Retirement mistake #8 (see all 10) is not having a current will.

Many Americans are deeply concerned about the possibility of government interference with their health care. How would you feel about government officials making critical decisions about every aspect of your estate, which could dramatically affect the lives of your loved ones?

If you don't have a current will, that is precisely what you can expect.

If you do have a will, you control who inherits your property and your portfolio. If you are raising children under 18, your will can designate who should continue to raise them. Instead of the impersonal court system making critical decisions, you can designate your spouse, a trusted friend, or a professional fiduciary to be in charge of your estate.

No one wants to confront their mortality and deal with these difficult issues. But it is simply irresponsible not do so. It could also cost your heirs a bundle in avoidable estate taxes.

See all ten of the biggest money mistakes a retiree can make.

Dan Solin is the author of the newly published book, The Smartest Retirement Book You'll Ever Read (Perigee Books 2009). His prior books include the New York Times bestsellers, The Smartest Investment Book You'll Ever Read and The Smartest 401(k) Book You'll Ever Read. See SmartestInvestmentBook.com. Read more about Dan Solin.


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