6 Retirement Mistakes That Could Haunt You Forever


Easy Seniors Club presents: retirement mistakes that could haunt you forever!

Whether you want to start getting ready for retirement or you’ve already left the workforce behind a while ago, we’re all humans, which means that we can make some bad decisions and might end up regretting them sooner or later.

We’ve talked about Social Security benefits, pensions, IRAs, 401(k), and places where the cost of living is more affordable, but we need to get a little deeper and discuss some retirement mistakes that can haunt you for the rest of your golden years.

We asked financial experts for advice on this one, and we’ve put together a list of retirement mistakes that can cause several problems if you don’t take care of them at the right moment. Don’t worry; we also have tips on how to avoid making them in the first place. Without further ado, let’s talk about retirement mistakes!

social security check, retirement mistake
Photo by Robert Kneschke from shutterstock.com

1. Claiming your Social Security benefits too early

One of the most popular retirement mistakes people make is claiming their Social Security benefits too early. You might be entitled to start getting your benefits at the age of 62, but do you want to take them this early or do you prefer to wait a few more years?

Many financial experts suggest their clients hold off at least until their full retirement age, which is 67 for those born after 1959. Moreover, they say that waiting until 70 is even better. Let’s imagine that you’re 67 years old, which is your full retirement age. This means that if you claim your benefits now, you’ll get 100% of them.

However, if you claim your benefits early, at 62, your monthly check will decrease by 30% for the rest of your golden years. On the other hand, if you hold off, you can receive an annual benefit increase of 8% between the ages of 67 and 70 due to delayed retirement credits.

After the age of 70, there are no more retirement credits. Couples, widows, and divorced spouses might employ different claim techniques, so consider your alternatives and get expert assistance if you don’t know what decision to make.

2. Minimizing your 401(k) contributions while you’re working

Another retirement mistake many people make is downsizing their 401(k) contributions while working. We know that the huge household tax expenses we all faced last year probably made you reduce our payments to our retirement funds, but experts say you should be cautious.

If you are considering cutting back on your current savings, make sure to make very thoughtful decisions, take advantage of any employer match opportunities in your 401(k) that you might qualify for, and save at least the amount necessary to receive that match. Your company is willing to give you that money, so don’t miss out on that benefit.

Moreover, several retirement plans offer the option of automatically increasing your savings rate. Experts recommend marking the box, indicating that you plan to increase at a later time. This might be helpful to make sure you get back on track with your retirement savings, so take notice of this.

retirement mistake
Photo by didesign021 from shutterstock.com

3. Ignoring long-term care

If you ignore long-term care, I’m sorry to disappoint you, but it might be one of the retirement mistakes that will hunt you for the rest of your golden years. You might think that with a proper diet, lots of exercise, and regular medical check-ups, you’ll be healthy even when you’re 90 years old, but that isn’t necessarily true.

It’s always better to be prepared for the worst because things can go out of control quickly and can be expensive. According to experts, the national median cost of assisted living is over $4,000 a month, while a private room in a nursing home can cost you more than $9,000 per month. Even if you have a huge nest egg, you might have financial difficulties in case you or your spouse are suddenly hit by a disease. Unfortunately, Medicare won’t help cover the costs associated with long-term care.

Keep in mind that there are multiple options for funding long-term care, but they won’t be cheap. If your budget allows you to afford high premiums, you can opt for long-term care insurance, which covers a couple of nursing home costs.

Another thing you could do is to purchase a qualified longevity annuity contract, known as a QLAC. In exchange for a sizeable lump-sum investment made when you’re younger, the QLAC will pay out a continuous income stream for the rest of your golden years upon reaching a specific age, usually 85.

Keep reading to discover other retirement mistakes many people make!

4. Ignoring your target date

Did you know that half of 401(k) savers are 100% invested in a target date fund? According to experts, the target date estimates when you will retire. The closer the day gets, the more conservative these funds will be.

Experts point out that this implies the remaining 50% are making independent investments and might not be monitoring their level of equity exposure, although they should.

However, there are solutions within those retirement plans, such as a target date fund, which is a professionally managed account that could bring peace of mind to the process. So make sure you understand how much equity you’re holding and how much investment risk you’re willing to take on.

Since things can change all the time, you have to be informed because many people make retirement mistakes they later regret. You can wish to retire either later or before the goal date. Avoid doing something that will cause you trouble, and review your investments at least once a year.

relocating for retirement in 2024, retirement mistake
Photo by LightField Studios from Shutterstock

5. Moving without being certain about it

Another retirement mistake many people make is moving on a whim. I know that warm places like Florida have been like mermaids calling sailors who are approaching, but you should give it some thought before making a definitive decision.

Moving to a different part of the country is an important decision that shouldn’t be rushed. Experts recommend you test the waters before you pack your bags and look for a home there. Decide on the place you’d like to relocate to, then book a vacation and do all the things residents do.

Check out neighborhoods, look at how much it costs to rent or buy, see what grocery stores they have, how friendly people are, what activities you could engage in, and the facilities available.

Not to mention, if you want to retire abroad, make sure you choose a country that either knows English or you know the native language. These are all important things you need to consider unless you don’t want to end up making a retirement mistake that will haunt your golden years.

6. Putting off saving for golden years

This is the last retirement mistake we’re going to talk about today, but if you’d like to read part. II, leave a comment below, and we’ll take care of it. According to studies, one of the biggest regrets of retired Americans is not starting to save for the golden years early enough.

While many citizens know that they have to save for retirement early on, the majority of them start doing it when they reach their 40s or 50s. While you can still save pretty good money even if you start later, you need to be disciplined, change your spending habits, and make it a priority to put money aside for your golden years. Analyze your budget, income, goals, and retirement expectations, and create a plan that aligns with your goals and needs.

Other than that, if you want to avoid making retirement mistakes and have the most gorgeous life as a senior, I recommend you check out this incredible book! 

Did you find this article about retirement mistakes helpful? Let us know in the comments below! If you enjoyed reading this article and you want to check out something else from Easy Seniors Club, here’s a good post for you: Estate Planning Checklist: 10 Things to Do Before You Pass Away

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