Why You Need $1 Million to Retire

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The key is to save early and often. If you do, you'll have $500,000 before you know it.

How's that for a reality check?

NET GAINS UPDATE: Last month, I wrote about the warning the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority issued about debit cards linked to a 401(k) account that allow users to borrow from their retirement savings on a moment's notice.

Last week, U.S. Sens. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., and Herb Kohl, D-Wisc., introduced legislation to ban 401(k) debit cards, which they called a "dangerous practice."

"These debit cards allow participants to use his or her retirement savings to make everyday purchases like buying a cup of coffee," Kohl said in a statement. "Clearly that's not what the 401(k) is for."

This work is the opinion of the columnist, and in no way reflects the opinion of ABC News.

David McPherson is founder and principal of Four Ponds Financial Planning (www.fourpondsfinancial.com) in Falmouth, Mass. He previously worked as a financial writer and editor for The Providence Journal in Rhode Island. He is a member of the Garrett Planning Network, whose members provide financial advice to clients on an hourly, as-needed basis. Contact McPherson at david@fourpondsfinancial.com

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