According to Forbes, the single biggest mistake that people make is “winging it.”
Operating without a financial plan and — maybe worse — having no idea how much they need to retire on ranks first because it can put investors years behind schedule.
The others are:
- Starting too late. Market gyrations, fund fees and other costs cost you, but nothing compares to the cost of getting a late start on saving and investing for retirement
- Heading into retirement with expensive mortgages,
- Overlooking the free money from employer matching funds for 401(k) plans,
- Failing to consolidate their accounts — increasing the likelihood that they’ll lose retirement money through forgetfulness, poor record keeping or clumsy tax planning.
- The tendency among investors to put their children’s financial needs before their own. In other words, they’ll sacrifice their well-being in retirement for their kids’ education, living and sometimes even lifestyle expectations. In truth, not becoming a financial burden in old age is the most generous thing parents can do for their kids.