What are the top 10 "retirement derailers" that are costing households on average $117,000?
The best-laid retirement planning can be suddenly derailed.
A new Ameriprise Financial survey identifies the top 10 “retirement derailers” that could upend retirement planning. And they are all too common. Ninety percent of pre-retired and retired Americans who responded to the Ameriprise survey said they have experienced major obstacles that impacted their retirement accounts or the ability to save.
Of the top 10 retirement derailers, more than one-third (37 percent) of respondents said they have experienced five or more of them in their lives. These events have cost the surveyed households on average $117,000, the survey found.
What are the top 10 retirement derailers?
· Supporting one or more adult children or grandchildren.
· Receiving lower than expected pension benefits, or not receiving an anticipated pension at all
· Taking Social Security benefits before reaching full retirement age
· Losing your job
· Not getting an anticipated inheritance.
· Unexpected expenses: Home repairs
· Taking care of an aging parent or other family member
· Significant medical bills not covered by insurance
· Using retirement savings to pay the bills
“The derailers we discovered in this study could throw a wrench into anyone’s retirement plans,” Suzanna de Baca, vice president of Wealth Strategies at Ameriprise Financial, said in a statement. “Unfortunately, the chance of being hit by at least one of these risks is extremely high.”
Lack of planning and financial knowledge are the most common regrets cited by respondents who saw their retirement planning derailed. Fifty-seven percent said they wished they would have started saving earlier, while 33 percent said they wished they had cut back on extra expenses such as eating out and vacations.
Thirty-seven percent said they believed they would be in better financial shape if they knew more about investing, while nearly three-in-ten said that a written financial plan would have made them more confident about their retirement readiness.
While more than half (56 percent) blame others for being behind on their retirement savings (vs. 33 percent who blame themselves), significantly more (80 percent) are relying on themselves to get back on track.
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Donald Liebenson writes news and features for Millionaire Corner. He has been published in the Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Los Angeles Times, Fiscal Times, Entertainment Weekly, Huffington Post, and other outlets. He has also served as a marketing writer for Chicago-based Questar Entertainment and distributor Baker & Taylor.
A graduate of the University of Southern California, he is married with a college-age son. He also writes extensively about entertainment.