Having a retirement plan in place is a good first step, but it’s not enough, writes U.S. News columnist David Ning. It’s equally important to monitor and update your retirement plan as you progress through your career to make sure you are still on track. His five tips for getting the most out of your plan: use your own portfolio performance, not historical averages, to project future growth; factor in your spouse’s risk tolerance; account for your ability to make financial decisions as you grow older by speaking with an advisor; know how your plan will change if there are sudden emergencies; and don’t underestimate how much your plan can change in 10 years, based not only on our economic climate, but on your own career path and work/life balance.

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