The Biggest Retirement Planning Mistakes

I’m preparing for a presentation related to retirement readiness, so I started by making a list of common mistakes people making when planning for retirement. While the list probably doesn’t include everything, I would argue all of these mistakes could be corrected by a good financial planner.

In no particular order, here are the biggest retirement planning mistakes people make:

Not saving enough

Not saving early enough

Trying to time the market

Allowing emotions to influence investment decisions

Overconfidence in your investment skill

Paying too high of investment expenses

Focusing on yield rather than total return

Not having a financial plan

Worrying more about investment taxes than after-tax returns 

Not having a tax-efficient retirement distribution strategy

Not maximizing tax deferral opportunities

Focusing on only one type of risk

Not having proper amounts and types of insurance

Not having an estate plan

Failure to discuss finances with spouse and children

Spending too much

Spending too little (yeah, that’s a thing)

Having unrealistic return expectations

Splitting assets across multiple advisors

Counting on income from a part-time job in retirement

Supporting adult children

Starting Social Security too early

Improper diversification

Being too conservative with investments

Being too aggressive with investments

Paying for advice from someone that isn’t a fiduciary 100% of the time

Taking advice from friends and family that don’t know your entire situation

Failure to understand your personal spending

Inappropriate asset allocation

Being over invested in your house

Underestimating healthcare costs

Not taking full advantage of tax breaks

Believing you will work forever

Buying unnecessary insurance products

Not understanding how your advisor is paid


What other items would you include on this list? 


3 thoughts on “The Biggest Retirement Planning Mistakes

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