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Shall We Retire?
By Alan S. Kay

There's big money in retirement -- at least for the professionals who'd like to sell you their planning and brokerage services. And when it comes time to make decisions about how to acquire and spend your nest egg -- picking a specific mutual fund, for example -- there's an argument to be made for consulting with someone who spends all day thinking about such things. But before you get to that point, and afterward, there's a lot more to explore. Some of it can be found, amidst all the self-promotional trash, on the World Wide Web.

A warning is always appropriate when dealing in areas that involve your finances and the law, though: These sites are informational and advisory, but none will assume responsibility for whatever happens to you if you follow their advice. And many sites masquerade as dispassionate dispensers of information while actually secretly pushing specific products. But you knew that.

Retirement as Lifestage
Discussions about retirement typically narrow quickly into discussions about the money you'll live on. So here we're indebted to Nolo Press, the trailblazing self-help publisher, for posting a set of articles about retirement as a phase of one's life rather than a cash flow problem. Anyone contemplating the big move should start here.

Wealth Enhancement and Preservation
The National Network of Estate Planning Attorneys offers, in addition to directories of professional help, a searchable database that's in effect an online book on retirement and estate planning. (Hint: To browse all available info, enter a * into the section to be searched for on the search form.) The language is dispassionate, the tone measured. Topics addressed include investment basics and strategies, tax issues, retirement planning, IRAs, 401Ks, tax sheltered annuities and other instruments.

Countdown to Retirement
This is a schematic outline of financial and other issues you'll need to consider as you approach retirement. Provided by Kiplinger's Retirement Report, this serves both as a checklist and, read far in advance, as a way of forecasting the relevant issues while retirement still seems a remote fantasy.

Meta-Sites: Click for more
The Retirement section of InvestorGuide offers a thorough set of links on retirement financing issues. Still want more? provides hundreds of links in the Money section of Consumer World. Don't forget to take breaks to eat and sleep!

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