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4. Tapping your retirement for emergencies. Sometimes crises arise and your emergency fund isn’t enough to cover the expenses. It can be tempting to look at all the lovely cash sitting in your retirement accounts and think about how it could solve your crisis. But not only is this a dangerous precedent to start—you never want to view your retirement as a cash cow you can tap anytime you want—but you’ll also be hit with any number of penalties for using the money early and for anything other than retirement. Then there are the taxes you’ll pay on top of that. You could easily lose half or more by taking money out prematurely. Pretend that money isn’t there until you need it, and find other ways to deal with financial emergencies now.
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5. Underestimating the destructive power of inflation . Most people understand that inflation wreaks havoc on any budget, but few people plan for it. Just look at those around you who’ve retired. Have you noticed that many of them start out living pretty comfortably and then they...
3. Thinking you’re invincible. The solution seems simple for many who haven’t saved enough for retirement: just work longer. But that assumes any number of things can’t and won’t go wrong, including a pink slip, illness, or injury. If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s tha...
2. Putting yourself last. We all want the best for our children and our families, but it’s dangerous to sacrifice your own future for them. Don’t be tempted to fund your child’s college education ahead of your own retirement—they can always take loans to continue their education,...
1. Assuming you’ll save more later. It’s very easy to procrastinate on setting up retirement accounts and making saving a priority. You’ve got a paycheck now and too many places to spend it. Maybe in the future, when you’ve gotten a raise or two, you can amp up your retirement sa...
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According to Warren Buffet, if you invest in a very low-cost index fund over time, you'll do better than 90% of people who start investing at the same time. To start, Buffet advises to put 10% of the cash in short-term government bonds, and 90% in a very low-cost S&P 500 index fund.
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