USA Today’s The Motley Fool points out the Big 5:
1.) Make a plan. Social Security will cover about 40% of what you currently make.
2.) Save as much as you can. 15%?
3.) Refinancing a mortgage, poorly
4.) Living beyond your means
5.) Planning on working forever
Houston’s Lawrence Boyles, known as the Retirement Professor, generally concurs with those conclusions, but says while many advisers, including the Motley Fool, suggest saving 15% of income, for many people that’s not realistic. “I would say 10%. It depends on how many children you have. I mostly work with middle-class, white-collar workers, and it’s hard to save a lot when you’re putting kids through college,” he advises. And while he says you can’t plan on working forever, he promotes working as long as possible. “I do encourage people to work as long as they can. I’m not a fan of early retirement. I don’t think early retirement is healthy spiritually, emotionally or physically.” 38% of people are forced into retirement before they had planned to for health reasons, and 22% because they were laid off. That's 50% of all people -- with a plan -- face unexpected obstacles.