When you’re young, you have a lot of time but little money. In your working years, you have money but little time. Such conundrum is the reason why retirement is something that a lot of people are really looking forward to because it enables us to finally enjoy both our time and our money all at the same time.
But it’s not all rainbows and butterflies upon retirement - there are still many things that can go wrong financially. It’s best to be informed so that you’ll know what to anticipate and avoid when you retire. Here are the top 10 mistakes of retirees:
1. Short term orientation. The fact is, you will probably live about 15 to 20 years more upon retirement (even longer hopefully). As such, you will still need to grow some of your money and invest a portion on some growth-oriented investments like equity funds. While it is advisable to reduce the percentage of your portfolio in more risk-oriented investments, don’t totally remove them.
2. Forgetting about inflation. Inflation will not retire just because you did. Your retirement funds will still need to grow to catch up with inflation; which is why I recommended investing in some equity funds during retirement.
3. Putting all your eggs in one basket. The rule on investing still applies during retirement: diversify. Maintain a healthy portfolio of cash, money market investments, bonds or bond funds, and a small portion on equity or equity funds.
4. Spending too much, too soon. A common behavior among retirees is they rush into a spending spree. Retirement to others is liberating and the urge to live beyond your means is a very strong temptation. Don’t rush. You still have a lot of time, so take it slow.
5. Simplifying estate planning. You probably will need more than just a will. Retirement is a good time to consider some serious estate planning. Learn about the many ways you can plan for your estate.
6. Not preparing for medical emergencies. 60 or 65 is still a relatively young age, so the need for medical concerns is not yet taken seriously. However, while the spirit is still willing, the body is not and it will be good to provide for a time when we will experience physical ailments.
7. Not reviewing finances and investments. The need to do a periodic review on finances and investments should be a primary concern of any retiree. While it is not a good idea to worry too much, being too carefree is not a prudent thing to do. As I said earlier, you still have a long time to go.
8. Relying on social security alone. Seriously? SSS is meant for a retiree to survive, not for a retiree to enjoy his retirement. Do the math - no one can live a decent life with just SSS benefits.
9. Making risky moves with money. While I recommend that a retiree should still be investing, going into high risk or speculative endeavors might not be a really good idea.
10. Worrying too much. Alas, while prudence is key during retirement, fear is a very crippling mindset. So long as you follow common sense and have done your best in preparing for retirement, try to relax as this is what retirement is all about. If you are always fearful that your wealth will not be sufficient during your retirement, you may not live long enough to actually enjoy that wealth.
In anything about life, balance is key. You have to prepare properly for retirement but you need to enjoy it as well. No matter what happens, it is important that by the time the employment income has stopped, you still have a money source to take care of bills and expenses that do not end. Ultimately, it is best to secure an insurance that can cover for your retirement needs.