Failing to plan
Many people sail blithely towards retirement with little concern about how they’re going to manage when it arrives. Scarily, some don’t even consult a financial expert until after they hit retirement. Financial advisor Scott Hanson CFP, CFS, ChFC, co-founder and senior partner at Hanson McClain Advisers cites this as one of the commonest budgeting mistakes people make: “People just don’t do enough planning going into it. It’s amazing that people come to us after they’ve retired, to try and get their retirement set up.” Planning ahead makes the process much smoother, but if you’re approaching retirement unprepared, don’t despair. “It’s never too late,” says Hanson. “I’ve seen people in the mid-fifties with almost nothing set aside for retirement, and they get serious about it, and by time they’re 65 they’re in good shape.” With good planning, you could even retire early and live in comfort.
Procrastinating over retirement planning
Many people fully intend to plan for their retirement, but put off actually putting a plan in place. There could be many reasons for this. “A lot of people are intimidated by financial matters,” says Hanson, “And maybe they don’t understand them that well. They’re a little embarrassed to talk to an advisor, or they’re just fearful of talking to the wrong kind of advisor and maybe getting sold something.” But procrastinating over your planning is a mistake. “Putting your head in the sand, and waiting another year and ignoring it, is not going to make things any better,” warns Hanson. “So the important thing is to plan now.”