4. You Are Funding an Adult Child’s Lifestyle
Barbara A. Friedberg, a former portfolio manager and co-founder of Robo-Advisor Pros, said the choice to fund an adult child’s lifestyle is a path to retirement peril for the parent.
“If you don’t contribute enough for your own retirement, you run the risk of outliving your money or worse, putting your children in a position to have to fund your retirement,” she said.
When your children reach adulthood, you need to cut the cord and attend to funding your own future. “You have limited years remaining before retirement to grow your retirement nest egg, and your children have many decades to get their lives in order and build their own financial security,” she said.
Financial advisor Sterling Raskie of Blankenship Financial Planning in New Berlin, Ill., added that one way to avoid having to fund your children’s lifestyle is to encourage your kids to become more self-supportive. If they live at home, charge them rent and utilities.
“Give them a timeline of when they need to be out of the house or completely independent of Mom and Dad,” Raskie said. “Require that they find a job — a serious job, not a one-day-a-week job.”
5. You Have Not Planned for Medical Expenses in Retirement
Too often when saving for retirement, workers neglect to plan for the cost of their health care needs. Neglecting this expense can derail the best-laid retirement plans.
Joy Dietel, chief compliance officer of consumer-directed benefits provider WageWorks , cited Fidelity research estimates that the cost of health care for a couple retiring in 2015 is expected to total $245,000 over the course of their retirement. This is a 29% increase since 2005, when a couple would have been projected to pay $190,000.
Among the couples interviewed in the study, nearly 75% cited being unable to afford unexpected health care costs during retirement as their “top concern.” In addition, only 22% of couples surveyed actually factored in health care costs when planning for retirement.
Dietel said such statistics prove more awareness is needed. “It’s important to understand that there’s a place for both a 401k and an HSA,” she said, referring to a health savings account in the latter example.