Financial advisors often complain that one of the biggest obstacles to providing meaningful retirement planning advice is clients' reluctance to sit down and really think about what it is they want in their retirement and how they plan to afford it.

And for pre-retirees -- those closing in on retirement within the next three to five years but who are still working, active and healthy -- the prospect of sitting down and deciding today whether they'll want to downsize to a smaller residence or set aside a specific amount of money for possible long-term care after the death of their spouse can seem too abstract and distant to bother with today.

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