Question: What are some things I should keep in mind if I want to reach the goal of retirement within three years? Thanks in advance for your response. Lorri, MA

Answer: Lorri, whether your goal is retirement in 3 years, a new car in 5 years, or college education in eighteen years, in order to reach your goal a savings/investment plan has to have four distinct yet interrelated factors, each of which contributes to the success or failure of your plan.

Factor #1: Your contribution amount. How much are you saving every paycheck now? Is more or less money necessary to reach your goal? Have you factored in inflation for the ultimate cost of your retirement?

Factor #2: Your rate of return. How much money are you earning in interest, dividends and capital gains? What is your portfolios expected rate of return? What kind of annual rate of return have you earned over the last 5-10 years? Can you earn a higher rate of return? Are you playing it too safe? Are you investing too aggressively? How will your portfolio withdrawals be taxed?

Factor #3: Your time frame. You wish to retire within three years. Is it possible this timeframe could be shortened or should it be extended? If retirement was possible today, would you still work for three more years?

Factor #4: The amount of your goal. How much have you saved toward your retirement goal already? Can this goal amount be adjusted? How much is really needed?

Bill’s Bottom-line: Have a written plan to accomplish your goal and monitor your progress regularly. When you put your goals down on paper, you’re more likely to achieve them. To learn more, download a FREE 30-page report, The 10 Biggest Retirement Mistakes People Make & How YOU Can Avoid Them at

Author's Bio: 

Bill Losey, CFP®, America's Retirement Strategist®, coaches women and couples nationwide with their retirement planning and investment portfolios. He is the author of Retire in a Weekend! The Baby Boomer’s Guide to Making Work Optional and also publishes Retirement Intelligence, a free weekly award-winning newsletter. Bill can be reached online at

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