June is the season of graduation parties. Whether they're leaving high school or college, young minds depart the classroom full of vigor, ambition, and missing the one thing that's most important to them. Yes, we teach them to look to the next level. We provide them with so much self-esteem that they come out brimming with confidence and high expectations. They're ready and willing to tackle new jobs, higher education, and a world they've been told is waiting for them with open arms.

Alas, amidst this unbridled enthusiasm sits an easily attainable goal, all alone in a dimly lit corner. Aside from cobwebs and dust, its only covering is a faded sticky note with the words "open later – we have time" scrawled on it. This is the goal we like to call "comfortable retirement."

We humans are a resilient species. We can accomplish almost anything given enough time, resources, and hard work. Unfortunately, we are also a species that likes to eat, drink, and be merry. We often put off to tomorrow things that we can (and should) do today. We quickly learn to prioritize goals not by some overarching strategy, but by the tick-tock of impending deadlines.

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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 FiduciaryNews.com 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 (https://www.facebook.com/christophercarosa/)and Twitter (https://twitter.com/ChrisCarosa).