Money mistakes are a common learning experience from which we can all grow. When you’re already in your retirement phase; however, the results can be a little more catastrophic. It’s much easier to recover from mistakes when you are younger. You simply have more time and opportunities. Retirees depend on their nest egg. Their ability to replenish savings is usually greatly diminished, due to the fact they are no longer generating income from a job. Luckily, you can learn from the experience of others and avoid some of the more common mistakes without having to suffer through these missteps.
1) Not Changing Lifestyle After Retirement
Among the biggest mistakes retirees make is not adjusting their expenses to their new budget dependent life. Those who have worked for many years usually find it hard to reconcile with the fact that food, clothing and
entertainment expenses should be adjusted because they are no longer earning the same amount of money as they were while in the work force. For example, you might need to do a little less dining out and learn to enjoy more home cooked meals.
Many retirees also tend to forget to take into account healthcare and long term care costs that usually come into play as a person ages. If you have never considered this before, it’s time to talk to a trusted financial planner to iron out your retirement planning. With some appropriate adjustments to your budgeting and proper planning, you’ll make sure you are set for any eventuality.
2) Failing to Move to More Conservative Investments
Once you have retired, you can’t afford large negative swings in your
savings. You regularly hear financial advisors recommending a long term strategy and touting the strategy of leaving money in the market regardless of the ups and downs. That’s because over time, the market, while very volatile at times, has historically ended up rising in the long term. When you retire however, you have to think more short term as you will need to access the cash. It’s still probably smart to keep some money in more aggressive growth investments, but not nearly at the level you did when you were younger. A financial advisor can offer advice on how your investments should be diversified. You might not make as huge gains in net worth, but you will be protected.
3) Applying for Social Security Too Early
Just because you are already eligible to apply for Social Security at 62 does
not mean you should. If you start taking benefits at age 62 will get you about 25% less than what you would get on your full retirement age of 66. You will also get 32% less than if you wait until age 70.
If you have the means to pay your bills, try to delay your application for retirement benefits for a few years more. The benefit increase is maxed out by 70 years old and will not increase any further, so that’s the target age you should shoot for.
4) Spending Too Much Money Too Soon
Before finalizing your retirement, you must take into consideration that you
will only be living on a fixed amount of money. Oftentimes the amount of retirement savings looks pretty large, but retirees must keep in mind that money will have to last a very long time – hopefully a very, very long time! Avoid the temptation to spend large chunks of that nest egg early in retirement. The temptation to spend your money can be almost iresistable, but discipline is vital. Depleting your money beyond the interest that it earns will hurt the principal and would leave you with nothing after just a few years.