Unexpected Incidents that Put Your Retirement at Risk

From the time we first enter the workforce many of us are thinking about retirement. We see Social Security taken out of our paychecks, make our 401K contributions, and monitor our other accounts to ensure that we have enough money  to live on after we stop working. The problem is that you could do everything right only to have your retirement plans dashed by an unexpected hardship.

As Aubrey Cohen recently wrote about for USA Today there are some factors that could deal a heavy blow to your retirement savings. One of the biggest causes (that also seems to be a growing trend) is what are known as “boomerang children.” Whether they’re in their 20s, 30s, or even 40s, there’s always the chance that one of your children will find themselves on hard times and ask to come back home. While it may be difficult to see your offspring go through that, putting your own finances at risk in order to support them isn’t fair to you and could actually harm them in the long run as well. Besides you can still find other ways to support them and give them the help they need without writing them a check

On the other end of the spectrum is caring for your aging parents. According to the National Institute on Aging’s 2015 Health and Retirement Study 11% of adult children under 65 provide some amount of financial assistance to their parent(s). Additionally 25% of the group care for their parents in other ways, which then cuts into their money-making opportunity at work. Once again it’s extremely difficult to deny your parents help but spending you retirement money will only keep the cycle going. Instead USA Today recommends visiting benefitscheckup.org in order to find your parent the assistance they need.

One of the major expenses you will experience in you lifetime is dealing with an illness or injury. Whether it’s a one-time thing or a recurring issue, medical bills can quickly add up and you may be forced to pay out of pocket even with insurance. Speaking of insurance, life insurance is something that many of us don’t consider until it’s too late. Losing a spouse can not only be an emotional blow but, if they weren’t insured, it can also lead to major financial hardship. Although it’s not a pleasant topic to discuss it may be worth talking with your spouse about purchasing term life policies.

Last on the list is something that may not happen as frequently but can severely ruin your retirement plans: fraud. As we’ve learned from scandals ranging from Enron to Madoff, sometimes the retirement funds you think are safe and secure could disappear in an instant. To avoid losing your life savings be sure to vet the people you trust with your money and diversify your investments to minimize risk.

When it comes to retirement it pays to plan ahead. However sometimes your plans can fall through for any number of reasons. By thinking about possible stumbling blocks now and knowing how you’ll deal with them should they occur, could be vital to your finances and ensuring that you’re ready for retirement.


Jonathan Dyer

I'm a small town guy living in Los Angeles looking to make solid financial decisions. I write for a number of finance websites, including HuffingtonPost and Business2Community. I founded DyerNews.com in 2015 to focus on personal finance and the emerging FinTech markets.

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