Worried that you’re behind on your retirement savings? You’re not alone. According to a 2017 study by Gallup, 54 percent of Americans are concerned that they won’t have enough money for retirement. In fact, retirement was the top financial worry among Americans, ranking just ahead of medical bills.1

Any number of items can limit your ability to save for retirement. Living expenses and child care costs may force you to cut back on your saving efforts. Emergency costs or health care bills could be an issue. You might suffer a job loss that disrupts your earnings.

However, it’s also possible that your own mindset may be a major limiting factor. Your beliefs about money guide your decision-making, and they may be driving you to take actions that threaten your financial stability in retirement.

Below are three commonly held retirement assumptions that could actually do more harm than good. If any of these sound familiar, you may want to rethink your mindset and your retirement planning strategy.

Risk is always bad.

Market volatility can be scary for many investors. It’s natural for financial markets to move up and down on a short-term basis. However, the long-term movement of the market is often the more important item to consider when it comes to planning for retirement.

Unfortunately, it’s very easy to get caught up in the day-to-day fluctuations of your investment portfolio. If you’re not comfortable with volatility, you may be tempted to eliminate risk altogether by moving your money to vehicles that you perceive as “safe.”

Work with a financial professional to develop a strategy that balances risk management with growth potential. You also may want to consider tools such as annuities, which offer growth opportunities but also have features in place that minimize downside risk.

You’re saving as much money as you possibly can.

Saving money for the future can be difficult, especially when you have immediate needs like debt and bills. However, time may be your most valuable asset when it comes to saving for the future. The earlier you put money away, the more time you’ll have to expand those assets. That could lead to a larger nest egg when you retire.

If you think you can’t save any more money, consider creating a household budget and looking for areas to cut back. Also, think about making your savings automatic. Set up direct deposits into your retirement accounts so the money is contributed before you have the opportunity to spend it. You may find that you have a greater capacity to save than you think.

You can work beyond retirement age if you need to.

For many people, the answer to a retirement shortfall is simply to work later in life. Delaying your retirement can certainly help you overcome a savings gap. You get more years to save, and you reduce the number of years that you have to fund in retirement.
Unfortunately, the decision to work later in life may not be yours to make. You could suffer disability or health issues that force you into early retirement. Your spouse could develop health issues that require your care, limiting your ability to work. You could lose your job and have difficulty finding a new one.

Don’t take for granted the idea that you can work as long as you want. Instead, prepare to retire at a reasonable age. Then, if you can work later, that gives you more choice and flexibility.

Ready to plan your retirement strategy? Let’s talk about it. Contact us today at Intelliplan Financial. We can help you analyze your needs and develop a plan. Let’s connect soon and start the conversation.

1https://www.gallup.com/poll/210890/americans-financial-anxieties-ease-2017.aspx

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