Retirees express low levels of financial regrets, especially when compared to members of generation X and Y, according to Millionaire Corner research that indicates the golden years can be relatively tranquil ones.
What is the biggest financial regret of retirees? In what may seem like a surprising answer in these difficult economic times, most retirees say they have no financial regrets, according to a Millionaire Corner survey of 1,400 investors conducted in May. The results suggest that, for the majority of investors, the retirement years can be relatively free of financial stress.
When asked to identify their biggest financial regret, more than 55 percent of the retirees participating in our survey selected “I have no financial regrets” from a menu that includes such blunders as “not making good stock picks,” “not saving for a rainy day,” and “putting too much into a house.” (A separate Millionaire Corner study shows that older investors worry more about the financial situtation of their children and grandchildren than they do about their own.)
Retirees appear to be much more comfortable with their financial choices than younger investors, particularly those ages 40 and younger. Less than 20 percent of these members of generations X and Y report having no financial regrets. Rather, they express a relatively high level of remorse over having too much credit card debt (15 percent), spending too much on material goods (14 percent) and not saving enough for retirement (13 percent), according to our survey. (According to our research, younger investors are most likely to be burdened with student debt and debt from unexpected medical expenses.)
Not saving enough for retirement is the biggest financial regret by far of investors in their 40s and 50s (22 percent), but these middle-aged investors feel better about their financial decisions than their younger counterparts. Close to 30 percent says they have no financial regrets.
Why do retirees feel so confident about their financial situation? Frugal living and disciplined investing. When asked to identify the best financial decision they’ve ever made, 44 percent of retirees said “making consistent investments in a retirement plan” and 27 percent said “having a frugal lifestyle to allow me to save my money.” Purchasing a home ranks third (14 percent).
Though the majority of retirees say they have no financial regrets, a significant share expresses financial fears. Close to 45 percent of retirees say they are afraid of running out of money in retirement and 36 percent say they are worried about losing the ability to make financial decisions. Their third greatest financial fear? About 16 percent of retirees say they worry about becoming dependent on their children.