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What mistakes can you make with your retirement savings?

What are the most serious mistakes that cause you serious harm?

Although savings for retirement have long been present, many still run into mistakes that are a serious disadvantage when they retire at the latest. To keep you from doing this, let’s look at what to watch out for.

mistakes with retirement savings

Retirement savings are also a kind of investment, so you can make a mistake with that too. You’ve read about the 7 most common investor mistakes you can make with “traditional” investments before, so here’s a look at those related to retirement.

1.It’s a mistake to save for retirement if you want to rely entirely on government benefits and thus have no retirement savings at all.

In many places, they argue that the state will not provide a pension at all. Well, there are places where you really don’t give a single penny, in other places it’s precisely because of an aging population that they can’t really get out of the support of a significant segment of the population overnight. Here, when it comes to retirement savings, you can make the mistake of thinking you don’t need retirement savings because the state will fully support you.

The question is often not whether there will be a state pension, but what it will be enough for.

You may have read an article before about why it is not a good idea to rely 100% on the opportunities offered by the state, and why it is important to plan your retirement.

2. You wait for starting: you set it aside for retirement, “then if…”

I will tell you, it will never be such that you no longer know where to put your money.

If you wait too long, you can take less and less of the impact of compound interest.

the effect of compound interest on retirement savings

That is, you either have to set aside more and more for the capital you need, or as a retiree, you will live on so much less.

3. You mismanage your portfolio, which is also a mistake when it comes to saving for retirement

You don’t look at it for years / decades

In some cases, the division set up many, many years ago may run. This in itself is not a mistake if you know why the division of your portfolio is as defined for the financial institution. It’s not the lack of portfolio change, it’s your lack of attention that is causing the problem.

If you don’t look at it, you risk several things:

  • approaching your retirement, ie the target date, you still have the vast majority of your money in assets with high return prospects but also high risks
  • missing out on any new opportunities, you may even lose a significant return
  • you stay in outdated constructions that may have been a top solution at the time, but today it belongs to the “expired” category.

You deal with it too much

Money needs time to produce. While there are examples of a given assets showing very nice results within 1 month (or even less), this momentum in returns is almost sure that it will not last until you retire.
With overactive treatment, you achieve the following “results”:

  • the costs paid for the changes will be high and since you did not wait the result, your profits will remain low
  • managing your retirement savings consumes more energy than it should (even taking daily treatment into account above can be very stressful for decades)
  • you may be exposed to more stress than necessary in the event of a possible (even temporary) relapse.

4. You do not use investments according to your own level of risk-taking.

You take too little risk

This in itself does not sound “dangerous”. This is because low risk is also suitable for minimizing the possibility of loss, but it also means low return. There can be a significant discrepancy between the return on a risk that is kept too low and the return on an investment that is optimal for you, monitoring the time horizons and at the optimal risk level. On average, this can even mean the price of a new car, meaning you can achieve so much more.

With extremely low risk, you won’t even have enough returns to extract inflation and the contract’s own costs. That is, you can lose the purchase value of your money, but even the numerical amount.

The risk may be too low as follows:

  • Many people make the mistake of keeping the vast majority of their money in government securities for decades.
  • Low-risk mutual funds are also available for pension purpose, and if you use them 100%, you will not show a meaningful result.

You take too much risk

This is the other end of the scale, and there are many reasons behind it. The most common reason is that you do not pay enough attention to the money management already mentioned in the previous point. Staying in assets with higher yields close to your retirement puts you at risk of a major crisis sooner or later causing you significant damage as a result of the downturn.

5. Perhaps the biggest mistake in saving for retirement is to randomly choose one instead of a considered decision.

It is no coincidence that in most places there are several types of savings specifically for retirement. Their content is also different, not just their name, so to choose the right one for you, you need to know them at least in broad strokes.

If you don’t pay attention, you will most often run into one of the following error options:

You decide by following the spirit of the crowd

You choose not according to your own needs and possibilities, but “if it is good for the neighbor, it will be good for me too”.

