Retirement savings regrets

Gigi Fernandez

Gigi's story

"I assumed that I had saved enough to last a lifetime," says former pro tennis player Gigi Fernandez. "I made quite a bit of money when I was playing -- prize money, exhibitions, endorsement appearances."

Unfortunately, that money didn't last a lifetime. "My lifestyle didn't change. One or two bad investments, a market crash here, a Ponzi scheme there, and lo and behold, there isn't enough to last. So I have had to reinvent myself. Went back to school and got an MBA and now I am an entrepreneur."

Fernandez isn't alone in finding the waters of retirement perilous to navigate. In some ways, she is luckier than most, because at 46 she is young enough to get back in the game (so to speak) and set aside more money for her later-in-life needs.

"I founded a company called Baby Goes Pro that introduces young children to sports via a DVD," she says. Though only a few months old, "we have had great things happen so far, including being part of the Easter Egg Roll at the White House and an order from Target to be in all their stores." It helps that Fernandez can call Annika Sorenstam or Alex Rodriguez to pick their brains about the next sports video she is producing.

"I think two common mistakes people make when retiring is thinking that they have enough money saved to last them a lifetime and not adjusting their lifestyle to the current cash-flow situation," she says.

Like many other people at or near retirement age, there's a lot she would have done differently, if she'd known then what she knows now.

When retirement plans get botched
Pat Donovan
Pat Donovan would have spent less money on fashions and invested more in an IRA. Her worst fear is to drop dead in her office cubicle. More ...
Gigi Fernandez
Gigi Fernandez played professional tennis and made a lot of money in her youth, but she ran into some bad luck and made some unforced errors off the court. More ...
Simma Lieberman
Simma Lieberman regrets her casual relationship with money. If she had to do it all over again, she would make money a priority. More ...

Read Simma's story »




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