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Don't Retire Poor -- Avoid These 10 Pitfalls

8. Failing to take advantage of IRAs: You should be taking advantage of IRAs from the day that you are able to. If you fail to do so, it can be a huge blow to your retirement savings, since there is a limited amount that can be invested each year. IRAs are set up specifically so that you can maximize the amount that you have when you retire, and if you forgo them in your early years, you will do great damage to the amount available in your retirement fund when you get older.

9. Investing too conservatively: Investing too conservatively in your retirement fund means that you will not grow it adequately to meet your needs when you retire. You need to take into account that over time, inflation will take part of the purchasing power away from your retirement fund. As you get closer to retirement, you can make your investments more conservative, but in the early years you want to make sure that you are not investing too conservatively to yield the gains you need for retirement.

10. Investing too aggressively: While you don't want to invest too conservatively, you also don't want to be investing in things that promise huge returns but are extremely risky. You should determine a set amount of money each month to put into something like a stock index fund for your retirement. If you can spare more money after you have contributed to the retirement fund, it is acceptable to invest in something a bit more risky. However, you don't want to be risking the main portion of your retirement money in risky investments that could very well leave you with no money in the end.

By keeping these retirement fund pitfalls in mind, you can help ensure that you have plenty in your retirement fund when the time comes.
Jeffrey Strain has been a freelance personal finance writer for the past 10 years helping people save money and get their finances in order. He currently owns and runs SavingAdvice.com.
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