Can Driving Habits Affect Your Retirement?

Most of us probably don’t think about how our driving habits relate to other aspects of our lives. Sure, paying a speeding ticket is a bummer. And a car accident will ruin anyone’s day. But did you ever think that being a bad driver could have an impact on your retirement? I know I didn’t…until recently. The reality is that your driving habits can mess up a lot of other things in your life, in a big way!

Let’s start with some of the obvious things that everyone knows about.

Paying more for car insurance

It goes without saying that having a lot of citations or accidents will make you pay more for your car insurance. Having a serious offense like a DUI or reckless driving can increase your premiums from 30-300% per year. This could put quite a damper on your ability to save money towards retirement, or pay off other debt.

Kill your credit score

If you do get a ticket and decide not to pay it, your credit rating could take a nose dive. Most towns tack on fees for unpaid tickets and then turn it over to a collection agency. The next time you apply for a loan or a credit card, your lower credit score means you’ll pay a higher interest rate.

You could go to jail

After beating up your credit score, your unpaid ticket will now come after you with an arrest warrant. In many states this is a misdemeanor and can land you right in jail. This won’t help your ability to go to work and earn money, and could impact your current and future jobs.

Your license might get suspended and your car could go unregistered

In almost all cases with a DUI or reckless driving charge, your license can be suspended. Unpaid tickets can also end up suspending your license. The DMV can also refuse to register your car if you have unpaid tickets. Without a car or a drivers license, it’s pretty difficult to get to work and earn a living, let alone save for retirement.

You’ll pay more for life insurance

This is one that most people don’t realize. When you apply for life insurance, the company will normally look at your driving record to determine how high of a risk you are. People with multiple citations and/or accidents will have to pay more each year for life insurance. Your premiums could easily double or even triple that of a good driver. This is much the same as a person who smokes pays a lot more for life insurance than a non-smoker. Paying more for insurance means saving less for retirement.

There are a lot of ways that poor driving can mess up your life, and your future ability to retire the way you want to. So the next time you feel like speeding, or rolling through that stop sign, think about a big fat 401K balance instead. Put down your phone, drive safe, and SAVE MORE MONEY!!

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