The problem starts there, on the one hand, you’re not your neighbor, your colleague, or whatever, so it’s not sure that what’s really good for him is right for you, too. Not to mention the option that if he made a mistake, it will seriously affect you as well.

You are not focusing in the right place

Cost, so TER can be important, but reading just this 1 line can decide an irresponsible move. It is equally reckless if e.g. reading marketing brochures is tempt you by the high yields observed in the past for a short time.

Review the entire contract, if necessary, we will help you with this. Contact us and request a callback.

Expected real return is more important than a key marketing trick, even if you pay a realistically higher cost or just get a reasonably lower instantaneous return.

You’re not listening to the right person.

Long-term customer support is essential if you want to succeed in finance. After all, either you understand the whole thing and then you sit in the advisor’s place, or you have your own job that you understand, but then you don’t have time for the financial profession. It’s easy to stumble upon this issue, be careful with the following advisors and rather think twice:

  • a complete beginner who has just dropped out of the (school)desk: if there is no one to help, the blind leads the worldless
  • although he already has some experience, he lived from a completely different profession yesterday: the downside of MLM structures is that they train experts with the knowledge that embarrass economists over a weekend.
  • he’s been in the profession for a long time, but “something is wrong”: an on-duty superstar who, as a one-man army, has come up with everything and more, say some technical terms, but you feel his knowledge is superficial.

Well, they’ll be the ones who, mostly for their own benefit, if necessary, say everything bad to some sort of solution and force their own. Of course, there are also weaker solutions in finance, but you won’t hear from them that X bank’s Y product isn’t the best, but that that particular product type is as bad as it is.

The one you need as a consultant is, of course, prepared. In his own area by all means, but he/she also has a view of the peripheral areas belonging to his/her other colleagues, and as much as possible as unbiased as possible.

6. You are fooling yourself

It’s a mistake for any of your retirement savings if you’ve never calculated, let alone adapted, existing solutions to suit your life situation.

I am thinking of such self-deceptions, for example:

Number What you say What is missing
1. It is on a minimum fee, but at least there is. This is more than likely not going to be enough, at most just a supplement
2. But I was told it could be paused. A good counselor also says that a pause does not solve the situation
3. I have already calculated how much I need and I will pay accordingly. Since then, however, your life situation and income have also changed.
4. I don’t have the opportunity to reclaim PIT or any other state subsidies, so I don’t need savings. Use “traditional” forms of investment, after all, sooner or later you will be a pensioner, regardless of the state subsidies.


Note: it’s a whole different matter if you can’t simply set aside more because of your other goals, but then you’ve already acknowledged this at the start, not you will be the one who facing with it at the goal.

What can you do to avoid this mistake?

Calculate how much you would need if you retired now.
The easiest is to ask for help. Here you can contact us to arrange a date to put together a working retirement savings plan for you.

Make a family budget, know which items you should definitely pay for. Be generous with yourself if you now say “I’ll won’t need it,” try the lifestyle you intend to retire for just one month. If it goes, you really don’t need it. If it doesn’t go well, now you can change, there and then it will be much harder (if at all possible)

I recommend two of the calculators on the Silver Moon side for this.

If you have pre-existing savings, you can use this to calculate how long it would take you.

How long does your capital last if you don't work?

Imagine that you have built up the amount of capital you want to make a living from. Whether as a retiree or before retirement. Use the calculator to calculate how many years you can make a living from it.
Note that the calculator asks for everything on an annual basis.

Enter the capital you have raised:

You take out this amount of money annually:

You get that much interest annually:

Inflation rate:

Regular savings value calculator

How much will be your regular savings - calculator

EUR / $ / GBP / etc
EUR / $ / GBP / etc
EUR / $ / GBP / etc

Keep in mind that the higher the return on your investment, the higher your risk! What you get as a result of this calculator is not always recommended in everyday life.



  1. What is the possibility of an error that can realistically occur at you? What are you doing to avoid this?
  2. Can you say other common mistakes can you list in this topic?
  3. How would you coordinate your savings for retirement with other forms of investment to offset each other’s weaknesses?

The topic of saving for retirement is broad and important enough to raise questions in you. You can contact us here.

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