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Don’t Stop Your Retirement Before It Starts outlined retirement killers that could get in the way of you really enjoying life after working hard for so many years and they include:

Not putting your plan on paper: The article observes that many people are terrified of running out of money in retirement but just as terrified of writing out a plan for their money. They live with the fear as they wing it through retirement. With no idea of how much you have coming in, how much you are spending, and how long you can expect that money to last, you may be putting yourself on a path to make your fears a reality. 

Perhaps some people are afraid that if they put an income plan in print, it will be set it stone. The article says, “A written income plan is like a compass: If you use it correctly, you’ll always know where you are and where you’re going.” You will need to make changes to your plan, but you would do better to have one instead of just seeing what happens.

Being too frugal: There is something finite about retiring and some people worry about spending too much, so they don’t spend anything. To avoid seeing a dip in their retirement savings, some retirees don’t spend much at all. They stay in, don’t travel, and eat small meals. However, the article points out that this strategy could mean that “…20 years into retirement, they turn 85 and realize as time has ticked away, they haven’t done a thing.” Rather than have all of your retirement funds in one pot, you can allocate one part for living in the now and another part that is less liquid for down the road. This really is not very different from what people do when they are working.

Giving it away to the kids: Adult children who depend on older parents (when they do not need to) can drain away retirement savings. On the other end of the spectrum are parents who want to give their heirs some money early and then find themselves without enough to live on in retirement. brings out the “put your mask on first” metaphor that we all have heard but may forget to put into practice. Before supporting your children or gifting them sizable sums of money, make sure that you have sufficient money set aside to last you through retirement.