Dismal market returns haven’t exactly created a tailwind for 401(k) and IRA portfolios over the last decade or so, but an equally pernicious — and more entrenched — problem is that our brains are messing with our retirement plans.
“We are wired for financial defeat,” says Rapid City, South Dakota, certified financial planner Rick Kahler. “Whatever has the most emotional juice right now is what gets our attention. Invest $5,000 in your IRA for a retirement that is 10, 20, 30 years away? Or spend the $5,000 for a vacation to the Bahamas?” All too often, the Bahamas wins out.
William Meyer, founder of Social Security Solutions, notes that our thirst for immediate gratification can easily take a six-figure toll. More than two-thirds of folks opt to claim a lower Social Security benefit starting as early as age 62. For a married couple, than can mean leaving as much as $100,000 on the table. “If you wait to claim until age 70, you’re locking in a benefit that is 76 percent larger,” says Meyer.
More productive planning …..