If I Could Make My Retirement A Do-Over

Starting All Over Again

Retirement planning is not a new concept, it has been around for years.  The need for personal planning is written about, talked about and blogged about, however, many retirees did not get the message.

Many retirees wish they could plan for their retirement all over again; they feel that they did not get it right the first time.   If they could turn back the clock and get a second chance to plan, they would have done things a bit differently.

Learn From The Financial Mistakes Of Others

#1 – Taken On More Personal Responsibility For Their Own Retirement

Expecting the government and their employers to take on the major share of responsibility for their retirement planning has left many retirees in need of more money.

Scanned image of author's US Social Security card.

Image via Wikipedia

#2 – Not Listened To The Promises Of Social Security

It turns out that social security made empty promises.   For many retirees, it does not provide enough income to do the things they want.   In most cases, social security just covers their basic needs.

#3 – Taken Retirement Planning More Serious

If they had known that social security was not going to provide enough money to pursue their dreams, they would have saved more personal money.

They would have used a retirement calculator and hired a financial planner.  They would have taken advantage of the free money offered to them by their employers in their 401k retirement plans and maxed out those plans.   They would have embraced the tax advantages of IRA’s.

#4 – Understand Differences Between Pay Checks and Fixed Income

Once the pay checks stopped they had a hard time adjusting to making expenses on a fixed income.   During their working years they could work overtime to pay for additional expenses; on a fixed income, they are stuck.  A pay check gave them a financial cushion; there is no financial cushion on a fixed income.

#5 – Kept Debt To Minimum

The money they wasted on debt strangled their efforts to save enough retirement income, but they never realized that at the time.   They do not remember all of “stuff” they bought with their credit cards; but they do remember credit card debt sometimes making it impossible to save for retirement.

Retirement do-over#6 – Would Not Over Spend On Housing

That big house they bought right before the children left home, is now too big for them and their spouse, but almost impossible to sell.   They have had to change some retirement plans because much of their retirement income goes into home maintenance and taxes.

#7 – Planned Better For Unexpected Expenses

During your retirement years you are guaranteed to have unexpected expenses, many retirees are shocked about that.    When they ran their numbers through a retirement calculator, they did not consider these unexpected expenses.   Since they did not build in a cushion their money is being spent faster than they planned for.

#8 – They Should Have Stayed More Involved

Once they retired they stopped, they thought they were done.   The unending leisure time they had, turned against them.  As they look back, they should have joined clubs and groups, maybe done some volunteer work.

#9 – Had Kept Working

Some retirees wish they had kept working, it gave them a sense of self-worth.   Work was a form of socialization for them; they felt lost after losing contact with the workplace.

Learn from the mistakes of others, don’t make those same mistakes.   You do not get a 2nd chance to save money for your retirement years; you get one chance and those are your working years – use those years wisely.