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Morningstar's Retirement Guide

Whether you're still saving for retirement or already there, here are the insights you need to make your money last.

Democrats vs. Republicans. Beatles vs. Rolling Stones. Reese's Peanut Butter Cups vs. M&Ms. The Godfather vs. Goodfellas.

In life, there are many things for people to disagree about. But when it comes to retirement, most would agree: We want to outlive our money.

But how can we make sure that happens?

While in accumulation mode, we need to save enough, choose the right vehicles for retirement savings, and allocate our assets appropriately given our time horizons. As we approach retirement, we need to make sure we're on track to have the cash flow we think we'll need once we do, in fact, retire. And then once retired, we need to consider what our drawdown strategies will be, whether we should annuitize, and what our asset mix should look like.

That's a lot.

We've put together this retirement guide to help tackle each task along the way.

Topics for Retirement Savers

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.

Do You Really Need to Save That Much for Retirement? We take a closer look at popular retirement savings estimates.

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

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

Is Your Retirement Portfolio's Asset Allocation on Track? The essential first step for retirement portfolio planning: finding the right stock/bond mix.

How to Create an Investment Policy Statement An IPS helps transition your investment collection to an investment plan.

Topics for Pre-Retirees

Why You Should 'Trial Run' Your Retirement You can learn a lot from a practice round.

A Retirement Readiness Checklist Determining if you're on track to retire can be more manageable if you break it into smaller steps.

An Investing Road Map for Pre-Retirees The late 50s and early 60s are the perfect time for investors to embark on a savings sprint, assess the viability of their portfolio, and build out their stake in safer securities.

7 Steps to Estimating Your In-Retirement Cash Flow Needs Rules of thumb may be too high for affluent retirees with high savings rates, but healthcare costs are a major swing factor.

A Checklist for Retirement Cash Flows Maximizing nonportfolio sources of income can reduce demands on your portfolio.

Is Delaying Social Security Still Smart? How volatile markets and concerns over the program's finances should affect claiming decisions for pre-retirees and early retirees.

How to Bridge a Retirement Shortfall A combination of incremental, not revolutionary, changes can help bridge the gap.

Topics for Retirees

An Investing Road Map for Retirees For people in drawdown mode, tips on asset allocation, Social Security, annuities, withdrawal rates, and more.

Should You Pay Off Your Mortgage? Retirees looking for a decent return in this low-rate climate would be wise to consider it.

Get a Tax-Smart Plan for In-Retirement Withdrawals Consider these strategies to stretch out your tax savings during your retirement years.

Your Guide to Annuities In this special report, discover whether annuities should play a role in your retirement portfolio and how to find the right fit.

Your Guide to Long-Term Care In this special report, find out how to weigh your prospective coverage needs and your options for paying for them.

How to Create a Retirement Policy Statement Use our template to document your retirement assets, strategy, and spending system.

The Bucket Investor's Guide to Setting Asset Allocation for Retirement Use anticipated spending needs and probabilities of a positive return over your time horizon to back into the right mix of cash, bonds, and stocks.

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