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Four of the most common personal finance mistakes


PFMO 3We’re all human. Most of us make mistakes with our money at one time or another. But here are four common mistakes that can have far-reaching effects on your ability to have a comfortable retirement:

  1. Underestimating retirement costs. Fast-forward 20 years, and there will likely be a huge group of Baby Boomers feeling deep regret that they didn’t save more. The cost of living is not going to become magically less two decades from now. Meeting with a financial adviser and creating a plan is an important first step that many people neglect.
  2. Having no money set aside for emergencies. If you have a philosophy of spend today, save tomorrow, you may be very unhappy with your choices in the event of a major setback, such as a large medial bill or costly car repair. Everyone should have three to six months of living expenses in a savings account for the unexpected, including a job layoff.
  3. Spending too much. Ah, it’s so easy to spend and so hard to save! Sometimes it’s hard to remember that it’s not what you earn, it’s what you save. There’s no shortage of examples of celebrities and sports stars who made millions but ended up broke because of lavish spending.
  4. Skimping on insurance. Having too little liability coverage on your home and auto policies could be a big financial mistake in the event someone is injured on your property or you cause a bad car accident. And what about life insurance? If you’re married with kids, going without life insurance could be catastrophic financially in the event you or your spouse die prematurely. No one likes to think about death. That’s why many families don’t have enough life insurance — or any at all. Take the time to meet with your insurance agent at least once a year to review your coverages.