Sometimes, the best way to learn how to do something is by talking to those who have already done it. In particular, asking those people what they would do differently, if they had the opportunity to go back in time, can be quite enlightening for us. It can even prevent some mistakes and regret. So, with that idea in mind, here are four things that many retirees often say that they would choose to do differently, if they had foreseen the future.
“I wish I had started saving earlier”. It’s common to focus on other life goals when we’re young, but then switch gears into retirement planning in our forties and fifties. Many retirees have expressed regret that they didn’t set aside money earlier, to take advantage of compounding interest over time.
“I claimed Social Security too early”. It can be tempting to go ahead and claim your Social Security benefits early, rather than waiting until your full retirement age. But in exchange for doing so, you will accept lower benefit checks. It might not seem like a big deal now, but in five or ten years inflation might have eroded your purchasing power, and you might wish you had extra room in your budget.
“I didn’t anticipate medical expenses”. Many people don’t realize that Medicare will not pay for all of their healthcare costs in retirement. You will still incur out-of-pocket expenses, especially if have an accident or serious illness, or ever need long-term nursing care. There are various ways to plan ahead for these situations, including a life insurance policy that contains a living benefits rider. With living benefits, you can access your insurance payout during your lifetime if you are terminally ill or injured. A life insurance policy that builds cash value is another option, and it might offer a bit more flexibility.
“I didn’t fully investigate all of my retirement planning options”. An employer-sponsored retirement plan can provide terrific benefits, but it isn’t the only way to plan for retirement. There are many other options at your disposal, such as maximizing Social Security and various types of insurance, that you should also consider before making the final leap into retirement.
On that note, give us a call. We can help you become familiar with all of the planning options available to you, weigh the benefits of each one, and then craft a multi-faceted strategy that suits your situation.