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Common Retirement Planning Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Retirement planning is a crucial aspect of financial health, yet it's fraught with potential pitfalls. At Oakmere Wealth Management, we understand the complexities involved in preparing for retirement. Recognising and avoiding common mistakes can significantly enhance your financial readiness for the golden years. Here are some of the most frequent mistakes we see and our advice on how to sidestep them.

Mistake 1: Not Starting Early Enough

The Issue: Many individuals delay retirement planning, believing there's plenty of time. However, this postponement can result in a significant shortfall in retirement savings, limiting the benefits of compound interest.

The Solution: Begin saving for retirement as soon as possible. Even small contributions can grow substantially over time, thanks to the power of compounding. It's never too early—or too late—to start.

Mistake 2: Underestimating Retirement Needs

The Issue: A common oversight is underestimating the amount of money needed in retirement. Many people assume their expenses will decrease significantly, overlooking potential costs like healthcare, travel, and hobbies.

The Solution: Work with a financial planner to accurately project your retirement expenses. Planning for a retirement income that covers 70-80% of your pre-retirement income is a good rule of thumb, but personal goals and lifestyle choices should also be considered.

Mistake 3: Overlooking Inflation

The Issue: Inflation can erode the purchasing power of your savings over time. Failing to account for inflation in your retirement planning can result in a shortfall.

The Solution: Ensure your retirement plan includes investments that have the potential to outpace inflation over the long term, such as stocks or real estate. Diversifying your portfolio can also help mitigate this risk.

Mistake 4: Neglecting Health Care Costs

The Issue: Health care expenses can be one of the largest costs in retirement. Not planning for these costs can put a significant strain on your retirement savings.

The Solution: Consider health care costs in your retirement budget, including long-term care. Investigating health insurance options like private medical insurance and provide clarity and security.

Mistake 5: Failing to Adjust Your Investment Approach


The Issue: Maintaining an aggressive investment strategy as you near retirement can expose your savings to unnecessary risk. Conversely, being too conservative can stifle the growth of your nest egg.

The Solution: Regularly review and adjust your investment strategy to align with your current life stage, risk tolerance, and retirement timeline.

Mistake 6: Not Planning for Taxes

The Issue: Taxes can significantly impact your retirement savings and income. Failing to consider the tax implications of retirement accounts and withdrawals can result in an unexpected tax bill.

The Solution: Develop a tax-efficient strategy for retirement savings and withdrawals. This may involve a mix of taxable, tax-deferred, and tax-free accounts to optimise your tax situation in retirement.

Mistake 7: Going It Alone

The Issue: Retirement planning is complex, and navigating it without professional guidance can lead to oversights and errors.

The Solution: Partner with a financial planner who can provide personalised advice based on your unique financial situation and goals. A professional can help you develop a comprehensive retirement plan that addresses all aspects of your financial life.


Avoiding these common retirement planning mistakes requires a proactive and informed approach. At Oakmere Wealth Management, we are dedicated to guiding you through the retirement planning process, ensuring you have the strategies and support needed to achieve a secure and fulfilling retirement. Remember, the most successful retirement plans are those that are started, reviewed, and adjusted with care and expertise. Let us help you navigate your journey to retirement with confidence.


The value of an investment with St. James’s Place will be directly linked to the performance of the funds you select, and the value can therefore go down as well as up. You may get back less than you invested.

The levels and bases of taxation, and reliefs from taxation, can change at any time. The value of any tax relief depends on individual circumstances.


SJP Approved 15/03/2024


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