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6 Costly Retirement-Saving Setbacks

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Scenario 1: Your path to retirement is wide, gently sloped, paved with good intentions and free of potholes—including market declines, job loss and health problems.

Scenario 2: Your path to retirement is steep, littered with obstacles and fraught with perils, including procrastination and the temptation to raid your accounts to finance other pressing priorities.

Unfortunately, scenario number two is more likely. In a new survey by Ameriprise Financial of people ages 50 to 70, virtually all of the respondents said they had experienced at least one retirement derailer, and more than half said that it had seriously affected their retirement savings. The average amount lost or forgone: $117,000. A poll of Kiplinger's readers showed similar results.

You can't stop life from knocking you off your feet, but you can plan for the unexpected and move forward after the inevitable hard knocks.

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