Five ways to wreck your retirement (and marriage)

Spending your retirement in comfort depends largely on what you and your spouse do today.

Retirement, like marriage, comes under enormous strain when money is constantly an issue and recognizing this sooner rather than later can make the difference between traveling and living out your years together in relative comfort or having to scrape by for years as you get older and less healthy. It’s a pretty stark contrast.

Here are five things to avoid with your retirement today:

1. Not saving early or often

It’s the little things that add up. While you may think there’s plenty of time between your current situation and retirement, saving now means you won’t have to catch up later, when you may face other issues or unplanned expenses. It’s also the single most effective habit you can develop: saving a little bit all the time.

2. Underestimating your needs and lifestyle

If you don’t take into account your current lifestyle and expenses when thinking of retirement you have no benchmark or goals to strive for. Just having enough food and money to get by is not retirement planning. If you want to maintain the same or similar lifestyle or improve on it, now is the time to adjust your retirement goals through simple clear-eyed planning today about what you and your spouse expect from retirement in the future.

3. Ignoring tax breaks

The types of accounts used for investing from 401k’s to IRAs affect how your funds will grow. These traditional plans enable your tax-deferred earnings to compound and often provide an immediate tax break on income each year you contribute. Seek employers that will match your contributions; this means you can effectively double your retirement saving at no extra cost to you.

4. Borrowing against your funds

Big no-no. In fact, you retirement fund should be treated separately from a so-called “emergency fund.” Borrowing against your retirement or taking money out of your account earlier than planned means you’ll have to pay taxes on the money, suffer an early withdrawal penalty and lose out on potential growth. Even if you plan to repay the money to your retirement account, the best policy is to keep your hands off the retirement funds until you are actually retired.

5. Investing aimlessly or foolishly

It is important to pay attention to your retirement plans and investment options. Being too aggressive or not adequately diversified can hurt your retirement funds, while being overly conservative can mean missing out on potential growth.

That’s it. Pretty simple considering that the alternative is a wrecked retirement, and possibly even a marriage on the rocks as well.

FM International Services (NY), Ltd. provides a wide range of retirement services featuring customized benefit plans, flexible investment options, and centralized pension administration. Through Fmi’s countless services, businesses of all sizes create unique domestic and international retirement plans for two employees or two thousand – with a single provider handling conversion, setup, and administration. For more information, please call 1 (888) 960-1801 or visit


Tags: , , , , , , , ,