This is, perhaps in the new millennium, better phrased as financial independence. Should your goal be to retain or improve your present life style after your working years are over, proper advance planning is a key ingredient. Employees today are becoming faced more frequently with the burden of self-directing their retirement assets through employer sponsored defined contribution programs (401(k) and 403(b) plans). A guaranteed income at retirement by way of a defined benefit plan is becoming increasingly rare. Professional advice regarding the often bewildering array of investment decisions is a vital component to best leveraging the opportunities available.