Just when you were sure it was "OMG! Countdown to Taxes Week" there is hope. Or at least a distraction.

The National Retirement Planning Coalition has declared April 9-13 National Retirement Planning Week. That pithy little declaration comes with all sorts of sobering, head shaking and brow furrowing news.

For example, did you know that the Coalition found that a fourth of all baby boomers "have little or no confidence in their ability to meet their retirement goals." That's not surprising since busy jobs, longer life spans, frozen pension plans, and uncertainty about Social Security and Medicare have mounted to give most workers pause. 

Still, financial industry and advocacy organizations insist that financial planning doesn't have to strike fear or feelings of defeat. 

"The good news is that it’s never too late to achieve a level of financial security in retirement. It all begins with planning,” said Kerry Geurkink, director, Individual Annuity Marketing, Securian Financial Group. It doesn't have to be painful, she said.

For example, Securian Financial created Retirement GPS  a colorful step-by-step online site that uses cartoons and videos to help any employee figure out whether they want to travel or work after age 65, how much they will need and for how long.

The tool also offers tips by Securian's medical director on ways to stay well after 50 and the varying longevity trends for men, women and couples.

Separately, the National Retirement Planning Coalition crafted a website called “Retire On Your Terms” that help workers create long-term financial goals.

To check them out, play with calculators and cartoons or simply dream, go to www.securian.com/Securian/Encore and www.retireonyourterms.org/.  

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