Many of us look back at those wasted years of our youth and wish we had done at least a few things differently.
This has been proven in a recent survey by Allianz Life Insurance Co., which said 32 percent of those polled say they regret major life choices. But the biggest regrets aren’t always financial. Some folks say they wish they had enjoyed life a little more when they were working. Now that they are older, their health is not allowing them to do some of the things they’ve always wanted to do in retirement. Other top regrets were not following their dreams (39 percent), not taking more risks with their careers (38 percent) and not taking risks with their lives in general (36 percent).
But there is another big regret that many people have, it’s that they did not do enough to prepare for retirement.
According to PwC’s 2016 Employee Financial Wellness Survey, 37 percent of those interviewed were worried that they would not be able to retire when they wanted. They also were worried about running out of money in retirement.
Retirement can be difficult, and preparing for retirement just as difficult. Below are financial regrets from those that have been down that road.
Not starting earlier. People always talk about how they wish they would have started sooner, and put more money away in the earlier years. If they had started earlier, they would have changed their spending habits.
Not retiring sooner. This may surprise people, but it comes up with financial planners more often than you think. Clients don’t always retire when they say they will. Actual retirement can be stressful, so they delay it. Once they do retire, they say, ‘I don’t know why I waited.’ They endure work a little longer than they need to. Continuing to work might not change the quality of your life, but may change your children’s quality of life after your death.
Not getting help from a financial planner earlier. One of the biggest regrets is not seeking out quality advice. Whether the reason was because it wasn’t important at the time, you didn’t have a lot of money, or advice came from friends or loved ones, many regretted not getting professional advice at an earlier age.
Not considering taxes when making withdrawals from retirement accounts. Retirement planning, especially withdrawals, can be like a Rubik’s cube. You can solve the blue side, then you have a problem with the orange side. It can be complex. We want to make sure you take distributions from the right source, at the right time, and at the right ages.
Not understanding when your strategy changes from saving to spending. When we are younger and accumulating wealth, we are making decisions in isolation. We are buying this mutual fund, buying this life insurance and taking Social Security at this time. We are making decisions in a vacuum as opposed to looking at it holistically. A holistic approach is not a one-size-fits-all retirement plan. Each one will be custom and individual, based on age, wealth, net worth, assets they have.