How to really mess up your retirement

You've got a long time to plan for your retirement, and that can mean plenty of mistakes along the way. Here are 5 you should avoid at all costs.

 of 7
 of 7


Oct 9, 2013 8:22AM
Retired early, took our SS at 62, moved to the place we use to vacation  for we know the area well. We scaled down to a condo near that beach and have never been bored because of all the beach has to offer and  could not be happier.  Just Do It!
Oct 9, 2013 8:40AM
You can only work as long as your health dictates.  I'm out at 62.  Not one day later.  Want to enjoy retirement and not work until i die.
Oct 9, 2013 9:09AM

"Those who delay until age 70 can boost their checks by .."


unstated is how many people are DEAD by 73 years old......

Oct 8, 2013 8:33PM
I think the option of taking the money ASAP is the best thing either way you look at it..... if you don't need it take it anyway and invest it in good mutual funds for the Grandkids..... the difference in leaving it with SS is flawed in two ways... 1. SS may run out of money. 2. Invested right over 18 years if you don't need it will offset the difference you might get by waiting, especially if you don't make it past 90. I say get it and spend it before you die, have fun.
Oct 9, 2013 11:58AM

"How to really mess up your retirement."


Okay. Dying before you retire. That's the only way that you can REALLY mess up. And that's exactly what the SSA wants you to do. Die before, or shortly after, payment is realized.


Retire and thus, open a job position for someone younger that needs a job.

Oct 9, 2013 9:13AM

calculate your own numbers,  take SS at 62, and make a guess on when you might die.  add up the "early" SS cash. 


then do the same calculation if you start later untill that same death date. 


THEN decide if starting SS at 70 years old makes sense for you

Oct 9, 2013 2:20AM
From experience the following may be of value. Faced with age 55 fast approaching I made the decision to move to Arizona. I set up job interviews before arriving and had a position less than a week after arriving. I found a nice place about a mile and a half from work, shipped my personal items from the Northeast, purchased furniture from goodwill industries and lastly purchased an automobile. Accomplished this in the first 30 days. The point is I was young enough to move as well as find a job. Made new friends and of course where to shop and be comfortable with my new surroundings. Today, I am in my seventies and retired. The majority of the friends I made are now retired and we have tons of fun enjoying our lives and the great weather. Last point is many of the retirees who have moved here at 65 or older live as hermits because they have no sphere of friends to enjoy retirement. All I can suggest is think hard of your age when deciding to move.
Oct 9, 2013 11:43AM
One's health is a strong consideration. I had a very physical job standing on my feet all day. My severe back pain made work torture, so when I turned 62, I decided to take the money and run. I would have loved to continue working. Those who advocate working until age 70 don't take people's health into consideration. I have employer-sponsored health insurance and a small pension from a previous employer, so I manage. The one mistake I made was buying a house in the area I had always vacationed and loved. I wish now I had just rented for a while to see how I would like living here full time. And the house I bought is a fixer, and I have no money to make the repairs and changes that are needed to make it comfortable to live in. My advise is that if you decide to retire at 62, you take things slow and don't make sudden impulsive changes to your life right away.
Mar 2, 2014 4:57PM

Retire as early as possible! Don't be fooled into those investment people who tell

you that most people live to 80 or 90. Just seen alot of friends not make it long after

retirement . One telling me to work like him till 67 and collect that larger SS check.

Well now his first year of retirement he's dealing with cancer. Look at the difference

in that SS check its only a couple of hundred dollars!  RETIRE ASAP life is short.

You only live once..but your Dead Forever!!!!

Mar 2, 2014 5:32PM
Biggest mistake:  Waiting until you are too old to have fun, whatever age that might be.  Another mistake:  Supporting grown children and grandchildren over retiring and enjoying YOUR success.  Your kids should learn how to fund their own lives and the lives of their children.  Didn't you?
Oct 12, 2013 3:47PM
Soooo,,,,I just got laid off and I'm 64 and 3 months old.  Husband retired earlier at 60.5 (with a small -$22K- yearly pension).  We have about 1.5 mil saved (not counting paid for house).
Y'all think it would be OK for us to have just spent $35K on remodel to stay in our house bought in 1977 and that we intend to die in?  Or to take $15-20K and spend a month in Europe?
I mean, we typically live off about $50K a year.  I think we ARE good to go...kind of tired of sitting on this money and want to USE some of it NOW.

