Not saving enough and poor choices linked to family, make up some of our biggest financial mistakes

29th February 2016

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Not saving sufficiently, neglecting pensions, getting into debt, being unable to earn more and making poor financial choices, are the biggest financial mistakes people make, according to new research.

Specialist Insurer, Partnership, surveyed 2,000 people and asked them what they felt their biggest financial mistakes were and while 5% said they had not made any mistakes, the vast majority of people wished they had made different choices.

More than half, at 59%, said they had not saved enough – generally or into a pension – while 15% said getting into debt was their biggest error.

Interestingly, 10% cited making poor financial choices linked to family/friends and 7% highlighted getting married and subsequently divorced as being their largest blunders.

The proportion that cite a failed marriage as their biggest misstep increases to one in 10 people over the age of 40 which highlights the potentially devastating financial impact of divorce.

Over 40s are also more likely to regret not saving enough into their pension (22% vs. 14%) while they are less likely to feel they have not saved enough generally (34% vs 50%).  They are also twice as likely to have put money into an investment that has not performed (12% vs. 5%).

Biggest Financial Mistakes All 18 – 39 40 plus
I did not save enough 40% 50% 34%
I did not save enough into my pension 19% 14% 22%
I got myself into debt by borrowing too much/due to circumstances 15% 15% 16%
I was not able to work more or earn more in my chosen occupation 11% 12% 11%
I made poor financial choices linked to family/ friends – e.g. lent money or took advice 10% 10% 10%
I put money into an investment that did not perform 9% 5% 12%
I delayed buying a house 7% 6% 7%
I got married and subsequently divorced 7% 1% 10%

Mark Stopard, head of product development at Partnership, said:  “Indeed not saving enough, especially into a pension, was the main regret for all age groups – a problem which implies that either they do not earn enough or that they don’t have a firm handle on their finances.

“While it is relatively easy to make minor financial errors, that one in 10 people cite issues around salary and employment levels adds weight to the first argument and is worrying as it suggests that for some ‘mistakes’ are almost unavoidable.”

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