Downs Law Firm, P.C.


Deadly Sins Can Weaken Your Retirement Plans

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Many have faced these sins, so it might be a good idea to check them out before they can surface.

As the year draws to an end, here are a few thoughts on planning for your eventual transition to retirement.

You may have every intention in the world of planning and financing your retirement. However, it is possible that you will run up against some of the common deadly sins that have been known to block other people from reaching their goals, according to The Reader’s Digest in “The 7 Deadly Sins of Retirement Planning.”

Look at these and see if you recognize any potential problems that could be your stumbling block.

Pride. Sometimes we think retirement planning should be simple, and when it gets complicated, our knee-jerk reaction is to be prideful and refuse to allow anyone to help us. If you’re not a professional retirement planner, how will you know what to watch out for? You won’t. A mistake could make the difference between a heavenly retirement and one that is delayed or never arrives. Swallow that pride about the difficulties of building a portfolio or investment strategy and be open to getting help.

Envy. If you spend 30 years trying to keep up with the Jones’ extravagant spending, who knows if you’ll ever be able to retire? Just because a neighbor, friend or relative spends on new luxury cars, or sends their kids to pricey private schools, doesn’t mean you need to do that, unless you can afford to—all while saving for retirement. Live below your means and save for the future.

Wrath. This is a dangerous emotion. If you’re angry about a situation at work, for instance, and you leave without good financial planning, you could put your retirement savings at risk. It often takes longer than you think to find a new job. Leaving voluntarily makes you ineligible for unemployment benefits. Paying for COBRA insurance is usually a lot more expensive than an employee group benefit plan. Hate your job/boss/co-workers? Wait until you have a new job lined up before leaving.

Greed. Chasing investment trends or listening to your brother-in-law’s latest get-rich quick scheme rarely leads to success. A professional advisor with a long-term plan will almost always yield a better return.

Sloth. Lazy about retirement planning? You have to do the planning, the savings, track your expenses and keep an eye on your money and your taxes. Have you made the effort to have a will, power of attorney and health care directive made for you and your spouse with an estate planning attorney? A missed step could doom your retirement and create a crisis for your family.

Gluttony. This is kind of like greed’s younger, sloppier cousin. Are you being greedy about making money, to the detriment of any other goals? A goal-oriented investment plan will serve you better.

Lust. Are you yearning for a billionaire’s lifestyle, with an income that is more middle class? Leave the lust for the jets, diamonds and furs behind and focus instead on a realistic plan.

Reference: The Reader’s Digest (Nov. 2018) “The 7 Deadly Sins of Retirement Planning”