The prospect of retirement always sounds good—walking out of the office for the last time, Johnny Paycheck blaring from the car speakers as you drive home and sleeping late whenever you want. But too often, common retirement decisions end up being mistakes. To that end, Kiplinger put together a list of 10 financial decisions retirement preppers and new retirees often make only to later regret. We’ve summed up the major points below.
A lot of folks from the Northeast head to Florida permanently as soon as they can for the sun and the tax breaks, only to find out the slow Southern way of life is too much to bear. Test the waters first—rent for a year before buying that house to make sure you can adapt.
In 2015, folks were scammed to the tune of $765 million, with 37% of complaints to the FTC coming from people 60 or older. It’s safe to say that anyone pressuring you for an immediate decision doesn’t have your best interest at heart, and if the deal sounds too good to be true… it probably is.
One in every four retirees plans to work past age 70, but three of every five retirees left work earlier than they planned. Why? Health issues took some, but most were forced out. If you plan to work, that’s great, but plan for the worst.
The biggest regret of most retirees is not saving more, sooner. There isn’t an easy answer here… most folks would save more if they could.
While you can claim Social Security at age 62, you will be penalized for doing so. If you can wait until you’re 66 (67 if you’re currently 58 or younger), you’ll collect the full amount… and you get a bonus if you can wait until 70.
Using your 401(k) in lieu of borrowing money, except in certain situations, is almost always a bad idea and exposes you to taxes and penalties.
Getting rid of bric-a-brac and tchotchkes in anticipation of downsizing is fine, but be careful what financial records you throw away—not only for tax & privacy reasons, but you may have legal record-keeping requirements depending on your occupation.
You can borrow money for your kids’ and grandkids’ education, but you can’t borrow money for your retirement. Keep that in mind as college conversations come up.
The appeal is strong, but beware that the time-share market is full of folks trying to unload their stake at a loss as well as unsavory scammers. If you’re considering a time-share, due diligence is a must!
Folks shy away from the market because of the risk, but getting out of the market doesn’t shield you from risk… it transfers the risk to the possibility that your nest egg won’t keep up with inflation.
If you want to read the full article, you can do so here. And if you have any questions… about preparing for retirement, finding ways to make your portfolio grow while shielding yourself from market downside events or anything else… give us a call at 215-657-9200.