Iowa Fiduciary

Retirement Mistakes to Fix Before the Holidays

Fall is but days away, and what better way to help prepare for the busiest season of the year than making adjustments to your retirement plans?

We all are guilty of spending more time planning our holidays than we do planning for our golden years. But by doing so, we make the basic mistake of trying to fund your retirement, during retirement.

Here are a few mistakes you can fix before the busiest time of the year in preparation for the holidays.

Not Havings Specific Goals for Retirement

As Iowans, the ideal retirement age is your 60’s. For some that is attainable, but for others, that may not be the case. Pinpointing when you want to retire is a small stepping stone of the retirement planning process. If you’re just getting around to planning your retirement, and you’re unsure if you fall under this category, start by asking yourself the following questions.

  • How much do you need to retire comfortably?
  • How much do you have saved?
  • How long will your nest egg last you, realistically?
  • Will your investments get you enough income to meet your retirement goals?

These are just a few questions that are critical to know when you begin planning your retirement. If you’re someone who’s nearing retirement, and aren’t too sure of your answers then you can look at other options such as retiring later in life or considering a phased retirement. 

Not Reviewing Your Portfolio 

When was the last time you opened your account statement? Or the last time you sat down and met with your financial advisor to review your investment? If you can’t think of the last time you’ve done either of the two, it’s probably time to revisit your portfolio. 

On average, for most investors, it’s ideal to revisit your portfolio once every few months. Checking in on your brokerage account once every few months enables you to do the following: 

  • Helps ensure your portfolio is balanced
  • See if your investments outperform others 
  • See if your portfolio is heavily concentrated in those investments

If you’re someone who knows you won’t do it every few months, you can simply review annually. Fortunately, with technology providing online access and review tools, you have little reason to neglect developments in your investment situation.

Not Checking Your Beneficiaries

Out-of-date beneficiaries are unfortunately a common mistake that ends up being costly. If you haven’t done a beneficiary review in a while, it’s important to do so. Many people run into the problem of having prior spouses or deceased relatives still named as a beneficiary on a retirement account at a former employer, or on a life insurance policy purchased long ago.

That is why even after marriages go sour and you turn to a divorce, or other major life events, account-holders need to check and, if necessary, update beneficiary statements. Many financial advisors say this is one of the most common. Review your 401(k)s, annuities and life insurance policies. It can take less than 10 minutes to mitigate potential trouble, heartache and misuse of your retirement money during and after your last years.

Making Bad Investing Strategies

Some investment strategies are designed to set you up for success, based on your risk tolerance and goals. A buy-and-hold strategy, for example, might work well for you if you want to purchase investments for the long term.

But following bad investment strategies can cause you to fall short of your goals, or worse, cost you money. Some of the worst investment strategies include following trends without understanding what’s driving them, or buying high and selling low out of panic.

Taking time to explore different investment strategies can help you figure out what works for you. Your trusted Fiduciary advisor should be able to explain principles and strategies that may enable you to put together an investment portfolio that reflects your risk tolerance, time horizon, and goals. Understanding these principles and strategies can help you avoid some of the pitfalls that snare some investors.

Not Having a Retirement Plan

Not saving enough for retirement can have big consequences. Sometimes, not saving enough for retirement doesn’t spell disaster, but kills dreams instead. Think of everyone you know who wants to travel the world during retirement, but sits at home watching their pennies instead. Unfortunately, this is a reality for many americans. Roughly 45% of working-age households have no retirement savings at all. 

By not having a plan in place it may leave you with working during your retirement age, drowning in debt instead of planning for the future, and potentially leaving your family with financial and emotional stress. Fortunately, the Fiduciary advisors at Johnson Wealth and Income Management can sit down with you to discuss your retirement options so these situations can be avoided.

Final Thoughts

At the end of the day, think about how much time you spend planning your holiday year and compare it to how much time you plan on your retirement. Taking a step back to look at the bigger picture will help you avoid some potential mistakes.

It’s never too late to start planning for retirement. Working with a Fiduciary advisor can help Iowans like you build retirement plans that fit their needs and risk tolerance. Together, we will make a plan to help maximize your savings and determine how long your retirement income will last during your retirement years.

Contact us here today to learn more about our retirement saving strategies.


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