The biggest regret those of us in our 50s and 60s have about our later years is not having planned early enough for our retirement years. The second biggest regret, based on my conversations with peers, is having done something we shouldn’t have. I guess sometimes for success in life, it’s not what we do right, it’s what we don’t do wrong.
We all know the usual questions to ask as we get older: Will I outlive my money? Can I spend some now and still save some for later – maybe even leave some for my kids? Should I stay in my home? Move to a retirement community? Relocate closer to my children? But the real question, I think, is this one: How can I avoid making poor decisions that seem right at the time but will later come back to bite me?
Mistake No. 1: Don’t become too cautious as an investor. Most financial advisers warn you to be more conservative in your investments as you get older. They say: Move to a more evenly balanced blend of stocks and fixed income investments, with no more than about 40 to 50% in equities. They pull out that old maxim that older people don’t have as long to ride out the lows in the market.
But it may be smart to ignore that dated advice and stay with the same diversified, balanced investments you have now. I’m 68 and I fully expect to live into my 90s. Isn’t 22+ years long-term investing?