Planning for retirement is a lifelong process. During your working years, determine your retirement needs and an appropriate asset allocation, begin investing as early as possible, and contribute as much as you can afford to tax-advantaged accounts to set the stage for an effective retirement plan. Once youre nearing retirement, it will also be necessary to craft a solid strategy for distribution of your assets and an effective estate plan. Answering the questions in this checklist can serve as a starting point to help prepare you for this important financial goal. Then, consider working with a qualified financial professional to help make sure your retirement plan is on target.