For Mark Roberts’ Use: They say hindsight is 20/20, meaning it is always easier to look back at the past and see things more clearly. Most of us have experienced situations in which life experience illuminates the reality of past mistakes. That’s why many retirees often preface statements with the words, ‘If I could do it over, I would…”.
So, how exactly do those sentences end? If you’d like to learn from the experiences of those who have gone before you, check out these four common retirement “do-over” statements.
“I would start saving sooner”. In a recent poll, more than half (52 percent) of soon-to-retire respondents said they wish they had started saving sooner. This makes sense, because many younger workers focus on saving for a home or growing their families throughout their twenties and thirties, only to play catch-up later. The problem is, you really can’t make up for lost time, with regard to years of compounding interest on investment funds.
“I would save more of my paychecks”. In response to the same survey, 47 percent said they wish they had saved more of their paychecks for retirement. If even a small lifestyle change allows you to contribute more to your retirement account, it’s worth it. It’s hard to predict the exact impact of inflation in years to come, but we know that no one has ever wished they had saved less!
“I should have better prepared for emergencies”. Recent research from the National Endowment for Financial Education** shows that the vast majority of workers encounter a major financial setback at least once during their careers. Unfortunately, these setbacks, such as serious illness or job loss, often derail retirement plans. Those who plan for the possibility of these setbacks usually won’t suffer the same level of remorse.
“I wish I had planned for the personal side of things”. As retirement planners, we’ve found that people often focus on the financial side of retirement planning, but often fail to plan for their daily lives after retirement. When your identity and daily purpose are tied up in your career, it can be surprisingly difficult to give that up. Make sure you’ve planned for hobbies or activities that excite you, so that you continue to enjoy a sense of purpose after retirement.
Your retirement plan is worth a second look, to feel certain that you’re on the right track. Give us a call and we’ll review your plans with you, and hopefully help you avoid these types of retirement regret in the future.