Perhaps one of the greatest financial missteps people make is believing that retirement is an event or a “zone” one enters later in life. So says Gregory Salsbury, author of Retirementology: Rethinking the American Dream in a New Economy. Salsbury sees it more as a process: “All of your financial behavior—earning, saving, borrowing, investing—impacts your retirement. It begins as soon as you’re able to put money away, not sometime in the future,” he says. “People often think they don’t have to worry about retirement because they’re not yet in the zone—they still have 20, 30, 40 years to worry about it.”
In his book, Salsbury examines how psychology plays into financial choices that can have dire consequences down the road. U.S. News recently spoke with Salsbury about the psychology behind retirement planning, including mistakes people make early on that can affect retirement.