Nichols, however, believes it's important to also invest in your children. "Again, you want to make sure you are not excessively putting money toward retirement that you won't pay for your child to go to camp or if you could afford it, pay for college tuition."
For many parents, education is an emotional issue. Some believe it is the best gift they could give their children -- parents would sometimes take out loans or borrow from their retirement accounts to pay for college.
On the other hand, some parents believe that it is better to not be a burden on their children later in life. They think that having financial independence -- taking care of medical and long-term care bills themselves -- is in fact the best thing they could do for their children.
The decision to spend more on children's needs -- and on other enjoyable things today -- often depends on how comfortable one feels about retirement. Whether you choose to hire a financial planner or run the numbers yourself using published reports and the Social Security benefit calculators, it's important to have a plan."It doesn't matter whether one report says Americans are saving enough for retirement and another says they aren't. What matters is how you are preparing for your golden years. Do you have enough, too little or too much saved?" says Rosell. Once you have a plan in place, and after seeing how much you already have set aside for retirement, you can then decide if it's time to live the life or if you'll take a step back and save more. -- Written by Marilen Cawad in New York