John Hancock

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For many, retirement is something on the distant horizon, a subject not worthy of thought or conversation right now. The reality is that retirement is something for which all professionals should be preparing, regardless of the current status of their careers. Many workers plan for their retirement but fall victim to fundamental retirement mistakes that can turn their retirement years from peaceful relaxation to tiresome dependence. Here are some of them:

Not Calculating How Much You'll Need

In many cases, people do not adequately calculate the amount of money they wiII need for retirement, even in the latter stages of their work life. This may be partly because they don’t consider how long they expect to live or at what age they’d like to retire; many workers simply don't have a plan.

Instead, you should set a goal and work to achieve it. Retirement plans must be written and their owners should over prepare, affording themselves a cushion for unexpected expenses later in life. But remember, we still need to enjoy what we have, so save a little extra for life’s little indulgences. 

Not Saving Enough

Many workers simply aren't saving enough for retirement. It is tempting — especially in your 30s and 40s — to take an extra holiday or to pay for 10 years of a gym membership you only use a few times a month. Remember: If you’re not saving for your retirement, you’re spending your future assets. It is a choice we all make, so why do so many continuously choose the wrong one? Procrastination. Think ahead just a little each day; you don’t have to completely eliminate what you enjoy today in order to be prepared for tomorrow.

Not Starting Early Enough

Young workers tend to believe they have plenty of time to save for retirement. Those who always depend on tomorrow aren't considering today's little luxury purchases, and they can add up. For example, your 20s are probably spent settling into your career and paying off your student debt. Therefore, your 30s may involve buying and renovating your first home and, in turn, paying this off for the foreseeable future. If you have kids, you'll spend the next couple of decades contributing to their needs, as well. This may end in your 50s, when many are just beginning the process of retirement calculations. The time to plan begins once you've entered your career; just because you may be earning well at 40 doesn't mean it'll be enough to last you throughout your golden years.

General Tips

Above all, be careful of the retirement mistakes lurking ahead of you should you fail to plan adequately. People always wonder where the time went once they hit a new phase of their life, especially when they retire - and that's normal. But be as ready as you can be when you do: Don't underestimate future health care costs, and remember that medical advances bring increased longevity with them. Rather than spending rollover cash you may get when you change jobs, invest it. This can make you money for the future, provided you sufficiently diversify your portfolio.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau¹ over a quarter of men and women between 65 and 69 were still apart of the American workforce in 2010 — a growing trend over the last 20 years. By ensuring you invest enough and monitor your assets early and periodically, you'll only make your retirement years more enjoyable.

 

¹ U.S. Census Bureau. (2013). “Labor force participation and work status of people 65 years and older.” Retrieved from https://www.census.gov/prod/2013pubs/acsbr11-09.pdf

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