No. of Recommendations: 2
Dear 43:

good for you for getting out there and taking control of your life!! and the retirement mountain looms large in front of you, i know. but it is surmountable, and you can do it!

if you haven't done so already, first is education. read read read. get all the Motly fool books and devour them. (myself, i haad to read them several times for it all to sink in my thick little brain.) read read read the message boards. (again, my own experience was a good 9 months glued to the computer screen. my husband started to worry!)

you need to first check with the SS folks. give them a call and order a copy of a report (you can also do this online) that tell you EXACTLY how much money you're gonna get if you retired today. this amount may be small, or it may be better than you thought. but knowledge is power ( i just made that up -- you like it??:-) ) . it is important to KNOW this information rather than guess or presume. don't eliminate this step.

get out of debt. this is hard sometimes, but essential.

open an account with a broker (see the Discount Broker Board for a lively (and confusing :-) ) discussion of which one to go with.

know how much you need when you retire. have a specific goal. "I need $xxxx at the age ?? that will last me for he last ??? years of my life." write that and put it on the fridge. and have a SPECIFIC amount.

now, go celebrate putting all this info together and enjoy your life. in the end, money or no, enjoyment and time with your children are the most important things!

keep reading and writing messages and let us know how it's going! everyone of us here is On Your Side!

-megeranski, 41
who has only been investing for 14 months now.
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