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Charted: Top 10 Retirement Planning Mistakes

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Top 10 Retirement Planning Mistakes

This was originally posted on our Voronoi app. Download the app for free on iOS or Android and discover incredible data-driven charts from a variety of trusted sources.

When planning financially for the future, what are the most common retirement planning mistakes people make?

This chart uses data from the 2022 Natixis Global Survey, which polled 2,700 financial professionals across 16 countries between March and April 2022.

Most Common Retirement Mistakes

According to professionals, the most common retirement planning mistakes are time-related, like outliving savings or not understanding how inflation can affect a portfolio over time.

The number one mistake? According to 49% of financial planners, it’s underestimating the sizable impact inflation has on the value of retirement savings.

RankMost Common MistakesShare
1Underestimating the impact of inflation49%
2Underestimating how long you will live46%
3Overestimating investment income42%
4Investing too conservatively41%
5Setting unrealistic return expectations40%
6Forgetting healthcare costs39%
7Failing to understand income sources35%
8Relying too heavily on public benefits33%
9Underestimating real estate costs23%
10Investing too aggressively21%

Meanwhile, 46% of advisors see the underestimating of life spans as the second-most-common retirement mistake. The longer you live, the more retirement savings you’ll need to supplant income. And that’s not including the healthcare costs associated with aging, which 39% of advisors point out as another common retirement planning mistake.

Most of the other top retirement mistakes revolve around investment planning, including overestimating investment income (42%), investing too conservatively (41%), and setting unrealistic return expectations (40%).

On the flip side, 21% of retirees invest too aggressively according to financial professionals. While investing aggressively can be extremely beneficial especially in one’s earlier years, it can cause big problems later in life. That’s because later on, retirees need liquidity and must have access to their savings to cover life expenses. If a portfolio is volatile or not diversified, it may be hard to make up any short-term or sudden losses.

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Mapped: The Income a Family Needs to Live Comfortably in Every U.S. State

Families in expensive states require over $270,000 annually to live comfortably.

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A map showing the income that two working adults with two children need to live comfortably in each U.S. state.

The Income a Family Needs to Live Comfortably in Every U.S. State

This was originally posted on our Voronoi app. Download the app for free on iOS or Android and discover incredible data-driven charts from a variety of trusted sources.

Families in the top five most expensive U.S. states require an annual income exceeding $270,000 to live comfortably.

This visualization illustrates the income necessary for two working adults with two children to maintain a comfortable lifestyle in each state.

“Comfortable” is defined as the income needed to cover a 50/30/20 budget, with 50% allocated to necessities like housing and utilities, 30% to discretionary spending, and 20% to savings or investments.

The calculations for family income needed in each state were done by SmartAsset, using the cost of necessities sourced from the MIT Living Wage Calculator, last updated on Feb. 14, 2024.

Massachusetts Tops the List

Massachusetts is the most expensive state to live comfortably in, requiring a total family income of about $301,184. Hawaii ($294,611) comes in second, followed by Connecticut ($279,885).

Housing is one main reason Massachusetts is an expensive state to live in, particularly in the Boston area. In addition, the state also has a high cost of living, including expenses such as healthcare and utilities.

RankStateIncome for 2 working adults raising 2 children
1Massachusetts$301,184
2Hawaii$294,611
3Connecticut$279,885
4New York$278,970
5California$276,723
6Colorado$264,992
7Washington$257,421
8Oregon$257,338
9New Jersey$251,181
10Rhode Island$249,267
11Vermont$248,352
12Minnesota$244,774
13New Hampshire$244,109
14Alaska$242,611
15Maryland$239,450
16Nevada$237,286
17Virginia$235,206
18Illinois$231,962
19Arizona$230,630
20Pennsylvania$230,464
21Maine$229,549
22Delaware$228,966
23Wisconsin$225,056
24Utah$218,483
25Michigan$214,490
26Nebraska$213,075
27Georgia$212,826
28Montana$211,411
28Iowa$211,411
30Idaho$211,245
31North Carolina$209,331
31Ohio$209,331
33Florida$209,082
34Indiana$206,003
35New Mexico$203,923
36Wyoming$203,424
37Missouri$202,259
38North Dakota$202,176
39Texas$201,344
40South Carolina$200,762
41Kansas$196,768
42Tennessee$195,770
43Oklahoma$194,106
44Alabama$193,606
45South Dakota$192,608
46Kentucky$190,112
47Louisiana$189,613
48West Virginia$189,363
49Arkansas$180,794
50Mississippi$177,798

Meanwhile, Mississippi is the least expensive state for a family to live comfortably, requiring $177,798 per year. Arkansas ($180,794) comes in second, followed by West Virginia ($189,363). In common, all these states share low prices of housing.

Learn More About Cost of Living From Visual Capitalist

If you enjoyed this post, be sure to check out this graphic, which ranks the median down payment for a house by U.S. state.

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