It can be difficult and frustrating to deal with money.  When it comes to planning for retirement, it seems that there are as many financial options available as there are grains of sand on your favorite beach.  Wading through it all can be daunting, even with a trusted financial expert at your side.  Here are three of the more common retirement planning mistakes to avoid:


Too much reliance on Social Security:

According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), the average benefit for retired workers is approximately $1,230/month.  This benefit provides you with a good source of supplemental income if your home is paid for and you have set up a nice retirement fund.

However, the SSA also indicates that 52% of married seniors and 74% of unmarried seniors receive more than 50% of their income from social security.  If possible, try to avoid being exclusively dependent on Social Security as your only source of retirement income.

Having an Outdated Estate Plan:

Approximately 55% of American adults do not have a will or other estate plan in place, according to LexisNexis.  Many of those who have a will think that they can simply forget about it once it is complete.  Not true – in fact, not keeping your will up to date can result in a number of unexpected bad consequences.  If one of your original beneficiaries dies, for example, and your will does not reflect the change, you could pass large fees on to your family or see your estate go to the wrong people.

It is best to review your will annually with an estate planner to keep it up to date.

Falling Victim to Scammers:

Seniors have long been a favorite target of swindlers and scammers.  They lose about $2.6 billion to these criminals every year – and falling victim to one of them is the fastest way for someone to lose everything they have ever worked for in a matter of minutes.  Seniors and their families need to educate themselves on the tactics used by scammers – and always live by the motto, “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”

If you have any questions about financial planning for your retirement, or for the retirement of a loved one, Sweetwater can help connect you with someone who can help.  Call us at (406) 534-0355 and we would be honored to help you.