We've all heard stories about folks still working in their golden years because they can't afford to retire. While this is often due to forces beyond their control, there are also common but avoidable planning mistakes to learn from.
Along these lines, The Wall Street Journal has been running a series highlighting the plight of average Baby Boomers struggling to afford to retire. Titled Unprepared, the series looks at the lives of real people through the broader lens of what the Journal accurately portrays (in my words) as the slow-motion train wreck of many Americans reaching retirement age and largely being, well, unprepared.
I've been a financial planner long enough to have heard many stories and met many people who have made mistakes in the categories listed below. I don't think they're unintelligent or otherwise unworthy. Sometimes life gets in the way and our best laid plans fall by the wayside.
Often, clear solutions are only visible with perfect hindsight. My intention is not to mock but to raise awareness, so you don't repeat the mistakes of others.
The Journal article lays out four core retirement planning issues and I've commented on each: