Best of the Week
Most Popular
1. Gold vs Cash in a Financial Crisis - Richard_Mills
2.Current Stock Market Rally Similarities To 1999 - Chris_Vermeulen
3.America See You On The Dark Side Of The Moon - Part2 - James_Quinn
4.Stock Market Trend Forecast Outlook for 2020 - Nadeem_Walayat
5.Who Said Stock Market Traders and Investor are Emotional Right Now? - Chris_Vermeulen
6.Gold Upswing and Lessons from Gold Tops - P_Radomski_CFA
7.Economic Tribulation is Coming, and Here is Why - Michael_Pento
8.What to Expect in Our Next Recession/Depression? - Raymond_Matison
9.The Fed Celebrates While Americans Drown in Financial Despair - John_Mauldin
10.Hi-yo Silver Away! - Richard_Mills
Last 7 days
JOHNSON & JOHNSON (JNJ) Big Pharama AI Mega-trend Investing 2020 - 25th Jan 20
Experts See Opportunity in Ratios of Gold to Silver and Platinum - 25th Jan 20
Gold/Silver Ratio, SPX, Yield Curve and a Story to Tell - 25th Jan 20
Germany Starts War on Gold  - 25th Jan 20
Gold Mining Stocks Valuations - 25th Jan 20
Three Upside and One Downside Risk for Gold - 25th Jan 20
A Lesson About Gold – How Bullish Can It Be? - 24th Jan 20
Stock Market January 2018 Repeats in 2020 – Yikes! - 24th Jan 20
Gold Report from the Two Besieged Cities - 24th Jan 20
Stock Market Elliott Waves Trend Forecast 2020 - Video - 24th Jan 20
AMD Multi-cores vs INTEL Turbo Cores - Best Gaming CPUs 2020 - 3900x, 3950x, 9900K, or 9900KS - 24th Jan 20
Choosing the Best Garage Floor Containment Mats - 23rd Jan 20
Understanding the Benefits of Cannabis Tea - 23rd Jan 20
The Next Catalyst for Gold - 23rd Jan 20
5 Cyber-security considerations for 2020 - 23rd Jan 20
Car insurance: what the latest modifications could mean for your premiums - 23rd Jan 20
Junior Gold Mining Stocks Setting Up For Another Rally - 22nd Jan 20
Debt the Only 'Bubble' That Counts, Buy Gold and Silver! - 22nd Jan 20
AMAZON (AMZN) - Primary AI Tech Stock Investing 2020 and Beyond - Video - 21st Jan 20
What Do Fresh U.S. Economic Reports Imply for Gold? - 21st Jan 20
Corporate Earnings Setup Rally To Stock Market Peak - 21st Jan 20
Gold Price Trend Forecast 2020 - Part1 - 21st Jan 20
How to Write a Good Finance College Essay  - 21st Jan 20
Risks to Global Economy is Balanced: Stock Market upside limited short term - 20th Jan 20
How Digital Technology is Changing the Sports Betting Industry - 20th Jan 20
Is CEOs Reputation Management Essential? All You Must Know - 20th Jan 20
APPLE (AAPL) AI Tech Stocks Investing 2020 - 20th Jan 20
FOMO or FOPA or Au? - 20th Jan 20
Stock Market SP500 Kitchin Cycle Review - 20th Jan 20
Why Intel i7-4790k Devils Canyon CPU is STILL GOOD in 2020! - 20th Jan 20
Stock Market Final Thrust Review - 19th Jan 20
Gold Trade Usage & Price Effect - 19th Jan 20
Stock Market Trend Forecast 2020 - Trend Analysis - Video - 19th Jan 20
Stock Trade-of-the-Week: Dorchester Minerals (DMLP) - 19th Jan 20
INTEL (INTC) Stock Investing in AI Machine Intelligence Mega-trend 2020 and Beyond - 18th Jan 20
Gold Stocks Wavering - 18th Jan 20
Best Amazon iPhone Case Fits 6s, 7, 8 by Toovren Review - 18th Jan 20

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

Nadeem Walayat Financial Markets Analysiis and Trend Forecasts

Six Traits of Successful Retirees

Personal_Finance / Pensions & Retirement Dec 12, 2013 - 12:49 PM GMT

By: Don_Miller

Personal_Finance

When I coached baseball many years ago, a young ballplayer came to me asking for advice. I offered my opinion: he needed to get his act together. Then, like many young men might do, he griped about me to one of the other coaches. Our paths crossed again when he was 28 years old, at which point he said, "Now that I have a family of my own, I've thought back on your 'lectures' and realized you were just answering my questions honestly. Thank you."


Not surprisingly, my lectures as a coach weren't so different from those I'd received from a WWII colonel turned coach and teacher at my high school. The only difference: I never asked for his opinion—it was offered as he held my shirt collar. Still, when I came home on leave from the Marine Corps a few years later, I showed up at my old high school, walked onto the practice field, and thanked him. He was a solid mentor when I needed one but was too young to know it.

