8 Money Mistakes That Could Sabotage Your Savings
You’ve worked hard to build up your savings, and you need to ensure that it’s going to last as long as you need it to — in retirement, for example, when you don’t have a steady paycheck to fall back on.
At any age, we’re all faced with financial decisions that can help secure a comfortable future, or set us back with unintended consequences. To help make your money last, watch out for these eight common financial pitfalls:
#1. Taking unwise investment risks. Every day in the news, there’s a story of an unsuspecting investor being taken advantage of by a scammer. In fact, because people over 50 years old control over 70 percent of the nation's wealth, older adults are often specifically targeted by fraudsters. According to financial experts, you should be wary of investments that seem too easy, are difficult for non-financial professionals to understand, or have unusually high returns. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
#2. Dipping into assets too early. If you prematurely cash out investments or retirement accounts,
not only are you shrinking your nest egg — you may also be accelerating unpleasant tax consequences.* Plus, you’re missing out on the magic of compound interest. Before making big decisions, consult with a knowledgeable financial advisor on your specific situation.
#3. Betting big on unpredictable stocks. When making money moves, moderation is generally key. Don’t invest a sizeable portion of your savings in a stock opportunity that promises to be the next big thing. If beating the market were that easy, a lot more people would be millionaires.
#4. Being too conservative. On the flip side, you want your investments to continue growing. And if you make the mistake of playing it too safe while you’re young enough to tolerate risk, you may be putting your long-term financial security in jeopardy. Before changing up your investment strategy, speak with a financial advisor about your long-term goals and the safest/fastest way to reach them.
#5. Overspending. Be careful of “I deserve it” purchases. Whether it’s buying an expensive sports car or taking luxurious vacations around the world, treating yourself a little too well can have negative repercussions. Wise budgeting can help you maintain your savings without feeling deprived.
#6. Underestimating inflation. Does your savings strategy consider projected rising prices on must-have items like food or gas or utilities? Many people don’t take inflation into account when planning, and aren’t prepared when it hits. It’s wise to leave some wiggle room in your budget to make up for the reality of higher prices in the future, especially when it comes to big-ticket items such as healthcare costs.
#7. Mishandling credit card debt. With balances totaling approximately $260 billion, Americans age 60 and older owe roughly 30% of the national cumulative credit card debt. Consider paying off balances faster by putting more money toward the debt with the highest interest rate, and making minimum payments on the rest until each balance is paid off.
#8. Not planning for the unexpected. Are you financially prepared to cover the cost of a medical crisis or a major home expense? No matter how much you plan, life happens, and having emergency funds put aside in case of the unexpected can help keep your primary savings intact.
A reverse mortgage: A “saving” grace?
Retirement requires a whole new approach to the way you manage your money. But there’s no one-size-fits-all financial plan that will work for everyone. If you’re concerned about maintaining the lifestyle you’re accustomed to, the good news is there are options.
For example, a reverse mortgage allows homeowners age 62 or older to borrow against the equity in their home, so you have an additional source of funds to cover your expenses in retirement. Funds from a reverse mortgage loan are not subject to income taxes. So, unlike earned income and retirement plan withdrawals, a reverse mortgage can potentially reduce your income tax liability.*
Not yet 62? Equity Elite is a fixed-rate reverse mortgage for homeowners and homebuyers as young as 60,** available in certain states exclusively through Reverse Mortgage Funding LLC (RMF) as the lender.† This option is designed specifically for condominiums, higher-value homes, and those seeking lower upfront costs. Equity Elite provides a wide range of powerful benefits, including the ability to refinance your existing mortgage and/or home equity loan, consolidate debt, renovate, or buy a home that better meets your needs.
To learn more about reverse mortgages as a financial planning tool, call RMF at 888-277-1567 to set up an in-person meeting at your convenience with an experienced reverse mortgage specialist.
This content is sponsored by RMF, one of the nation’s leading reverse mortgage lenders. We are dedicated to helping older Americans retire more freely, in the comfort of their own homes. As a result of our commitment to providing an extraordinary and positive customer experience, we have earned a 98% customer satisfaction rating; a 5-star / Excellent score on Trustpilot; 4.8 out of 5 stars on LendingTree; and an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. Call 888-277-1567 to speak with a licensed reverse mortgage specialist to learn about our retirement financing products and solutions.
SEE WHAT FUNDS YOU MAY HAVE AVAILABLE
If you have equity in your home and believe you meet the eligibility requirements, a HECM may be the option that could help you retire smart.
*Not tax advice, consult a financial professional.
This information is intended for those who are interested in financial education. This information is provided for convenience only, and RMF make no warranties concerning the accuracy or completeness of any of the information. Information is subject to change without notice, and RMF is under no obligation to provide updated information. Materials or statements made by a third party and located or posted on the Site are those of the third party and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of RMF. This is not financial, tax, compliance or legal advice and should not be taken or relied upon as such. Each individual should consult with his/her financial, tax, or legal professional. All mortgage origination services are provided by Reverse Mortgage Funding LLC, a state licensed mortgage lender, which is licensed or otherwise exempt from state licensing in the states in which it originates mortgage loans.
†Equity Elite Reverse Mortgage (“Equity Elite”) is Reverse Mortgage Funding LLC’s proprietary loan program, and it is not affiliated with the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) loan program, which is insured by FHA. Equity Elite is available to qualified borrowers who also may be eligible for HUD, FHA’s HECM program or are seeking loan proceeds that are higher than HUD, FHA’s HECM program limit. Equity Elite currently is available only for eligible properties in select states. Please contact your loan originator to see if it is currently available in your state.
Upon a maturity event, any non-borrowing individuals with an ownership interest in the property, including non-borrowing spouses, will have 90 days to purchase the property from the estate or, if the non-borrower inherits the property, pay the loan in full using any sources of funds available to them. Any non-borrowing individual, including a non-borrowing spouse, should have a plan to pay off an Equity Elite reverse mortgage upon the borrower’s death or any other maturity event. If the non-borrower is unwilling or unable to purchase the property or pay the loan in full, there is no protection for the non-borrower (including a non-borrower spouse) to maintain an interest in the home or to continue residing in the home past the maturity event and the non-borrower may be evicted upon foreclosure. The FHA HECM program has protections in place for certain non-borrowing parties, so a reverse mortgage applicant with certain non-borrowing parties should strongly consider a FHA-insured HECM loan (see HECM guidelines or ask an RMF representative for details). Under the Equity Elite reverse mortgage loan program, a maturity and/or default event occurs when the last surviving borrower no longer lives in the home as his or her primary residence for at least 12 months, the property charges (including taxes, insurance, or any other property charges) are not paid, required repairs are not completed or the property is not maintained, or any other maturity and/or default event, as specified in the Security Instrument, occurs.
**Not applicable in all states; some states may impose a higher age requirement. Visit www.reversefunding.com/equity-elite for details.