Beware of These Four Retirement Pitfalls

With average life expectancies increasing, it is critical to have a thorough retirement plan that provides for adequate income to last a lifetime. To make sure your income lasts as long as you need it to, here are a few retirement pitfalls to avoid:

  1. Not Saving Early Enough. The earlier you start saving, the more likely you are to have enough money to last you a lifetime. Even if you can only contribute a small percentage of your income each year, it’s better than nothing.  These calculators can help you see how much you should be saving given your age and your retirement goal.
  1. Underestimating How Long You Will Live. It’s important to take into consideration that people are living longer, so the more you save, the better. Forty-eight percent of pre-retirees reported that their longest living family members reached age 91 or older, so remember to save accordingly to ensure having money that lasts as long as you do. As you approach retirement, it may be time to look at products that offered guaranteed lifetime income like Fixed Indexed Annuities.
  1. Lack of Balance in Your Portfolio. It’s important to have a balanced and varied retirement portfolio in order to reduce risk. One common pitfall is relying too heavily on one savings vehicle – it will be difficult to obtain consistent growth if your portfolio lacks diversity. For example, one product that can nicely supplement a 401(k) is a Fixed Indexed Annuity (FIA), which protects your principal from the uncertainty of market volatility.
  1. Not Taking Into Account Healthcare Costs. No matter how hard you try to predict your expenses during retirement, the rising cost of healthcare has the potential to add financial stress to your golden years. According to data from the Employee Benefit Research Institute, a 65-year-old married couple with average prescription drug expenses is projected to need $241,000 in retirement savings to have a 90 percent chance of covering their healthcare expenses during retirement. That being said, it’s important to assume high healthcare costs during retirement and plan accordingly.

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