5 Myths About Retirement Finances

Written By Mary Beth Eastman
Last updated November 15, 2018

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November 15, 2018

Simple. Thrifty. Living.

When it comes to retirement planning, many myths are circulating regarding how individuals can spend now and save later, or that their Social Security income will be enough to replace their income. However, neither of these realities are true. We’re going to go over five myths about retirement finances to help you prevent making mistakes with your financial future.

Once people retire, one of the most common retirement myths is that they’ll only need approximately seventy or eighty percent of their pre-retirement income. The main reason behind this belief is because there will no longer be the need for commuting, career wardrobes, or other job-related costs. However, upon retirement, additional charges will incur including travel expenses, eating out, and other activities.

While this dollar figure is one that’s been floating around for years, it’s untrue for a myriad of reasons. The first reason is that it could be too low of a figure for the retirement you’re considering. The second reason is that, for the majority of Americans, saving up this kind of money is too challenging to achieve. Therefore, it’s critical for individuals to think about an achievable figure and begin working toward that goal.

One of the most significant mistakes retirees make is believing their health coverage is taken care of by Medicare when, in fact, much less coverage is available than they realize. For example, Medicare doesn’t cover long-term care, prescription drugs that are self-administered, routine eye or dental care, dentures, hearing aids, or routine foot care. Because health care costs add up quickly, and there are gaps in such coverage, this area can be where retirees see the most financial devastation.

Because people have been making payments into Social Security during their entire working lives, it isn’t uncommon for them to believe that these benefits will provide them with a high retirement income. However, the purpose of this benefit program was to help seniors remain out of abject poverty and not to serve as a primary source of income. Therefore, it should always have a designation as your supplemental source of income.

When people retire, they should be making financial plans up to and throughout their retirement. Financial planning doesn’t end when you retire. Instead, this is another savings opportunity because individuals are living longer. Therefore, retirement preparation should include cash flow management, estate planning, tax efficiency, and wealth enhancement.

Begin planning for retirement finances now to help avoid financial devastation later. Keep in mind that Medicare, Social Security, and small savings accounts aren’t enough, so it’s critical that strategies be put into action immediately.

About the Author

Mary Beth Eastman

Mary Beth Eastman serves as the content manager for Simple. Thrifty. Living, where she is dedicated to helping readers use money and credit wisely. Mary Beth believes that access to the right financial information paired with a growth mindset are essential tools for getting out of debt and building wealth. Mary Beth has a degree in Journalism from Bowling Green State University and has focused her 20-year journalism career on putting readers front and center, carefully considering their concerns and presenting information that will help them in their everyday lives. She has won numerous statewide journalism awards. Her writing on personal finance as been featured on numerous websites in addition to Simple. Thrifty. Living, including Huffington Post and Lexington Law blog. Mary Beth resides in Pittsburgh, Pa., with her family and two rescue dogs.

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