70% of Retirees Regret Not Starting to Save Money Earlier

Many retirees wish they had prepared better for their golden years.

70%-of-Retirees-Regret-Not-Starting-to-Save-Money-Earlier
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According to a survey by the Employee Benefit Research Institute, approximately 70 percent of retired people said that if they could go back and give advice to themselves when they were younger, it would be to change spending habits and invest earlier while investing more to be better prepared at retirement age.

The survey included more than 1,100 Americans 55 years of age and older who had $50,000 or more in financial assets as of April and May 2022.

Over half of the survey’s respondents also said they wish they had made changes early on to improve the financial situation they are currently experiencing. Some of those changes would have been investing more, saving more, spending less, and working towards a solid retirement plan with a financial advisor.

Many retirees are currently feeling financially strapped because of the ongoing high inflation. Currently, inflation in the U.S. is at its highest in 40 years, with commodities increasing across the board from groceries, housing, gas, and more. But, most Americans are finding it more noticeable with necessities and items that are necessary for living.

Over half of the surveyed retiree respondents said inflation was the biggest concern right now keeping them up at night. More retirees are worried about inflation than they are about medical expenses, health care costs, and going broke.

Research and development strategist from the Employee Benefit Research Institute Bridget Bearden said, “Many of the retirees we spoke to were not expecting the severity of inflation. And it’s only gotten worse since then.”

Many younger investors are growing more interested in what retirees regret and are poised to take advice from older investors.

Investing for retirement and saving earlier means retirees may be able to discontinue working earlier. Allowing more time for investments in the stock market to appreciate can also help investors benefit from compound growth and meet their financial goals in the long term.

Many older investors have gone through many various market cycles and learned to gain discipline from waiting. Younger investors tend to worry about their investments in the market during downturns and consequently tend to react, which hurts their investments and prevents them from growing and being there for them in the end.

Some of the other pearls of wisdom retirees want to pass on to their younger generation is to utilize an individual retirement plan, pay debt off, and pay off their home or sell it and downsize.

The surveyed retirees acknowledged that they did some things right in their retirement preparation. Forty percent said they wouldn’t change anything, while 14 percent were glad they put money away. Meanwhile, 10 percent said they put money away in an employer-sponsored 401 (k) or 403 (b) retirement plan.

Retirees who worked with financial advisors said they felt better prepared and less stressed about their finances. In fact, 90 percent of those respondents said that the value of working with a professional advisor outweighed its cost.

 

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