8 ways to ruin your chances to retire

Long-term care insurance, though somewhat pricey, can guard against depleting your estate or your family's funds in the event of an ongoing medical issue. According to AARP, about 60 percent of people over age 65 will need some kind of long-term care.

Health care can eat into retirement plans as well. The Employee Benefit Research Institute estimates that the upper range of out-of-pocket medical expenses in retirement for a 65-year-old couple ranges from $235,000 to $376,000. Those figures can potentially almost double for a couple with large prescription needs and only Medicare and Medicare supplements.

The figures are lower if you're willing to roll the dice for a 50 percent chance of having enough money rather than 90 percent, as above. To have a 50-50 chance of having enough money to cover health care costs in retirement, a 65-year-old couple could need between $154,000 and $246,000.

While some people may enjoy the security of buying life and long-term care insurance, others prefer to use another type of time-tested, though historically risky, long-term care insurance -- having lots of kids. It is hoped you raised them all to be doctors or nurses.

8. Remain ignorant about investments 

Though actually socking away dollars goes against the never-retire plan, using that money ineffectively can hamstring any retirement efforts.

Ignorance when it comes to your investments can slow down growth. A typical blunder is to own several funds of the same category, for instance, holding two large-cap value funds. Anyone can easily trip up good intentions by disregarding the value of asset allocation and diversification. Watch related video

"People may underestimate the power and the benefit of a globally diversified portfolio. Because a portfolio has a bunch of different things does not mean that it is a globally diversified portfolio," clarifies CFP Paula de Vos, president of Synergist Wealth Advisors.

It may take professional help. For anyone who doesn't have the time to plan, fee-only financial advisers can map out a route to retirement without the detours that many people inadvertently take. Use Bankrate's database to find a Certified Financial Planner professional near you.

From rolling over 401(k) plans to choosing a place to keep your IRA, the choices can be overwhelming and lead busy people to make hasty, uninformed choices.

"Sometimes when people are looking to roll over qualified plans, they don't necessarily explore all of the benefits or detriments in assessing whether it's the right thing for them to do in a given instance," says de Vos. From tax, legal and financial standpoints, she adds, "They are fairly complicated."

Whether you do it yourself or have someone to help you, planning is essential unless, of course, you want to work until you die.

"Certainly the day you retire isn't the first day you should be thinking about it," says CFP Ralph Lunt, vice president and chief financial officer at Strategic Capital Advisors.


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