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Retirement Planning Mistakes to Avoid

As you approach retirement age, it is important to have all your ducks in a row. The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) points out in “Avoid These Common Pre-Retirement Mistakes,” one of these mistakes is assuming that you are all set because you have already done some retirement planning:

“Misinterpreting a spouse’s retirement dreams, failing to plan for emergencies and spending too much are just a few of the mistakes folks approaching retirement may make.”

Communicating with your spouse: The article tells the story of spouses who were not on the same page and the husband ended up going back to work after he had retired and assumed his wife would keep working. They recommend discussing retirement plans five years before one or both of you intend to retire and then revisiting those plans each year.

Planning for emergencies: Some feel as if their retirement plans are solid and don’t imagine that something unforeseen can get in the way. As the WSJ points out, the unexpected, be it an adult child moving back in or an illness, can derail those plans, while “having at least a 12-month emergency fund can help protect a nest egg.”

Resisting the urge to splurge: You’ve worked hard all your life so when you are finally free to retire, you earned a cruise around the world or a remodeled den, right? We can’t say you don’t deserve something special but we can say that you might be better off treating yourself before you retire since your investments may not recover from a large expenditure as quickly as your think.

Consulting with a Fee-Only financial planner can help you avoid these errors as well as the last one mentioned in the WSJ: the miscalculation of thinking that the interest from your investments will be enough to see you through retirement.