Retirement Planning: Lessons to Be Learned from the Mistakes of Boomers

While more Boomers than you’d care to count failed to plan adequately for their retirement, an even larger number regret the mistakes they made along the way. Of course, not accounting for the cost of living adjustments that have skyrocketed exponentially over the years is just one of those mistakes no one could have foreseen.

Remember, many of our current retirees began working when gas was less than a quarter a gallon. Yes, you read that right! They’d pull up to the pump and fill their vehicle for less than it costs for a single gallon today, as ludicrous as it sounds. Today, many are lucky to keep their cars fueled let alone cover the cost of tags and insurance. So why are today’s retirees in such dire straits? Here are a few of the mistakes you should avoid at all costs, literally as well as figuratively!

Begin Planning at the Beginning

The first, and perhaps biggest mistake many Boomers made was to wait until they were well into their chosen careers. That was a huge mistake on many levels. First of all, by the time they were settled in nicely and making a respectable wage, they had families to care for and retirement planning got pushed further and further into the future. Also, they felt there would be time for all that if they merely saved for 20 or 25 years when starting in their 40’s. Remember the skyrocketing COLA (Cost of Living Adjustment) referred to above? That is something they couldn’t have foreseen. In reality, had they begun saving or investing from day one on their very first job, they might have accumulated enough wealth to see them through their golden years.

Not Working With a Financial Planner

The second biggest mistake many Boomers made was trying to go it alone. They’d read the news, watch the markets and dabble on a whim. Many of those Boomers lost more than their proverbial shirts during the last big crash of 2008-2009 when the market came tumbling down on a global level. Even some of the largest financial institutions failed, but that’s another story altogether. The point being made is that had they had the benefit of retirement planning Minneapolis financial advisors are famous for, they might have withstood the fall. Most of today’s retirees state that they wish they had worked with a pro in the industry so that their investment strategies had been sound.

Failure to Follow and Adjust as Needed

Another huge mistake is to set an investment strategy and leave it as is. Nothing in life is static and so as with anything else, you need to follow and adjust with the times. While real estate might be a great investment today, tomorrow it might be stocks and the week after it might be commodities. A financial planner will help you alter your portfolio as profits wax and wane, rise and fall, so that is something else to be considered as well. While you could watch and adjust without the aid of an expert, it pays to have someone with more than a hunch to back them, and that’s what you are working with if you try to go it alone.

The best advice for sound retirement planning is to learn from mistakes made by Boomers. Don’t let history repeat itself at the cost of a safe and happy retirement – yours, that is!

Back to top