June 26th, 2019
6 More Regrets to Avoid in Retirement
Last time I asked if you were feeling lucky. The idea being that if things work out for you, your journey end will arrive with few regrets.
Before you conclude I’m trying too hard to deny you years of fun and games, I’m really focused on helping you enjoy a worry free and financially secure retirement.
If you can follow instructions, you’ll have a fundamental advantage over those who approach retirement without a wing and a prayer. (Note to self: what does that expression really mean?)
If you happen to reach your NO-GO years with limited faculties, chances are regrets are no longer something to worry about. Having regrets will only apply to those whose mental capacities are strong enough to identify them. (2nd note to self: live life such that regrets are less likely to develop.)
Meanwhile, here are another six I’ve identified to give you some insights as you come to terms with your transition from working for money to having money work for you, ie retirement. You can either find ways to have more money or cut back on your cost of retirement, among other options…
7. Not becoming more financially astute. While you may never acquire as much knowledge as a professional financial advisor, it is helpful to have a working knowledge of investment products and terminology. You’ll be in a better position to understand your options and make better decisions along the way. Many people approach retirement without an understanding of how Social Security and Medicare work, how much they’ll need to live on and how much they can safely withdraw each year. Do overs of consequence are rare in retirement.
8. Not getting professional advice. Even if you are financially literate, the industry is constantly evolving. You can read every money book written, but only a relationship with a financial professional may help you save more money for retirement. He or she will have better insight into matters such as tax consequences and how much money you can safely withdraw after you retire.
9. Not creating an estate plan. It may be uncomfortable to think about what is going to happen to your remaining assets and possessions after you’re gone, but you’ll enjoy peace of mind if you create an estate plan. It’s tempting to put off this task for another day, but none of us knows how much time we have left. Creating a good estate plan is also a gift to your beneficiaries, because settling your estate will be faster, easier and less expensive for them.
10. Not telling people you love them or how much they matter. Sadly, as you get older you will lose more of your friends and family members. Don’t wait until it’s time to deliver a eulogy or send a sympathy card to express how much someone meant to you. Tell them while they are still alive. Think of how wonderful it feels when someone tells you what a difference you’ve made in their life. Give that gift to others before it’s too late.
11. Carrying grudges. Life is too short. The time you spend focused on holding grudges is time you are depriving yourself of happiness. Make peace with people you would like to be on better terms with. Forgive people who have wronged you. Let go of disappointments, missed opportunities and past failures. As the ancient wisdom goes, when you hold onto a piece of hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else, you are the one who gets burned.
12. Not spending enough time with those you love. After you leave work, you won’t be surrounded by people on a day-to-day basis. You will have more time to spend with people, but you’ll find that you need to take more initiative to make that happen. It’s worthwhile to do so. Make the effort to stay in touch with your friends and spend time with them. If your parents and older relatives are still alive, visit them and ask them to tell you stories about their lives. You will find that your relationships and experiences are the most valuable things in your life.
Tony Kendzior, CLU, ChFC
Got a question for Tony? Go to the "Retirement Talk with Tony" thread in our forums.