4th January 2016
More than a quarter of those aged over 65 have admitted their biggest financial regret is not starting to save earlier, claims new research from The Share Centre.
Despite many having generous ‘gold plated’ final salary pension schemes in place, some 26% of those aged 65-74 said they wished they had started putting money aside while they still could.
The Share Centre carried out research of over 1,500 19-87 year olds and discovered that, with the benefit of hindsight, grandparents know best, with almost one in five at 19% of over 75 year-olds also revealing they also wished they had started saving sooner.
The responses highlight that those who are older and wiser are now looking back on the financial decisions they made in their youth, having realised just how soon they should have starting preparing for the future.
The findings also revealed that even those who have savings have not quite met their targets, with 21% of over 65s and 22% of over 75s admitting that they wished they had put larger amounts aside.
Spotting good investment opportunities early on also comes high up the list of financial regrets, with 7% of over 65s wishing they had invested in certain stocks when they were younger, enabling them to grow their money.
This sentiment is the same even for those aged 55-64, with 11% saying they wished they had taken advantage of certain stocks earlier on.
With growing life expectancy and rising long-term care costs, the findings add to existing concerns around an increasing pension savings gap, with realisation of how much is needed to fund retirement coming too late.
Richard Stone, chief executive of The Share Centre, said: “If those already at or in retirement are admitting they haven’t saved enough money and are now looking back with regret, then those with retirement ahead of them need to take note. Whether it’s a case of not saving earlier enough, or simply not putting enough aside, it seems that even final salary pension schemes are not sufficient to support them.
“The UK stock market has delivered a return of over 600% since 1990, compared to just 68% by cash, so if the returns from your savings account don’t look appealing enough to put a little aside, it is worth considering equities to generate income.”