Oct 12, 2013 8:54AM
Delay receiving benefits = still hoping people will not live longer.  In our economy people HAVE to take it early.
Oct 9, 2013 8:39AM
One way to financial ruin in retirement, is to retire before age 65 without employer provided health insurance. Before you pull the pin, you better check out the prices for a 62 year old couple trying to buy one of Obama's new health insurance plans in your state (try not to choke). Don't forget, a couple who earns one penny more than $62,040.00  does not qualify for any tax credits or subsidies. Thanks Barry! Us old folks have nothing better to do with our money than pay double insurance premiums so young able bodied workers with families who pay no income taxes can add medical insurance to their list of free government provided bennys. I guess I'll be punching the old time clock until age 65 when medicare kicks in. That younger guy eyeing my job is just gonna have to wait
Oct 9, 2013 10:13AM
one of the worst "mistakes" - getting a divorce.  My husband started drinking, detached himself from our marriage and cashed in his retirement account for his own benefit without my knowledge.  Now that we're getting divorced, and I make more money, he wants 1/2 my retirement money when I retire!  In the meantime I get no child support or alimony and he's not contributing to his chold's college education or expenses.  Unfortuantely the law in PA is on his side and I will have no choice!!!  I'm broke now, raising my daughter alone, paying for college and when it's my time to enjoy a life I'll be broke and paying him!!  No one tells you these things before you get married!
Mar 2, 2014 4:48PM

This advise is all well and good .... I had severe back surgery and had to quit work ... I am on Social Security Disability .... I would have never made it to retirement without the surgery. Seriously take a good assessment of your health .... retire while you have quality of life. My wife is a kidney transplant recipient (17 years) and I am having difficulty trying to convince to file early (she is 64) for Spouse Benefits ...... "We ain't getting any younger".

I am enjoying retirement ..... I volunteer at church, hospice, school. I love to read, enjoy digital photography. My wife and I live near a small rural town (25000 people) with lots of great things going on ...... I DO NOT MISS WORK just the wonderful people I worked with ..... whether you live to 55 or 105 life is short ... ENJOY IT!!!!!!

Oct 12, 2013 10:08PM

The group most likely to mess-up your retirement is THE GOVERNMENT. 


     1)   They will tax your SS benefits if you have too much saved.

     2)   They will increase the tax on your IRA and 401k money. 

     3)   They will start taxing your Roth Accounts

     4)   They will decrease you SS benefits.


Why will they do these things, because they will not want to cut government spending, to pay for Obamacare, and to keep their retirement benefits fully funded. 

The only way to stop it is to take your SS benefits ASAP, before they have the chance to screw you over. 

Oct 12, 2013 10:23AM
This is some good advice, but retirement planning starts in your 20s and 30s.  It continues for the rest of your working life and beyond.  You can never stop being a personal money manager.  In this world where everything costs so much and continues to rise, managing your finances is a full time job.  The problem is most people do not want to take the time to manage their own money so it doesn't last.
Oct 12, 2013 11:34AM
I don't need no stinking budget!  Just don't buy what you don't need.  That means don't buy wants! 
Oct 12, 2013 8:47PM
Got laid off at 62 yo.     I found out very quickly there is job discrimination.....they just dont tell you that. Pretty much forced into retirement...not by choice. Now, not one penny of insurance and have no clue what my future holds and very meagerly hanging on. Thanks for making industry downsize due to your healthcare bullschidt obama. I'm a very angry black man at this point in time.
Oct 13, 2013 9:37PM
I opted for my wife's SS at age 66 2 months ago.  We don't need the money and my spreadsheet shows at 5% return just investing the money till age 70, then taking that amount and keeping it invested she will have about $160,000 more at that age.  Naturally this is based on us not needing the money prior to her turning 70 but we will have a 6 figure retirement without using her SS so I can't see how that won't work.  There is no simple solution for everyone.  I think if you need the money in retirement you should wait but if its just extra income take it at 66 and run.
Please help us to maintain a healthy and vibrant community by reporting any illegal or inappropriate behavior. If you believe a message violates theCode of Conductplease use this form to notify the moderators. They will investigate your report and take appropriate action. If necessary, they report all illegal activity to the proper authorities.
100 character limit
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?


Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.

Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.