Retirement plans demonstrate the wisdom of the proverb “two heads are better than one” — a proverb that always brings to mind the music from the classic Sesame Street video. Now the “two heads” can be you and your spouse, or you and your financial advisor, but you can also benefit from encouraging a dialogue between the income-you and the spending-you.
Money and You
Financial headlines can be hazardous to your sleep health in retirement. It is easy to get the jitters and start worrying that you should do something, anything but stay on your current financial course. Yet it rarely makes sense to panic and sell your holdings. Over the years I have developed a list of five ways to help you avoid the sleepless nights in retirement that financial headlines can bring.
If you asked earlier generations what their biggest fear was – they might have answered, “dying too young.” Asking that question today would probably get you the exact opposite answer: “I’m worried about outliving my money.” It’s a fear that is shared by many – even wealthy individuals. According to the 2019 AICPA Going Broke Remains Top Concern in Retirement: Survey of CPA Financial Planners, more than 41% of CPA’s indicated that running out of money was clients’ #1 concern.
Avoid common financial pitfalls for a more secure future.
In life and matters of the wallet, rest assured that we all make mistakes. Mistakes are a critical part of our education process – but when it comes to your finances, some lessons and consequences can be quite lasting. In an effort to help you learn from others, and potentially save a great deal of money and heartache, you may wish to review some of the following most common financial mistakes, and ways to avoid or mitigate them.
While saving for retirement, many focus on the advantages of traditional Individual Retirement Accounts (IRA) and employer sponsored retirement plans. The advantages of these accounts include a regular savings method that reduces your current, overall taxable income – since your savings contribution comes “right off the top” of your paycheck; and the ability for your employer to make contributions, thereby growing your savings at no additional cost to you.
Save early and often.
At a time when so many of our basic long-held beliefs regarding personal finance and the economy are shaken, there is one piece of advice still worth passing on to offspring and grandchildren, particularly recent and soon-to-be college graduates: save and contribute to 401(k)'s, Roth's, IRA's, and retirement plans at every opportunity.
Whether you are expecting it or not, and whatever its cause, job loss can be devastating. You may think you have prepared yourself as best you can, but job loss can hit like a death in the family. It represents more than a loss of a paycheck. It's a loss of a way of life as well. The first step in getting back on track is to recognize the emotional blow you've taken.
Is it time to check up on your retirement plan? The biggest fear among investors is that they will not have enough money for retirement. You can make sure your own plan does not fall short by steering clear of the following pitfalls. These are the most common comments I hear in my professional practice: