I write often about the need to save for retirement — it’s one of the most important steps you can take to assure financial success. The best time to start planning your future is now. But how can you be sure you’re making the right choices? Here’s a great opportunity for readers in the United States. Next Friday, August 17th, you can receive free, professional retirement advice by phone courtesy of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance:

Whether you’re just starting your career or plotting your exit strategy, it helps to know whether your retirement plans are on track. Kiplinger’s is offering you two golden opportunities to get a free financial checkup. For the sixth time, we are joining with the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) in sponsoring Kiplinger’s Jump-Start Your Retirement Plan Days. From 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. eastern time on Friday, August 17, and Thursday, August 30, NAPFA members across the U.S. will be standing by to answer your questions.

Normally, these fee-only planners, who are well versed in investments, taxes, insurance, estate planning and saving for college and retirement, charge clients $100 to $250 an hour. But on Jump-Start Days, you don’t pay a cent — not even for the phone call. Just dial 888-919-2345 and a NAPFA adviser will respond to your question. Or, if you prefer, you can e-mail your question in advance starting August 1 to jumpstart@kiplinger.com and a NAPFA adviser will reply on one of the Jump-Start dates.

To make the most of your financial checkup, gather together any relevant records, such as mutual fund statements or your 401(k) menu of investment choices. If your questions are too complex to be answered on the spot, you may be directed to NAPFA’s Web site, where you can look for a planner in your area.

This is an amazing opportunity. I do my best to provide you solid information year-round, but there’s no substitute for the advice of a professional. If you’ve been wanting to seek retirement advice, now is the time to do it. I encourage you all to try this, and to report back on your experience. Tell them Get Rich Slowly sent you!

[Kiplinger's Personal Finance: Jump-Start Your Retirement Plan Days]