With negotiators on both sides of the aisle locked in what appears to be a free-for-all, caged death match with political opponents and their own bases, U.S. News & World Report's Philip Moeller points to key issues on which advisors and retirees should focus in the debate over the nation's debt and the deficit.

"Beyond the polemics, few people have paid a lot of attention to the plain truth that it will be impossible to make significant changes to the government's largest spending and entitlement programs in only three weeks," Moeller writes. "These are fiscal supertankers, and you can't turn them around quickly. Making major changes to Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security are complex processes that require thorough deliberation."

He then goes on to name the four key items that seniors should have on their "fiscal scorecards." They are:

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