BOSTON (CBS) – Shakespeare’s King Lear is a simple story about a father, King Lear, dividing his assets, his castles and worldly goods among his 3 daughters in hopes of living with one of them when he retires. This turned out very badly for everyone involved.

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None of us want to live with our kids but if you have not done retirement planning 101 you may end up living with one of your kids having the same problems as King Lear.

So if you want to ignore my warnings here about retirement planning, tomorrow as everyone is seated around the table begin the selection process. Which kid do you want to live with in your old age?

The nicest, the wealthiest? Choose that one and be good to that one, perhaps exclusive of the others, so when the time comes you can move in with them.

Sound harsh? Not really! Modern medicine has given us the ability to live longer lives. We can get a liver transplant, joint replacement; we take medicine to control our blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes. We need to plan to live 35 years or more in retirement. And as we age, we will become frailer.

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You need to make a comfortable retirement a reality, for none of us wants to live with the kids! Think about being a 100 years old and living with your 75 year old son!

While you are peeling vegetables or making pies today talk to your spouse/your partner about retirement planning. He or she should be helping you with the vegetables and pies so you’ll have some quality time together. Start the retirement conversation.

  • What are your goals for our retirement?
  • When do you want to retire?
  • Where do you want to live in retirement?
  • What do you want to do in retirement?
  • Do you think we have enough money to retire comfortably?

That’s a good beginning, but to make retirement a reality you do need to plan. Start with looking at the assets you have set aside in your retirement plans. At the rate you’re saving will you have enough dollars to live on in retirement?

Have you ever taken the time to figure out how much more you’ll need to save to have a comfortable retirement? Choose to Save is a website loaded with calculators where you can get some help. Also check the website of your retirement plan provider to see what educational materials they have to offer to help you figure out when you will be able to retire.

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One more thing: Thanks to a loyal listener, Bob Sprich, for reminding me about King Lear and his personal dilemma.