TOPEKA, KS--(Marketwire - Jan 17, 2012) - With 2011, coming to a close, Security Benefit Corporation, a Guggenheim Partners Company, looks forward to the New Year with its "12 FOR '12" -- A Dozen Specific Tips to Help Prepare for Retirement.

"While most Americans will be spending 20 years or so in retirement, less than half of us are actively considering how much we'll need to save for that reality," says Jim Mullery, President of Security Distributors, Inc., Security Benefit's distribution company. "We're offering up these dozen tips to at least get folks thinking about retirement planning."


1) DETERMINE WHEN YOU'RE GOING TO RETIRE - This is typically the foundation for an individual's preparation and planning. Your date and plans can change, of course, but setting a date is the starting point from which other retirement planning happens.
2) TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR RETIREMENT SAVINGS - And it doesn't matter whether you're facing impending retirement or you have decades left. There's no guarantee that Social Security benefits won't be reduced or the retirement age raised. And many companies are phasing out their pension plans.
3) CALCULATE HOW MUCH MONEY YOU'LL NEED - Many experts suggest that you will need about 70 percent of your pre-retirement income. But even then, could you really afford to take a 30 percent cut in your income when you retire? Take advantage of the many free tools offered by retirement product providers to help fine-tune your estimate.
4) DON'T IGNORE FREE MONEY - Employer-sponsored retirement plans like 401(k)s are some of the best deals around. These savings plans allow you to make pre-tax contributions and you don't have to pay taxes on the contributions and earnings until the funds are withdrawn. Better yet, many employers will match a portion of your contributions.
5) ANTICIPATE LIFESTYLE CHANGES - Explore how your life might change after you retire. You may not need two family cars. You may be able to retire to a smaller home in a less expensive area. You may also be able to cut back on wardrobe. Healthcare, travel and hobby expenses will probably increase.
6) MAKE SMALL SACRIFICES - Little things really add up over time. Assuming an 8% annual effective rate of return, giving up these perks could translate to numbers like this in 30 years:

1 movie date per week = $96,692
1 latte per day = $253,817
1 family dinner out per week = $483,461

Assumes ongoing contributions and 26 pay periods per year. Price assumptions: 2 movie tickets at $10 each, latte at $3.75, family dinner at $50. Assumes 4% inflation of prices each year. There is no guarantee these figures will be attainable in the future. Returns are not indicative of the performance of any specific investment. Investments are subject to market risk and may lose value.

7) DON'T TOUCH YOUR RETIREMENT SAVINGS - Many people turn to their retirement savings to help them when they're in a financial bind. Do everything you can to leave your retirement savings intact.
8) MANAGE YOUR MONEY WELL - Build an emergency fund, pay down debt, participate in your retirement plan at work, consider other ways to save money, if you've changed jobs consider a rollover of your retirement savings into a self-directed IRA.
9) TAKE IT WITH YOU - If you find a new job, don't make the mistake of cashing out your 401(k) plan, no matter how small the balance.
10) BUILD A PORTFOLIO THAT WORKS FOR EVERY STAGE OF YOUR LIFE - To make sure you're on track across the phases of life, it's important to regularly review the performance of the assets in your portfolio. Investing for retirement that's several decades away is much different than retirement that's right around the corner.
11) DIVERSIFYING IS SMART AT ANY LIFE STAGE - Your asset allocation will probably change as you move through different life stages, such as when you're ready to buy a home, become a parent, send a child to college, and so on.
12) PLAN FOR TOMORROW TODAY! - The sooner you get started the greater your chances of obtaining your retirement goals. A valuable action that can help you have the kind of retirement you long for is to meet with your plan representative or personal financial advisor at least once a year.

Security Benefit, which provides retirement and investment solutions through independent financial representatives around the country, offers a number of retirement planning calculators and other planning tools at

About Security Benefit
Security Benefit, a Guggenheim Partners Company, is a leading provider of retirement plan services throughout the nation, offering a variety of compelling and customized fixed and variable annuity products. The firm's se2 division is an award-winning and nationally recognized provider of administrative services for the insurance and financial services industry. To learn more, go to

About Guggenheim Partners
Guggenheim Partners, LLC is a privately held global financial services firm. The firm provides investment management, investment banking and capital markets services as well as insurance and investment advisory solutions for institutions, corporations, governments and agencies, investment advisors, family offices and individuals. Guggenheim Partners is headquartered in New York and Chicago and serves clients from more than 25 offices in nine countries.


Annuities are long-term investments suitable for retirement planning

In all states except New York, annuities are issued by Security Benefit Life Insurance Company (SBL). In New York, annuities are issued by First Security Benefit Life Insurance and Annuity Company of New York (FSBL), Rye Brook, NY. SBL is not authorized in and does not transact the business of insurance in NY. Securities are distributed by Security Distributors, Inc, a subsidiary of SBL. SBL and FSBL are affiliates and wholly owned by Security Benefit Corporation ("Security Benefit"). Security Benefit is indirectly controlled by Guggenheim Partners, LLC.

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Laura Parsons