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13 retirement facts you need to take seriously

Reader's Digest Logo By Sheryl Nance-Nash of Reader's Digest | Slide 1 of 13: Once you stop working, there's little room for financial errors. You have to know what you want and need and have a strategy for getting there. Planning should not be viewed as optional.'Look at your current and expected sources of income and expenses to determine what your cash-flow will look like during retirement and throughout your life expectancy. As part of this process you should establish your financial and retirement goals to determine how big of a nest egg you need,' explains Anthony Criscuolo, a certified financial planner with Palisades Hudson Financial Group.For example, will you take a $20,000 vacation to Europe every summer or just visit the kids for the holidays? Having a defined target for your nest egg is one of the most important aspects of your retirement plan. Create a budget of your current expenses and then make adjustments for what you expect to change during retirement. Your mortgage may be paid off, but you may have increased medical expenses or more leisure expenses. Check out these tips from 11 people who retired early.

You must have a plan

Once you stop working, there's little room for financial errors. You have to know what you want and need and have a strategy for getting there. Planning should not be viewed as optional.'Look at your current and expected sources of income and expenses to determine what your cash-flow will look like during retirement and throughout your life expectancy.

As part of this process you should establish your financial and retirement goals to determine how big of a nest egg you need,' explains Anthony Criscuolo, a certified financial planner with Palisades Hudson Financial Group.

For example, will you take a $20,000 vacation to Europe every summer or just visit the kids for the holidays? Having a defined target for your nest egg is one of the most important aspects of your retirement plan. Create a budget of your current expenses and then make adjustments for what you expect to change during retirement. Your mortgage may be paid off, but you may have increased medical expenses or more leisure expenses.

Click ahead for 13 retirement facts you need to take seriously.

Check out these tips from 11 people who retired early.

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