Updated: May 21, 2021
I had the chance to talk to future retirees during a recent speaking engagement. Among the topics that we discussed were the biggest financial mistakes that they regret, now that they’re in their 50’s.
Today, I’m sharing with you a few of their stories, which I hope you’ll find valuable.
Read beyond their sentiments and learn from them. There’s still time for you to avoid their mistakes.
1. I regret buying all this stuff that is now useless.
“Whenever we get a significant amount of money, my husband and I would spend it on something unnecessary.
We bought cars often, renovated and redecorated our home with new furniture, and splurged on gadgets and appliances.
Our children now have their own families and leading their own lives. So now, we’re left with an empty house with all the material stuff we bought through the years.
Looking back, we should have made smarter spending decisions. If we instead bought rental apartments or started a business, then we won’t be worried now about our retirement.”
2. I regret waiting for my income to increase before investing.
“When I was still single, I was able to save regularly. But I put all of it in a savings account because I thought that one needs a lot of money before they can start investing.
When I earned higher from my job, that’s the only time that I began putting money in mutual funds. But it was already difficult to invest because I also got married and had children during that time, and cash flow was tight.
I calculated it and discovered that if I invested all those savings that I had during my 20s, then it would have been around P20 million today. I could have quit my job and retired yesterday.”
3. I regret not planning for retirement.
“Next year, I will be forced to retire. And despite having a good amount of savings and an adequate retirement package, I’m still so worried about my finances.
What if that amount is not enough? Where will my wife and I get money if our savings run out? I’ve been working in the corporate world my whole life and I don’t know how to do anything else but my work.
If only I had planned for my retirement, then I wouldn’t be so lost today. I could have explored business opportunities that would ensure continuous cash flow during my retirement years.”
4. I regret trying all those get-rich-quick scams.
“I’ve always been attracted towards get-rich-quick schemes. And as the story usually goes, all of them just ended up being scams.
I’ve lost a lot of money from those “guaranteed profit” investments. In fact, I’ve lost money again and again from different scams because I was too greedy to admit to myself that they don’t really work.
Sometimes, I imagine what would have happened if I just invested all those money in legitimate investments like the stock market or mutual funds. It makes me sad when I realize how much I could have earned today instead.”
5. I should not have relied on SSS alone.
“I’m retiring soon, so I asked our HR Department about SSS and its pension benefits. I was shocked to find out how little I would receive, just around P10,000 per month. The monthly cost of my maintenance medicines is almost half of that already!
Now, I’m trying to delay my retirement and asking the company to give me a few more years. I’m also cramming to start a business or find a freelance consultancy job if ever the company doesn’t grant my request.
All these years, I thought SSS was enough — but it’s not. The monthly pension you’ll receive will never be enough for your cost of living when you retire. I learned this the hard way.”
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