Are you thinking about retiring? Considering the stock market is very close to bear market territory, should you be?

That depends, of course, on how well you’ve prepared — that is, whether you’ve figured out how to pay for your financial future. With inflation rising dramatically (8% year over year, according to the most recent Consumer Price Index report) after years of calm, savings and investing become even more important to understand and manage.

Julie Jason, a personal money manager and author, can be reached at readers@juliejason.com. To hear Julie speak, visit juliejason.com/events.