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In life, everyone makes financial decisions they ultimately regret. More often than not, these lessons are learned earlier in life, when one has enough time to financially recover and get back on their feet. While it is not unheard of for retirees to mismanage their money, it is far more dangerous to do so at such a stage in life.

Therefore, it is important we examine the biggest financial mistakes one should absolutely avoid making during retirement.

Failing to adapt your lifestyle

If you are accustomed to splurging on expensive vacations, electronics, or even accessories, it is imperative you rein in your compulsory spending habits. Otherwise, you may end up burning through your retirement savings much faster than you had planned to, especially since you will still need to cover your necessary costs — like health care, long-term care, and other living expenses.

Applying for Social Security too early

If you did your due diligence and planned ahead for retirement, there is little to no need for you to apply for Social Security before the full retirement age of 66. However, it is preferable to wait until age 70, as that is when benefit increases reach their cap.

If you are struggling financially but can still cover your bills and necessary expenses, consider reevaluating your spending habits before making the decision to apply for Social Security. After all, the longer you wait, the more financial support you will receive.

Failing to protect yourself from frauds and scams

As unfortunate as it may be, frauds and scams are all too common in this day and age, especially on the internet. To make matters worse, retirees are often the victims of such harmful activities, as scammers view the older population as more gullible than others.

With that in mind, it is imperative retirees maintain a level of skepticism whenever they are approached about investing large sums of money or purchasing big-ticket items. Always do your research and ask educated questions before taking the plunge — you may thank yourself later.

Refusing to downsize when necessary

As you enter this phase of your life, you likely have more space than you truly need. After all, your children have all grown up, left the nest, and started families of their own — meaning there really is no need for you to keep your three story, five bedroom house. Plus, if you factor in maintenance costs, taxes, utilities, and other living expenses, you may find yourself rich in property and equity, yet poor in cash.

Therefore, it would be beneficial to reevaluate your living needs, sell your home, and purchase a smaller, more maintainable home outright. Otherwise, you may genuinely struggle to enjoy your golden years due to the financial burden on your shoulders.