Investors planning for retirement are in uncharted territory. Baby boomers are starting to leave the workforce. Americans don't save enough. And the continuing housing slump, lingering high unemployment, a "fat-fingered" Flash Crash and a precarious public debt situation have tempered clients' appetite for risk. Despite the uncertainty, the equity markets closed out 2010 with reason for optimism: the Dow was up 11%, the S&P 500 gained 15.1% and the Nasdaq climbed 17%.

So how do financial planners advise their clients on retirement? On Jan. 5, Financial Planning convened a roundtable discussion with six industry experts to glean some of the best ideas on how to help clients maximize opportunities during their peak working years and lay sound plans for the next phase. To structure the conversation, we divided older clients into two groups based on their retirement time frame: those hoping to retire over the next three to five years, and those planning for retirement 10 or more years out.

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