When you’re young, retirement is something far into the future. No need to plan for it, or even think about it, because you still have a lot of living to do. Is it a mistake to enjoy life to the fullest now and not worry about what happens tomorrow? That sounds like a great philosophy. However, no matter what your attitude is now, the inevitable date always arrives on some tomorrow.
As it happens to everyone who makes it to the golden years, you’re suddenly forced to realize that retirement will require sensible changes in your lifestyle. If you’ve done nothing to plan for it until that moment, you’ll soon realize lack of foresight was your first and most serious mistake. All of the other possible errors in planning and judgment are related to it.
1. Failure to put away the nest egg: As early as possible in your working career, at least 10 years before retirement, start building your investments, eligibility for pension and savings accounts. Check them periodically, so you can consider necessary changes to make them as valuable as possible.
2. Too little, too late: Part of the nest egg planning should include anticipation of post-retirement expenses, including possible continuing inflation. For example, a pension of $2,500 a month today could be considered adequate. However, if you’re ten years from retirement and inflation continues at just five percent a year, your retirement income will be worth half as much.
3. Don’t know where to live: You haven’t considered your location. In the year or two before retirement, check various options. For example, should you stay in your empty nest house or move to an apartment in a senior community?
4. Inadequate health plan: If you have a union, company or government retirement plan, it probably provides total medical coverage. If not, check into buying supplemental health insurance to take any worries about incurring large hospital and other medical expenses.
5. Ignorant about government assistance: As retirement day approaches, be sure you’re fully aware of your eligibility for all money or services provided free or partially-paid by the local or federal government.
6. Lack of respect for your body: When you’re 65, your body requires more care than at any other time in your life. If you’re overweight or a smoker, your retirement should serve
as the moment you decide to quite and practice good health. If you haven’t been active as you aged, check with your doctor and set a regular schedule of daily exercise.
Sensible retirement planning is a must for everyone, and the biggest mistake you can make is not preparing adequately for the inevitable day. That’s the moment when you should begin enjoying your golden years.