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Money Fix: 5 mistakes seniors now regret

Once retired, many seniors have regrets. In hindsight,

Once retired, many seniors have regrets. In hindsight, many say, they would have prepared for retirement differently. Credit: Fotolia

Once retired, many seniors have regrets. In hindsight, they would indeed do things differently. Here's where they went wrong.

1. SAVED TOO LITTLE, TOO LATE. "The key to retirement saving success is to save consistently and start early. The longer your wealth is invested in the markets where it can grow, the more potential impact your savings can have," says Elle Kaplan, CEO of LexION Capital Management in Manhattan.

2. TOOK HEALTH FOR GRANTED. About a third of retirees polled in ING's 2013 Retirement Experience wish they'd taken better care of their health. Over half polled have faced challenges in retirement paying for an unexpected health issue.

3. DEPENDED ENTIRELY ON SOCIAL SECURITY. "Social Security was never designed to be a sole source of income for your retirement. It is a supplementary system to support your personal savings and your savings in employer plans," says Clarence Kehoe, a partner with Anchin, Block & Anchin in Manhattan.

4. DIDN'T BUY LONG-TERM CARE INSURANCE. Costs for this have increased dramatically. "At a certain point, the premiums will be very costly due to a person's age. It's best to purchase long-term care insurance as soon as possible," says Mark Dorfman, an Ameriprise Financial adviser also in Manhattan.

5. UNDERESTIMATED EXPENSES. In early retirement, leisure and travel spending may be higher than expected. Later on, medical expenses often exceed expectations, says Benjamin Sullivan, a certified financial planner with Palisades Hudson Financial Group in Scarsdale.

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