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In a shrinking economy, retirement seems impossible. However, if you are concerned about financial security in your retirement years, you should take retirement financial planning seriously. Planning for financial retirement is the first step towards ensuring that the lifestyle you dream of retiring has a better chance of becoming a reality.

No matter how old or young you are, there is never the wrong time to think about a financial retirement plan and take advantage of retirement plan services. The sooner you start, the better off you will become. You're likely to have a bigger nest in retirement if you start saving at age 30 instead of 60. As you invest more years, your investment has a better chance of recovering from a fall or stall.

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The longer your money is invested, the better your chances of securing the future. By planning your retirement needs, you will determine what you need to do to secure your future and will be better able to handle most of the problems that can confuse you and cost you financially.

The first consideration for your retirement plan is where and for how long your investment money will go. As a basic strategy, you should invest some of your money in short-term, medium-term, and long-term investments. The type of investment is usually determined by your time horizon. In general, the more time you have before you have to sell an investment for the money, the riskier it will be.

If your time horizon is five years or more, which is considered a long-term investment, you can choose an investment that will be valued over time. Growth stocks and real estate are good long-term investments if you have years before you retire. Volatile stocks or CDs are considered short-term investments, investments that are held for one year or less and have to be revalued several times a year.