Do you ever anticipate regret? I find it a useful tool when making decisions. If I choose option A, how will I feel about it later, will I regret it? Or, will I feel better about choosing option B once my decision is made? These top 10 financial savings regrets can help us avoid our own.

1,600 Americans aged 60-79 responded to a 2018 “Savings Regret” survey conducted by the RAND Corporation and the Max Planck Institute in Munich. 59% said they wish they had saved more – not surprising – but respondents also identified the 10 things most likely to have caused their regret.

As you read the list, think about how fundamental financial planning might protect you from regret, i.e. an emergency savings account, proper insurance, developing your skill set, having a realistic financial plan that includes a saving and spending plan and educating yourself to become an informed investor. This is basic stuff and, as you’ll see, vitally important.

According to the study, here are the 10 biggest dangers along with their probability of leaving you with saving regret after age 60. 

  1. Having very low financial literacy (81)
  1. Being struck by poor health that prevents you working (79)
  1. Being laid off and spending a period unemployed (77)
  1. Earning less than expected (76)
  1. Getting divorced (74)
  1. Making bad investments (70)
  1. Being hit by major medical bills (68)
  1. Overestimating Social Security (69)
  1. Not making long-term plans (64)
  1. Procrastinating (64)

The study reported that nearly all of those who said they wish they had saved more money admitted that they could have done so. Both men and women said they wish they had spent less money on vacations. Men said they wished they spent less on cars, and women on clothes.

Well, now we know where to start building our regret-free futures!