Retirement Planning consists of two phases; planning for your eventual retirement and planning during your retirement. Why is retirement planning important? You should have very specific retirement goals in order to achieve them. It is just as important to have a plan for spending your assets as it is to have a plan to accumulate your retirement assets. Most individuals don't think about the most important part of retirement planning until it's too late. When accumulating assets in a qualified retirement plan, contributions are used to purchase securities over a long period of time at regular intervals. This provides you with an average price because you are not buying all at once. Why would you sell all at once? Accumulating retirement assets is often easier than spending them. Both the accumulation of retirement assets and the liquidation of retirement assets play an important role in your overall retirement success.