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FA Center: 4 ways we don’t make rational money decisions as we reach retirement

No one lives forever. So why, 18 years into retirement, have individuals generally spent only 20% of their nest egg? Why, if people want to conserve their assets, do nearly half of Americans take Social Security benefits at the earliest possible age of 62 — receiving only about 70% of the full benefit available at age 67?

Money and rationality don’t always mix, of course. That’s especially true with retirement. The issue is complex and uncertain and can trigger feelings of fear and anxiety that may interfere with rational decision-making.

One way to address these issues is for the industry — consultants, advisors, plan sponsors and asset managers — to apply insights from behavioral finance.

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