Retirement savings regrets

Simma Lieberman

Simma's story

Simma Lieberman's mistakes were those of omission. "I'm 60 years old, with a 15-year-old son," she says. "I've been consulting, speaking and writing for over 20 years, have a great reputation and am known for my work and contribution to my field of consulting. Many of my friends and colleagues of my age have retired, or could if they wanted to. I'm not one of those people, because of many of the mistakes I've made and actions I didn't take."

Of the things she would have done differently, handling money differently tops the list. "I would have examined my relationship to money and learned how to plan," she says. "For a long time I was great at saving and investing, until I had three crises that caused me to spend my savings, investments and home equity." The crises included two different health problems that prevented her from working for long periods of time, and the sudden death of her partner, leaving her alone to raise their son on one income.

She says, "I would have spoken to a financial planner and not just a stockbroker. My broker was great but I really needed a spending plan. If I'd had a good spending plan, when the crises occurred I would have not kept spending, and I would still have equity, savings and stocks." In other words, she would have adjusted her lifestyle to her cash flow.

"I would have invested more in my business and financial planning, and thought in terms of the actual return on investment, with my eye on the future," she says. "I would have known how much I needed, what to cut back on, and taken more control over finances."

All is not lost for Lieberman, however. She is determined not to make the same mistakes again. "As I'm getting a lot busier with clients, I now have a spending plan, and I'm keeping track of every dollar," she says.

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 Pat's story »




Show Bankrate's community sharing policy

Connect with us