Look for some new free financial planning help from the Social Security Administration in the future. The agency, along with Boston College and the University of Wisconsin, are forming a $5 million Financial Literacy Research Consortium to help us plan more effectively for our retirements.
I wish they'd spent the money on cattle prods. Inertia remains a problem that investors around the world struggle with, reports a recent Harris Poll. Meantime, groups like America Saves, 360 Degrees of Financial Literacy and the National Endowment for Financial Education already provide tons of top rate information for free.
Much of their advice boils down to two principles anyway. Think through what you want before you act, but act. And be conservative. Presume retirement will last longer and take more money than you imagine now.
Five million dollars isn't a lot of money by Washington standards. But it's pretty impressive compared to the Social Security benefits many of us will get.