When it comes to creating a retirement plan, there is an overwhelming amount of information available online. At best, much of the information found online is misleading. At worst, it’s outright dangerous. Frankly, there’s no quick and easy guide for retirement planning. Everyone is different, and thus their plans must be as well.
However, there are certainly plenty of myths worth debunking when it comes to planning. Knowing what information cannot be relied on is the first step to sitting down and creating a personalized retirement plan.
Myth: You Shouldn’t Retire Until Your Mortgage Is Paid
It’s easy to understand why this myth is so pervasive. Who likes the idea of retiring while still holding onto debt? More importantly, this myth originates from the 1930s. Back then, it was much easier to foreclose on a house (one late payment was theoretically all it took).
Since that is no longer the case, potential retirees have other avenues and concerns they can follow. Adjusting the rate of the mortgage is a better option. Provided that the retirees have had a conversation about how long they want to stay in the home. If downsizing or moving is an option, now would be the time to discuss it.
Myth: Taxes are Lower
One of the more harmful myths is the belief that taxes will be lower upon retirement. While this statement is true in some ways (one will no longer have to pay taxes on a paycheck, for example), it is dangerously false in others. Social Security benefits, investment income, property taxes, pensions, and 401(K) withdrawals are all examples of taxable finances that retirees will face.
Myth: Being Too Young To Plan
There’s no such thing. One can never be too young to plan for retirement, especially if that concerns them. Many experts believe that the younger you are, the better! Look at it a different way; the sooner you start paying into that retirement plan, the sooner the amount will start stacking up. More importantly: the money you invest now has a longer time to increase. It is that simple.
Myth: It’s Too Late
Conversely, people out there sincerely believe that they left the planning for too long, and thus it is too late for them. This is also inaccurate! There is no such thing as being too late. Do remember that any buffer is better than no buffer. There are plans available out there to help late investors get caught up before their retirement.
Myth: Never Needing to Retire
Somewhat related to the myth of it being too late is the myth of believing you’ll never need (or want) to retire. According to LIMRA, half of those that are retired did so sooner than they expected. Sudden changes in health and other surprises are part of the problem here. Additionally, many plan to pick up a part-time job after retirement who never actually do so. It’s better to plan for retirement, given the alternative.
Myth: Not Enough Money
Many people put off planning their retirement simply because they believe they don’t have enough money. This is another dangerous myth. Remember, the longer you put into a fund, the more time it has to build up. Even a seemingly insignificant amount, say $15 a paycheck, can add up over time significantly if one is investing carefully.