By Mike Eklund via

As a financial planner I see many retirees make smart financial decisions and others make unfortunate, avoidable mistakes. Below is my list of the top 10 retirement mistakes to avoid.

1. No Retirement Plan

Does a pilot fly solo or does he or she have a plan? A retirement plan helps determine how much you can sustainably spend in retirement, how to tax-effectively withdraw money from retirement accounts and when to claim Social Security. These items all go into a retirement or financial plan that helps you determine if you’ll reach your goals. For many, the plan provides them peace of mind. Once the plan is complete you are not done as you’ll need to monitor your progress and update it for material life events. Here is an article about the importance of financial planning.

2. Claiming Social Security Too Early

Individuals can typically claim Social Security between the ages of 62 and 70. There is a large benefit to waiting as your annual income increases by 6.5% to 8.0%, before inflation, depending on your age and when you claim. That said, the Center for Retirement Research found that approximately 48% of women and 42% of men sign up at age 62. This lower benefit impacts retirees and their spouses for the rest of their lives, especially considering many are living longer than expected.

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