Power of Advice
Retirement calculation pitfalls
Congrats on taking the first step and figuring out how much you’ll need when you retire. Here are pitfalls to watch out for.
I’m pretty conservative by nature. My pantry is so well stocked I could feed Brangelina’s entire brood for a year. So it won’t surprise you that I have used a number of those retirement calculators online to figure out how big a nest egg I’m going to need. What I want to know is, what I might have forgotten in my calculations.
In case I get the munchies during a nuclear war, I now know where to call. Thanks for the reassurance.
Now, first, let me say that just figuring out a number—any number—puts you ahead of most people. Well done. You’re right that there are a few pitfalls to be aware of, and not just for ultra-conservative people like you. For example:
Going into too much detail
Calculating what you need is part science, and part science fiction. Remember, you are just coming up with an estimate—your best guess based on what you know now. There is no way to know what the actual number will be. So going into too much detail can lead to overconfidence because you think you’ve ‘figured it out’.
Neglecting family health history
If you have longevity in your family, you need to plan for it. The same goes for ill health, either for you or a family member who is going to need additional support after you retire. This could include a relative with special needs or a parent who still needs care after you stop working.