Weekend Reading: 4 Dangerous Assumptions That Could Hurt Your Retirement Plan

This article appears as part of Casey Weade's Weekend Reading for Retirees series. Every Friday, Casey highlights four hand-picked articles on trending retirement topics and delivers them straight to your email inbox. Get on the list here.
Weekend reading 4 dangerous retirement assumptions Weekend reading 4 dangerous retirement assumptions
Weekend Reading

Your retirement goals, dreams and financial situation are all unique to you. The journey your neighbor made to and through retirement will not mirror yours, which is why you should be wary of assuming anything when it comes to your personal path.


As such, here are the most common and dangerous assumptions some have made, as well as ways to avoid them:

📌 Assumption #1) Stock and bond market returns will be robust: Historical data shows variability in market returns, so it's essential to be cautious and realistic about future returns. Use conservative return projections for your investments and remain flexible with your withdrawal plans.

📌 Assumption #2) Inflation will be benign: Plan for higher inflation over the long term to protect your retirement savings and consider inflation-hedging investments, such as stocks, TIPS and real estate.

📌 Assumption #3) You will be able to work past 65: While working longer can benefit your retirement plan, unforeseen circumstances or health issues may prevent this. Have backup plans, such as increasing savings or reducing spending, in case you can't work as long as you intend.

📌 Assumption #4) You will receive an inheritance: Relying on an inheritance can be problematic, as it's uncertain and may not materialize. If you expect to receive one, communicate with your family to manage details and plan accordingly.

Your retirement confidence won’t stem from hoping or assuming. It’s based on having a plan for the unexpected, setting realistic expectations and maintaining flexibility to adapt to changing circumstances.