13 Easy Ways to Ruin Your Retirement
A recent article in the retirement news summarized beautifully what I try to get across in this segment every week. I had to share the gist of it with you.
I call it the “13 Best Ways to Live Like a Serf in Retirement.”
- First, think of retirement as so far away that you don’t have to take it seriously. That’s a great start.
- Next, bank on being able to work well past the age of 70. The numbers indicate that only 4% of us who want to work that long will be able to, but you’ve always been the exception.
- Accumulate a lot of debt and carry it into retirement. Retired people are carrying more debt into retirement now than ever before, and you don’t want to be the odd man out, do you?
- Do all of your stock picking yourself without any insight from financial experts. All the data about the losses the small investor racks up when they do this doesn’t include you.
- Never contribute to a 401(k). There are so many better uses for your cash. But if you do, don’t contribute enough to get the matching amount from your employer. It’s a rigged game.
- Make sure you have the same investment mix at age 60 that you did at age 40. Keep that growth engine screaming! Risk is the other guys’ problem.
- Take Social Security at age 62. It’s your money, right? Grab it and go.
- Don’t designate beneficiaries on your 401(k)s or life insurance. Let your heirs fight it out. That should be good for a laugh.
- Assume there will be a major drop in your spending when you retire. All the numbers say otherwise, but you know how to handle money, right?
- You’ve been waiting so long to get your hands on all that money in your retirement account – spend a lot of it right out of the gate. Go ahead and buy that boat, that RV and that incredibly expensive golf membership. God knows you deserve it.
- And for God’s sake, stop worrying about inflation. It has been there for years, and it hasn’t hurt so far.
- Oh, by the way, when somebody tries to explain the power of compounding, think about fishing or football to distract yourself. It’s just a bunch of your brother-in-law’s usual gobbledygook.
- And tell your adult kids you’re always willing to help them out financially.
That ought to just about do it – and it’s one heck of a summary of what most people are actually doing.
We’re looking at 20, 30 and, in some cases, 40 years of retirement. That’s a long time to go without a paycheck.
Make your golden years a little more golden and do the opposite of everything I just listed.