Rebuilding your retirement nest egg requires action

October 1, 2004

Whether retirement from your medical practice is a distant dream or just around the corner, 3 years of plunging interest rates and discouraging stock losses have probably put a dent in your financial armor.

"But this is not the time to sit back and dwell on your misfortune," said certified financial planner (CFP) Paul Knoblich. "With the economy showing signs of renewed vitality, now is the time to heal the wounds. There will be plenty of opportunities to do exactly that, but it will be up to you to capitalize on them."

Need for a retirement plan G. Mike Crawford, CFP, believes that the most serious personal finance error made by many professionals in practice is failing to develop a comprehensive retirement plan.

Understandably, Crawford believes that a retirement plan prepared by a certified financial planner is the best choice for most people. "The services of a good CFP," he said, "is not an expense. By preparing a plan that maximizes investment income, a CFP becomes an asset, not an expense."

Still, he recognizes that many people prefer to do their own planning. "That's fine," he said, for those who have a good feel for personal finance and how to handle money. "Whether you call on a professional or prepare it yourself, it is important that your plan stay active and flexible."

Here are six steps you can take now to get your retirement portfolio back on track:

1. Decide where you want to be, and when The ultimate goal of your retirement plan is accumulation of the necessary assets to fund a comfortable and satisfying lifestyle. Unfortunately, that may require a larger nest egg than you think.