10 worst moves for near-retirees

To err is human, but smart savers can limit the damage by avoiding these common money blunders as they approach retirement.

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Jul 16, 2013 7:26PM

"The truth is no one will ever care about your money as much as you do."  No better statement than this.


Here's #11 - Go ahead, trust Robert Wagner or Henry Winkler...go get that reverse mortgage. Hundreds of thousands have reverse mortgages, ya know. And I hear it's the best thing they EVER did. Pssst, they all jumped off a bridge too.

Aug 6, 2013 7:22AM
I retired debt free 12 years ago at 51 after 40 years of working and what I learned at 16 carried me through to 51 and maybe you would like to read what I did. I had my first part time job at 15 as a "Swamper" in a local restaurant. At 16 I was working a 6 hr. shift after school each day six days a week. I spoke with my girlfriends Father an Ophthalmologist who graduated from Dartmouth about investing in the Stock Market and he gave me the best advice ever and that was;  #1. Never invest money in the Stock Market that you CANNOT AFFORD TO LOSE. #2. When you see Gold and Silver advertised in the Newspaper or on TV. SELL! #3. Bank at least 50% or equal to the amount they take out of your check for Social Security. #4. Buy Savings Bonds. #5. Never let a Bank Employee give you Investment Advice. #6. Never let a Investment Broker of any type especially TV and Newspaper people give you Investment advice. #7. Never buy more House than you can afford to pay off and never pay more than one quarter of your salary in Mortgage payments. #8. Never buy more Car than you need just to look "cool". #9 Mutual Funds are safer than Investment schemes #10. Marry a like thinking partner who knows how to budget money and who herself has a savings account and is saving for the future instead of a spending queen whose sole purpose is to empty your pockets and never, ever, "rescue" a woman and marry her.  That's it. I am living very comfortable and within my means and did not take a loss or a "hit" with the crash, in fact my worth went up a bit.  My children are independent and financially solvent and do not "lean on ole dad for a buck or two". I taught them self sufficiency at an early age and made sure they worked about the house and then got part time jobs and banned Video games and such from the house. One created his own Landscaping Business and cuts some 40 lawns a day and has three two man crews and has a Degree in Horticulture unlike the normal whack and hack imposters out there. The other is an Administrator in a National Company. P.S. I never did marry his daughter the spending queen......
Jul 17, 2013 3:15AM
Another piece of advice is to vote for political Representatives who are not hell bent to balance the nation's troubles on your back.....not that they all won't try to do that at some level, but there is a component of society out there who actually RESENT anyone who retires comfortably and would love nothing more than to confiscate assets that don't belong to them to fund their little ambitions. Hint:; the ones you see most frequently on TV are the usual suspects.
Actually, this article contains a lot of good advice. But pelicanman also has good advice: Adult children need to take care of themselves.
Jul 17, 2013 10:56AM
#5 Health Care costs are between 15% to 33% of retirement income.

So if we focus on good health now leading into retirement then we could possibly increase our retirement income 15% to 33%. Good health is money saved.
Jul 17, 2013 1:09PM

I control my own finances which allowed me to take an early retirement and although am on a budget I am glad that I was able to retire early and enjoy.   If anything happens with my finances I have no one to blame but myself.  After all it took me almost 30 years to save for my retirement so why would I give someone else control of my finances.

Jul 17, 2013 1:23PM
Retired at 70, started collecting Social Security at 65, sold everything upon retirement and moved away. Rent, maid service, utilities paid, gardener and swimming pool as well as great security. All doctor visits and hospital stays covered for $60 a month, including most drugs. Food can be expensive or cheap depending on preferences. Reduced bus fares, which are free in the cities for over 65s. I live great on just over a $1000 a month, sometimes less.  Happy hour everyday from 4 to 6.  Costa Rica  is a great place is live, but stay up there please,  our table is full come happy hour.
Jul 17, 2013 11:43AM

As usual, this MSN article is so self-evident, I fear for people nearing retirement age for whom this is new information.  I suppose it's possible there are people who have worked and saved for 40-50 years who don't realize they can't blow all their money at exactly the point they're not earning any more.  The author (I bothered to look her up) appears to be about 25 - always refreshing to have twee self-proclaimed 20-something "experts" preach the obvious at us.

Jul 17, 2013 2:46PM
All of this advice is good. However, for increasing numbers of Americans it will prove to be irrelevant. Why?? They simply will have little or no retirement savings due to the prolonged recession and "new reality" economy. A hand-to-mouth existence will be common for many retirees. 
Jul 17, 2013 12:04AM

One of the worst things to do is to take big chunks of money out of your 401k that no taxes have been paid on. Uncle Sam loves that. Co-workers that retired before me did exactly that to pay off their house. Dumb move.


I have been retired for 8 years and have not had an emergency or unforeseen expense. Don't have any kids so that leaves me out.

Sep 3, 2013 2:25PM
The worst move is taking advise from the investment advisors.
Jul 17, 2013 6:29AM
Here's the best advice you can get.  Do everything exactly the opposite from what MSN's "experts" tell you.
Jul 16, 2013 7:05PM
A sales pitch from the  "Financial Advice Industry". Nothing more. :-(
Jul 17, 2013 12:15PM
Trust wall street or any investment brokers do you really think we are that dumb? They all have fees that are more than the interest you can get.
Sep 3, 2013 1:58PM
How many dead people wished they had saved more money??????
Jul 17, 2013 11:41AM
 I say don't live above your needs.who wants to have nothing.ive seen people spend every dime.and suffer the rest of there lives.ive always said hide the plastic,live on cash only before retirement and theres nothing wrong with a house are car payment.just try to pay off exercise being cheap, and remember god only helps those who help themselves,try do do more yourself without asking for paid help.many thangs can be fixed buy looking up on the computer shop around people are willing to do deals barter times are still hard for many.do any thang you can not to use that plastic.if you have a credit card convert to a no intrest for a year crdit card every little bit helps.but get that plastic paid off it will break you. 
Sep 3, 2013 1:50PM

Me @ 23, yes kid, just put $25.00 a month in this IRA thing, and when you retire you will have 3 milloin dollars.........I did that, and also put in the max allowed per year most of my self employed working years till I retired at 62. Never took a draw, and I sure don't have any millions,not even 100+ thousands!

I did it my way, with assets like collector cars, rentals and deeds of trust secured by the property..

Jul 17, 2013 10:08AM
With Congress looking to reduce SS benefits how can one plan properly? First they say the reductions will not effect current or close to retirement persons but even that seems shaky at best now. Both parties seem bent on SS being the root cause of all that's evil within our deficit. Never mind the record breaking profits of corporate America and the low to zero taxes of many of our biggest corporations. And pay no attention to the double-digit increases in CEO pay. And not to mention the ever-growing wealth gap between the haves and those not having much exacerbated by the amount of their income that those not having so much have to pay out in taxes compared to the haves. Lots of rich folk within that 47% they keep griping about.
Sep 3, 2013 2:35PM
The whole tone of this article is do nothing. Very few potential reitrees are that stupid. How about listing some positive things to think about?
Don't you really believe that those who were able to follow a plan to achieve comfortable retirement mostly are aware of the pitfalls and have already weaned themselves from the "I'm worth it even if I have serious reservation about it" syndrome?

Learning new financial skills late in life isn't close to having lived that life since late adolescence, the people who insisted that having control over their futures was more tasty than "living the good life NOW" already know, that is why we are the minority.

Those who haven't had the brains and will power to do this are constantly dashing toward the abyss and then crying for some government program to save themselves from their own stupidity!

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