Here are some obvious retirement planning mistakes ... learn from the pain of others and don't repeat them.
"By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail"~ Benjamin Franklin
Number One mistake is simply not planning!
Do you know how much you need to retire? If not, remember that retirement is a long term undertaking which may last for 30 to 40 years.
A worry free retirement requires enough financial resources.
Not taking personal responsibility
You are going to have to live your retirement plan.
It is just wishful to think that someone else will do it for you or that it will be taken care of by your financial or investment advisor.
Just remember they are working on their own retirement plan … and you are financing it. Generally pension related businesses are not renowned for employing too many “Mother Theresa's”.
Not taking enough care in finding a financial guide.
Find a professional who specialises in retirement finance and you can trust to advise you. Find one in the same way you would an employee you would trust with your business. Understand exactly what you are looking for, interview them and check references.
Google them and then trust them to prepare your map and directions. But remember you'll be driving the automobile.
"An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest"
~ Author unknown but commonly attributed to Benjamin Franklin
Not educating yourself
If you are not inclined then find a trusted friend or family member who can understand the advice you are given.
If you have any doubts or don't fully understand get a second opinion.
Not starting your retirement saving early enough.
The power of compounding is awesome if given long enough time to work. If you start saving when you are young you don't have to be tempted in later life to invest in risky investments to try and catch up.
Cashing out any of your pension plans early.
Being tempted at some time in your career to take the cash.
Not taking maximum tax break benefits
Your pension investments may include certain tax benefits. Be aware of what these are and use them
"If past history was all there was to the game, the richest people would be librarians" ~ Warren Buffett
"Invest a few moments in thinking. It will pay good interest"
~ Author Unknown
Having fragile retirement investments
Not being aware of the vulnerability of the investments making up your pension fund. Not being diversified and having all your eggs in one basket
Unconditional belief in some trite investment saying
Understand concepts like “invest and hold” or “time in the market is more important than timing the market”.
There may be a time and a place for both .. just understand which time for which!
Planning for the future assuming it will be like the past
The world is undergoing rapid social, economic and political change. The only thing you can be sure of is that the future wont be like the past.
It is up to you to eliminate all these obvious mistakes. As even with careful planning things will go wrong and there will be unforeseen disasters.
Never forget people who have written goals are vastly more financially successful than those that don't. Ongoing goal setting and focus will be a critical part of your successful retirement.
One program that I've found helped me with my life planning, setting goals and keeping focused is simple•ology - it is simple but it works.