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Five Common Mistakes Made When Preparing for Retirement

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Many individual investors are working with advisors to ensure a more comfortable retirement.

In addition to accumulating enough money to last through retirement, investors also must consider their debt, insurance, inflation, other sources of income and how to protect their nest egg. On Wednesday, FinancialPlanners.net created a list of five common mistakes investors make when retirement planning.

Retiring With Too Much Debt: Financial planners generally recommend that individuals don’t retire until credit card, mortgage and other forms of debt are paid off. These monthly payments can quickly cut into savings. Increasingly, Americans are entering traditional retirement years with heavy debt.

Lack of Insurance: Although most individuals over the age of 65 are eligible for Medicare, they will still have healthcare costs that are left uncovered by Medicare. Many items, including premiums, deductibles, coinsurance, eye glass coverage, hearing aids or long-term nursing home care for longer than 100 days, are typically not covered by Medicare. Guidance from a professional is recommended if the family has significant assets to protect.

Ignoring Inflation: Inflation will slowly erode an investor’s savings, no matter how carefully they saved. That said, there are steps that can be taken to avoid this. Social security, some annuities and pensions are adjusted for inflation annually. Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities are a government bond that promises a rate of return that exceeds inflation.

Relying Too Heavily on One Income Source: A certified financial planner may recommend having four to six sources of retirement income without counting on just one. By diversifying, retirees can avoid losing all their income if one source loses value. Guaranteed sources can include Social Security, pensions and annuity payments. Other common sources can be 401(k), IRA, CDs, personal investments, cash investments, rental properties and royalty income.

Not Protecting Savings: About five to ten years before retirement, individuals should start to focus on protecting their savings. People can reduce risk by shifting assets to more conservative investments, avoiding borrowing or taking early withdrawals and minimizing fees and taxes deducted from savings. More funds should be placed in low-cost investments and traditional and Roth retirement accounts.


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