Saving for retirement takes time, planning and commitment. So when you finally get where you need to be, you want to make sure you’re not engaging in any behavior that could be considered a financial setback. Sonia Stinson of Bankrate.com has a piece on Yahoo! Finance about expenses that can derail your retirement savings.
Stinson starts out with two points that can be easily avoided: starting a wallet-draining hobby and making expensive home improvements. Both are simply a case of living within your means. In addition, many people find retirement is the perfect time to turn a hobby or a lifelong dream into a source of income.
When it comes to home improvements, remember that these can often be more expensive than you initially planned. It may be wise to only take these on if you are absolutely certain the expense won’t affect your entire retirement and are able to do so without taking on a large amount of debt. You might also find the best home improvements to take on are the ones that may save you money in the long run.
Stinson’s next three points have to do with family. She points out that giving financial assistance to an adult child or caring for a parent or special needs child can quickly drain your retirement accounts.
When it comes to helping a child who is unemployed or drowning in debt, the most valuable assistance you can give them may come in the form of a conversation on how to better manage their money. Handing over a blank check often only temporarily fixes the problem.
If you have a child or parent who is dependent on you because of health reasons, it may be wise to factor in these costs early on in your retirement planning whenever possible. With a special needs child, don’t forget that the government may offer some financial assistance that can take the strain off your wallet, so be sure you investigate all of your options.
Are there other expenses people can avoid during their retirement years? Have you found yourself having to lend financial assistance to a family member during retirement?