth, who complained bitterly about the lack of a tax-free IRA in his book "Portnoy's Complaint."
    The kind of IRA you should consider only if you can't qualify for any other version.
    An IRA that allows your money to earn a tax-free, not just a tax-deferred, rate of return.
8. You can make your retirement savings last longer by withdrawing your money as tax efficiently as possible.
9. You might consider getting a reverse mortgage, if:
    You're tired of a conventional mortgage.
    You've always wanted to turn the tables on your lender.
    You would like to transform the equity into your home into income while continuing to live there during retirement.
10. Relocating to an area where living costs are lower can stretch your retirement income by 15% or more: