Some life & financial factors that can be overlooked.   Provided by Frederick (Fred) Saide, Ph.D.   We all have a “blue sky” vision of the way retirement should be, yet it helps to plan for retirement with a little pragmatism. Fate may alter the course of our retirement in ways we do not currently anticipate. So, as we plan for the next act of life, we may want to think about (and plan for) some life and financial factors that are often overlooked. We may retire earlier than we think we will. Some of us envision leaving the workforce at “full” retirement age (66 or 67), looking forward to “full” monthly Social Security benefits rather than slightly reduced monthly payments. Will that happen? It might not, according to data released this year by the respected Employee Benefit Research Institute. In EBRI’s most recent Retirement Confidence Survey, 26% of the respondents thought they would retire at age 65. Another 26% expected to retire at age 70 or later.1      These expectations may not correspond with reality. In surveying current retirees, EBRI found that only 8% had worked into their seventies. In fact, just 8% had retired at age 65. Sixty-nine percent of the respondents had left work before age 65, up from 65% in EBRI’s 2015 survey.1 We may see retirement as an extension of the present rather than the future. This is only natural, as we live in the present – but the present will not go on forever. Things change, and the costs we have to shoulder five or ten years from now may be greater than the expenses we face at the start of retirement. As many of us will likely be retired for 20 or 30 years, it becomes essential to take a long-term view of the retirement experience – which is why retirees need to consider growth investing and long-term care coverage.   We may face an insurance coverage shortfall. Some of us rely on employer-sponsored health insurance. If we have to retire before age 65, how do we insure ourselves until we become eligible for Medicare? Will we be able to find coverage? Beyond that basic question, we need to think about insurance from a couple of other angles. Will we need long-term care coverage? It seems to get more expensive each year, but as medicine and health care continue to advance and evolve, the possibility of a gradual rather than sudden death may increase. The wealthy may have the assets to contend with long-term care costs, but the middle class rarely does. In Genworth’s 2016 Cost of Care Survey, the median annual cost for a semi-private room in a nursing home...