Years later, as a retirement mentor, I've spent countless hours analyzing the habits shared by successful retirees. Six stand out, and I urge all of our readers to take these steps sooner rather than later. I'm not going to grab you by the shirt collar like my coach did, but I'm confident you'll find this "lecture" worth reading.

  1. Cut the financial cord with your children. All parents have one basic responsibility: to equip their children to survive on their own, both emotionally and financially.

    Retirees are often the wealthier members of an extended family—or they are perceived as such. But having money does not make you a bank. If a family member needs money, let him or her borrow it elsewhere. The wealth you've accumulated has to last you the rest of your life. The best way to remind your family and yourself of this simple fact is to simply say "no."

    Of course, some accidents and disabilities cannot be prevented, and there are times to rally behind family members truly unable to put a roof over their heads or food in their bellies. But for every truly unavoidable catastrophe, there are dozens more instances of parents enabling a freeloader.

    You've worked too hard to sacrifice your financial independence and give up your golden years. Even if you have enough to support two generations indefinitely, being the "Bank of Parents" won't help anyone in the long run.
  2. Be your own "pension fund" manager. Independence is the real goal of retirement. That means listening to experts, but also learning to make savvy financial decisions for yourself.

    Today, pensions are virtually nonexistent in the private sector. Soon they won't exist in the public sector either. So all of your retirement—including saving, investing, debt reduction, tax planning, estate planning—is up to you.

    There's a lot to learn, but the information is there for the taking. I've known too many people who retired with a large chunk of change only to panic because they had no clue how to manage it. These folks were afraid, rightly so, because their lack of financial know-how made them vulnerable.

    Give yourself a financial education while you're accumulating wealth so you can enjoy that wealth once you retire. Otherwise, you might leave a high-stress job for a high-stress retirement.
  3. Maximize your tax-preferred retirement savings. Only 10% of those eligible for employer-sponsored 401(k) programs maximize their contributions. There are real financial benefits to contributing to your 401(k), and it's a mistake to turn down that free money, especially if your employer will match all or part of your contributions.

    In that same vein, tapping into retirement accounts to pay off bills is almost always a mistake. Unless you absolutely need the money for basic survival, you're much better off leaving your retirement money alone. Like many things in life, once you tap those funds, it gets easier and easier to do it again.

    Before Congress passed the first Social Security Act in 1935, retirement was for a wealthy few. Since then, Social Security has fostered the illusion that we need not worry about money and that retirement doesn't require a large personal nest egg. Reality is far harsher.

    I know people who've tried to live on their Social Security alone; now they are all back at work. A happy retirement rarely comes for people who choose to worry about retirement later.
  4. Get out of debt. Many retirees are drowning in debt. It's a topic we touched on in The Reverse Mortgage Guide when discussing why seniors are turning to reverse mortgages at an increasingly younger age.

    Independence is pretty hard when you don't have any money. And don't fool yourself: if you have a million dollars in your brokerage account and a million-dollar mortgage, you're broke. Forget all the fancy formulas. When you stop paying people to rent their money, that's when real wealth building can start.
  5. Get some professional help. Even if you have a small nest egg, I strongly recommend going to a professional certified financial planner (CFP) for a regular checkup. I don't mean pay someone to manage your money, although that is an option. Much like an annual physical, however, we can all benefit from an independent, qualified professional assessing where we are and how to stay (or get) on course.

    The checkup might cost a few hundred dollars, but it's money well spent. Retirees cannot afford to be penny wise and pound foolish.
  6. Get in synch with your spouse sooner rather than later. During your working years, you trade time and expertise for money. For most folks, the goal is to save enough so that they don't have to work full time to survive. Then, during retirement you trade money for time to pursue other interests. Sad to say, many people struggle to pinpoint what those interests are once they get there. One spouse might want to travel while the other is a homebody, etc.

    Retirement is no fun if only one spouse is living their dream. Happier couples talk and plan how they want to spend their time long before retirement day.

As someone in or approaching retirement age, you've lived long enough to be a mentor in some area of life. So you already know that mentoring is about telling people what they need to hear—whether it's on the baseball field, in the boardroom, or at the kitchen table (where most life lessons are learned).

I urge you to pass your own "secrets to success" on to the next generation; they will thank you for it… eventually.

In addition to our regular weekly and premium monthly issues, we've been hard at work producing a series of special reports on need-to-know retirement topics: financial advisorsreverse mortgagesincome-producing stocks and low-fee ETFs, to name a few. You can download each of these timely special reports individually; or, if you really want to kick-start your financial education, you can begin your Money Forever premium subscription now and receive access to all of our special reports, our current issue, and the Money Forever archives.

© 2013 Copyright Casey Research - All Rights Reserved

Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors.

Casey Research Archive

© 2005-2019 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in

6 Critical Money Making Rules