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Golden beaches, warm breezes, and the sounds of waves; these are some of the dreams of retirement. It doesn’t matter if you are looking for endless days of playing golf, traveling the globe, or spending more time with the grandchildren, the question of finance always comes into play. More and more companies are moving away from providing traditional pensions and instead, moving toward deferred compensation such as  IRAs and 401Ks. For those without pensions or deferred compensation, Social Security  may be the only retirement benefit available. Trying to determine the amount one will receive and the amount one will need is not easy. There are, however, materials that can help.

The U.S. Department of labor maintains a website that hosts their publication, Taking the mystery out of retirement planning. This publication takes you step-by-step through the different issues involved in planning your retirement. The PBGC, or Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, another governmental agency, has information for those with pensions, including a listing of companies that are covered. Click here to see if your company’s pension plan is protected. Or if you worked at a company, then left, you may still have money coming to you. To find an unclaimed pension, click here.

Social Security also maintains a robust website that has multiple calculators to help determine everything from how much the monthly payments will be, to how long you can expect to live. They also have extensive online tools to help apply for benefits, as well as official forms.

To help bring all the pieces together, Tom Sightings from U.S. News and World Report posted this great article on how much money is enough money.

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