For the fifth consecutive year, Consumer Reports National Research Center polled over 20,000 readers to ask them what what they did right and wrong in preparing for retirement.
Boy, did they get an earful.
We’re not surprised by the results. In fact, they are right in line with our own observations working with real people day after day in our practice. In truth, we’re gratified to hear that over 20,000 highly educated, proactive and financially-aware consumers echo what we’ve been telling clients for years.
The Right Way
Here is what readers say were some of the most important steps they took to get it “right” in retirement:
- “Lived modestly and did not spend beyond my means.”
- “Maximized my 401(k) contributions while working.”
- “Started planning at an early age.”
The Wrong Way
And here is what readers say they did “wrong”:
- “Underestimating expenses”
- “Investing too conservatively”
- “Not diversifying enough”
The conclusion? “While none of us can control the economy, you can take steps to increase the odds of a successful retirement on whatever timetable you choose,” says Consumer Reports.
We’ve observed that our clients who are most successful in retirement plan ahead, seek help when needed, are mindful of their resources and spending, and approach the future with a spirit of flexibility and optimism. Baby boomers may spend almost as much time not working in retirement as they did working to prepare for retirement. Small wonder, then, that a successful retirement requires a fair amount of planning and skill.
Want more information about the Consumer Reports survey? See the March 2012 Consumer Reports Money Adviser or check out Consumer Reports online for a summary of the survey results.