There's been a lot of chatter about retirement readiness. I like it. I've been measuring it for more than a decade now. It's the key metric for anyone interested in retiring in comfort. Granted, there's still a little subjectivity in it (e.g., how much of your pre-retirement salary do you need when you retire), but it's a process that generates an honest, measurable and (hopefully) attainable goal-oriented target that's on the right track. 

But let's agree on one thing: Only people can be retirement ready. It's meaningless to say a plan is retirement ready. 

We've all seen it. There's a trend out there. People of all sorts – vendors, plan sponsors and even reporters – are trying to determine the best measure of retirement readiness. The best of these ideas focuses on accumulating each individual measure of every participant in a plan to gauge how effective the plan has become to encourage employees to become retirement ready (see "Retirement Readiness: The One True 401(k) Benchmark Every Fiduciary Should Measure,", Sept. 4, 2013). They're identifying the key components needed to determine if and when an employee is retirement ready.

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Christopher Carosa

Chris Carosa has been writing a weekly article and monthly column for BenefitsPRO online and BenefitsPRO Magazine since 2011 and is a nationally recognized award-winning writer, researcher and speaker. He’s written seven books, including From Cradle to Retire: The Child IRA; Hey! What’s My Number? – How to Increase the Odds You Will Retire in Comfort; A Pizza The Action: Everything I Ever Learned About Business I Learned By Working in a Pizza Stand at the Erie County Fair; and the widely acclaimed 401(k) Fiduciary Solutions. Carosa is also Chief Contributing Editor of the authoritative trade journal and publisher of the Mendon-Honeoye Falls-Lima Sentinel, a weekly community newspaper he founded in 1989. Currently serving as President of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists and with more than 1,000 articles published in various publications, he appears regularly in the national media. A “parallel” entrepreneur, he actively runs a handful of businesses, including a small boutique investment adviser, providing hands-on experience for his writing. A trained astrophysicist, he also holds an MBA and has been designated a Certified Trust and Financial Advisor. Share your thoughts and story ideas with him through Facebook ( Twitter (