No matter what cards you’ve been dealt so far in life, retirement gives you the chance to start over again. With planning and application, your post-working days can be comfortable, fun – even the happiest days of your life. This article provides a list of the worst mistakes that you can make in retirement, with our earnest hopes that you can avoid all of them. (The list of mistakes is not necessarily in any order).
We are grateful to two psychologist friends, Drs. Roberta Isleib and Yvonne Sparling, for their help in brainstorming these potential mistakes.
The Worst Retirement Planning Mistakes (You Need to Avoid)
- Having no interests outside of work
- Not visiting a range of communities
- Not renting before you buy
- Your retirement plan is not any more specific than: "We'll travel a little bit and I'll work around the house" (it is our belief that human beings are happiest when they have goals and a regular set of meaningful activities)
- Retiring too soon – without having something to fill the gap (interest-wise and financially-wise)
- “I have x more years to retirement, then I’ll think about it”
- Continuing to live in the suburbs when there are compelling reasons in your situation to move elsewhere (financial, interests/activities, transportation, social, family, taxes, climate, etc.)
- Assuming your kids will entertain and take care of you as you age
- Retiring too far away from friends and family
- Moving too close to friends and family
- Postponing your move to a more age-appropriate place for too long, so that it becomes very difficult if not impossible to move.
- Moving to an area where the politics or religion is not a good fit for you
- Failure to investigate the financial health or the HOA rules in your new development
- Moving to a new town without one or more of these supports: an active adult/55+ community, friends or family, or an active strategy to meet new friends.
- Moving to an active adult development and find you miss the diversity of having people of all ages and interests around you
- Moving to a gated community and find you miss the normalcy of a traditional community
What do you think? Have seen other big retirement planning blunders? Please post in the Forum under “Worst Retirement Mistakes” with your insights. And even better, what are the best successes you've experienced in retirement planning!