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Potential Risks To Retirement

CHICAGO, Nov. 28, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- For many Americans, the definition of retirement success is simple: It means having enough money to live the type of retirement they want. Today, creating financial security for the future is likely to fall largely on your own shoulders. You can still pursue the retirement of your dreams, but you'll need to plan for it and make wise choices about your money.

"The planning process can be more effective if you take into account risks that have the potential to derail your future financial security," said Dean Urbanski, Vice President, BMO Harris Financial Advisors, Inc.  "Some possible risks everyone should consider when planning for retirement include inflation, soaring health care costs and potential need for long-term care."

Don't ignore inflation: A dollar today will be worth less at retirement because of the impact of inflation on the cost of everyday goods and services. Even a relatively modest 3 percent rise in prices means $100 worth of groceries today may cost $200 in 24 years. If your objective is for your retirement savings to at least keep pace with inflation, it will likely require broader diversification into investments beyond cash equivalents. Just how aggressive a person can appropriately invest involves a number of considerations including suitability, risk profile and time horizon or how long you intend to be invested.

If seeking to outpace inflation, it might be appropriate to consider placing a portion of your portfolio in diversified investments that are to some degree growth-oriented. Notably, increased potential for higher returns that provide 'growth' of assets also comes with increased risk and volatility. However, if you have a longer time horizon for your investment, accepting some risk and volatility may prove worthwhile to help protect against the effects of inflation, which carries an uncertain degree of risk itself.

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