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Special Report

Morningstar's Guide to Saving for Retirement

Jan. 23-27: Strategies to make investing for retirement less daunting.

Are you putting enough money aside for retirement? Should you be investing in your 401(k) at work? Roth IRA? Traditional IRA? Taxable account? How much should be in stocks? Bonds? What are the best overall investments?

Answering these questions can make saving for retirement seem like a daunting task. But this week on, our director of personal finance, Christine Benz, will walk you through the key decisions points to ensure that your portfolio is poised to help you amass the wealth you will need for retirement.

Stay tuned: We'll be updating this page all week with a new set of daily reports.

Monday: Wellness Check
A Wellness Check for Your Retirement Plan
Christine Benz shares the keys to determining if your retirement plan is on track.

Accumulators: Is Your Retirement Plan on Track?
Rules of thumb won't cut it for this important question. How to customize based on your own situation.

How Do Your Financial Priorities Stack Up With Our Pyramid?
Make sure you're not geeking out about small-bore investment problems while giving short shrift to the game-changers.

3 Simple Ways to Bump Up Your Savings Rate
Enforced discipline is key to ensuring you're saving enough to meet your needs, says Morningstar director of personal finance Christine Benz.

Tuesday: Capital Allocation
How to Prioritize Retirement Savings
Christine Benz says take a step back, and look at your household balance sheet to make sure your savings dollars are generating the highest return.

Are You Holding Your Assets in the Right Types of Accounts?
Taking care with asset placement can result in big tax savings.

6 Key Reasons Why Investing in a Taxable Account Is Underrated
Currently low tax rates are one of the key reasons that taxable accounts should be part of most investors' tool kits.

IRA, 401(k), 529: What's the Best Tax-Sheltered Account Type for You?
Getting the skinny on tax treatment, withdrawals, and permissible investments can help you choose wisely.

Should You Make Aftertax Contributions to Your 401(k)?
IRS guidelines enable heavy savers to get more assets into the Roth column.

A Hierarchy for Retirement Savings
Confused about which vehicles to fund first? We can help.

High Income? Don't Overlook These Savings Vehicles
Morningstar's Christine Benz suggests wealthy investors consider backdoor IRAs, health-savings accounts, and 529 plans to maximize tax savings.

Wednesday: Asset Allocation
Finding the Right Asset Allocation for Your Portfolio
Consider time frame, asset class returns, and risk when deciding what to invest in, says Morningstar's Christine Benz.

Is Your Retirement Portfolio's Asset Allocation on Track?
Some guidance on setting--and not forgetting--your portfolio's stock/bond/cash mix.

Are You an Asset-Allocation Outlier?
From pensions to small-business ownership, how to know if your mix of stocks, bonds, and cash should not look like the others'.

A Retirement Allocation Starter Kit
Brian Huckstep of Morningstar Investment Management delves into the research and philosophy underpinning the Lifetime Allocation Indexes used in Christine Benz's model portfolios.

Thursday: Investment Selection
Don't Overcomplicate Your Portfolio
Consider target-date funds, mutual funds, or ETFs to help keep things simple, says Christine Benz.

Key Factors for Evaluating Mutual Funds
Price, Performance during different market environments, and Process are among the elements fund investors should consider.

Find the Right Investments for Your Retirement Portfolio
Your knowledge level, desire to be hands-on, tax status, and tolerance for short-term volatility can help you identify the right investments.

A Roadmap for Assessing Retirement Portfolio Performance
Comparing your portfolio with a good target-date fund or a customized benchmark can help you determine how you're doing.

Friday: Portfolio Building 
How Our Model Portfolios Can Help You Save
Christine Benz's retirement saver portfolios can serve as a guide for accumulators.

Morningstar's Model Retirement Saver Portfolios
For investors who are accumulating assets for retirement, we create strategic ETF and mutual fund portfolios.

An Aggressive Retirement Saver Portfolio
We employ actively managed mutual funds and a stock-heavy portfolio mix.

A Moderate Retirement Saver Portfolio
Its allocations illustrate that even 40-somethings should be mostly in stocks.

A Conservative Retirement Saver Portfolio
Even with retirement on the horizon, our portfolio maintains a sizable equity weighting.

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