3. It's too late for me to start saving for retirement.
It can be easy to let retirement myths like this one unnecessarily discourage you. Even if you wish you'd started saving earlier, it's never too late to get started—and you may be able to save more to help you catch up. For 401(k), 403(b) and IRA accounts, individuals 50 and older may be able to contribute more than the traditional maximum amounts for these accounts. If your employer offers a traditional annuity as a choice within your workplace retirement plan, that may be able to provide you with lifetime income through either a fixed or variable option2. If you have a significant amount of cash on hand but it isn't invested in a retirement savings plan, you may want to consider a personal annuity, which can be purchased with a bulk payment to help provide lifetime income.
4. I can't afford to save for retirement now because I'm balancing other expenses.It's important to pay down high-interest debt and cover essential expenses, but even contributing a small amount now to retirement allows you to take advantage of potential compound growth in the future. If you have a workplace retirement plan, try to contribute at least the amount needed to take advantage of any employer match—falling short of that is like leaving money on the table. You can always pay off low-interest debts, like student loans or a home mortgage, later. Or you can take out a loan to help pay education costs for a child—but you don't want to run out of time to save for retirement.
5. I'm already contributing to a 401(k) or similar plan. Isn't that enough?
Anything you're already doing is a great start, but it may be worth considering having a diversity of assets that can be converted to retirement income in the future. If you may be in a higher tax bracket in retirement, for example, a Roth IRA3 gives you potential tax-free income, which can help reduce your tax exposure.
6. I need to be cautious with my retirement savings, because I can't afford to lose them.
Retirement myths can sometimes grow out of retirement facts. While it's true that at a certain point you will want to protect your retirement savings, if you still have many years until retirement, being too conservative now may limit the potential growth of your assets. This could leave you with less in retirement than you'd hoped for.
There are inherent risks in investing. Products may be subject to market and other risk factors and it is possible to lose money.