3 min read
Retirement planning should always be a top priority. More and more people are beginning to consider their own retirement, but the truth is that our retirement is often decided long before we even think about it.
See below my 10 worst retirement planning mistakes. With the appropriate advice, you will be able to avoid all of the below.
It may be something that goes unconsidered, but nowadays it could well be that retirement lasts for 30 or more years. This then leads to the growing potential that people out-live their retirement savings. It is hugely important to take notice of your family history and other factors and make sure you take into account your own longevity to determine what steps to take before reaching retirement.
Despite retirement being a wonderful, work-free, time of our lives (at least, that’s our aim!), it is possible that the lifestyle you currently have becomes out of your reach as prices rise, and your income does not, or you may find that you end up spending more in retirement than you thought. It could be simply that you want more than you initially planned for, so within your retirement plan it is important to take many factors into account to gain a rough idea of any potential increase in your spending.
A common thought around scams is that it will never be you. However, no matter how careful you are, it is never a guarantee that you will not get caught out. No matter how rare, it is not impossible that you experience a misuse of your funds by an untrustworthy financial advisor, or even deceptive family members trying to take advantage of you. Make sure that you are also aware of healthcare scams, investment scheme scams, lottery scams and more. Remember, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is!
Inflation is a silent taxation on our wealth. Slowly eroding it as time goes on. Even a small increase in inflation, hardly noticeable in the short term, can be of great detriment to your spending power in the future. Over a long period of 15 or 20 years, there could be the potential of your purchasing power being halved. It is certainly something you should allow for in your future retirement plan.
Excessive fees are something we strive to avoid. Throughout your lifetime, fees really can add up and make a dent in your pocket. Often, what looks on the surface a small difference, e.g. between 1% and 2%, can end up making all the difference in the long-run. It is of paramount importance to have regular reviews to ensure your costs are as low as possible.
“Lifestyling” or “Lifestyle Funds” refers to reducing the risk of your portfolio as you get closer to retirement, along with other assumed factors. It aims to lock-in the investment gains you have already made throughout your life so you can comfortably retire. This sounds good in theory, and may well be suitable for some, though, as with everything, it is not without risk. As much as we wish it, there is no ‘one size fits all’ formula. It might even be your spouse or children that you were planning to have benefit from your investments, so the best decision is certainly to seek trusted financial advice to find the solution that works best for you.
Rebalancing is essential to the future of your wealth. It ensures that your assets remain within your agreed risk level without ever straying too far from the path and can optimise gains already made. Of course, over-rebalancing exists, so it is important to not avoid over-rebalancing. Approximately 2-4 times per year is a good amount for most portfolios.
Trying to find the perfect time to withdraw from, or enter into, the market will often come up short of your expectations. Nobody knows for certain exactly what is going to happen in the next few years, or even the next few weeks, so the best route is making informed decisions from high-quality analysis using trusted advice. Cumulative returns can be seriously harmed if your prediction turns out to be wrong.
The complexities of today’s financial systems are simple when it is your day job, but the reality is that the majority of people do not have the time to spend their few hours of relaxation a day researching the latest changes in the system. Of course, it is not impossible to do, but as with most things there are often rules that you might miss. It is essential to contact a financial professional to ensure your retirement plan and financial future is as secure as possible, and if not, to make it so. After all, that is what we are here for.
This may seem obvious, though unfortunately it is more common than you may think. Retirement is often overlooked as it is ‘so far’ into the future that you do not consider it, or you believe that your respective State pension will suffice. It is important to note that State pension benefits often leave a gap in your income. Therefore, it is essential that you begin sooner rather than later as every day you wait is one more day that you will be playing catch-up in retirement. You might miss out on investment returns, end up not having enough money in retirement, or simply miss out on compound interest. Either way, one thing remains certain, begin sooner rather than later.