Interesting article quoting people looking back:
Retirement Living: Biggest retirement regrets
"...if retirees had an opportunity to do something differently to prepare for their golden years, which mistakes would they correct?"
"There are two or three key mistakes — people planning for too early a retirement or too lavish a retirement."
"...another key mistake people make is that they fail to make provisions for catastrophic events."
" Planning can't just be for best-case scenarios, and far too often it is." [We are having a serious difference of opinion in our house right now about best-case and worst-case. I may discuss this later at more length--or not.]
Here is the big one:
"The top one is, in general, the failure to have a financial plan," he says. "That includes a tax plan, an income plan and an investment plan. I left out an estate plan because you don't need an estate plan to retire. But I'm not saying you shouldn't have one."
"Other tax regrets:
• Premature IRA withdrawals.
[I had to do this once.]
• Botched Roth roll-out strategy.
[Could have been me, but I have a plan now.]
• Not getting out of Dodge.
" [One of the points of contention in our household just now.]
Several other client quotes from another FA (more details in the article):
"1. I didn't save enough for retirement, and I spent more than I should have in my peak years."
"2. I leveraged myself too much during my peak earnings year.
" [Before them, yes.]
"3. I retired too early.
" [Depends on how you look at it.
Is 67 too early? It may be for me. Stay tuned.]
"4. Why did I take that money out of my IRA or 401(k)?"
"5. I thought Social Security was supposed to provide for me.
" [I just hope that my estimates, including the 25% haircut in 2030 or so, are reasonably accurate. My estimate of 2% COLA is already too high--the Feds are using 1.5% this year. They must be ignoring health care.]
"6. I was a picture of health in my middle age."
[The possibility of an early death does not frighten me--how will I know, after all?--but disability does.]Maybe this should be cross-posted in Young Dreamers?
The most important lesson is: Plan, and start early
. This includes self-education.
This dawned on me late, but not too late. I have been fortunate to have got a great job for my last one that has saved our family from some very hard times. We are not on high ground, but we have a good chance to avoid drowning if we can agree on a tighter budget.