Data and Research

Most Regret Not Saving Earlier for Retirement

However, for older Millennials, taking on too much student loan debt is their top regret.

By Lee Barney editors@plansponsor.com | May 23, 2017

Nearly 75% of adults have financial regrets, Bankrate.com found in a survey. The most common is not saving early enough for retirement, cited by 22%, followed by not saving enough for an emergency (16%), and, tied at third, carrying too much credit card debt and being burdened by too much student loan debt (9%). The fourth regret is not saving enough for a child’s education (8%), and the sixth is buying a house beyond one’s means (2%).

Taking on too much student loan debt tops the list among older Millennials (27- to 36-year-olds).

Baby Boomers are the most likely to regret not saving for retirement earlier; remorse over this issue grows steadily from ages 18 to 62. It’s also the biggest financial regret for every household income bracket above $30,000 per year and a close second below that threshold (to not saving enough for emergencies).

The top financial regret deals with not saving—either for retirement or emergencies—among every income bracket, level of educational attainment, gender, race, political affiliation, census region and community type, plus every age group except the aforementioned 27- to 36-year-olds.

Among Millennials, 11% are worried about not saving early enough for retirement. This increases to 18% among Gen X and 39% among Baby Boomers. However, it decreases to 23% among the Silent Generation.

When asked how they feel about the amount of money they’ve saved, 23% of survey respondents say they’re more comfortable today than they were a year ago, when 21% said they were more comfortable.

Princeton Survey Research Associates International conducted the telephone survey for Bankrate among 1,001 adults in May.

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