Financial mistakes have a habit of catching up on consumers who have regrets about how they managed their money when they were younger.
Around two-fifths (43%) told a survey that their lives were blighted by past errors and two-thirds (64%) wished they had looked after their money better.
Even one in four over 65s confessed past mistakes still impacted their finances.
Most blamed their problems on a lack of knowledge and wished they had the benefit of a better financial education.
Lacking financial education
On a brighter note, 8 out of 10 older consumers believe they have the experience to manage their money well.
But the study revealed many could not properly explain some aspects of everyday finance.
Only 40% felt confident about discussing how pension tax relief works; a third did not know how credit card interest is calculated while less than half were aware of how inflation erodes savings (47%) or the level of tax allowances on Cash ISAs (49%).
“It’s striking that people across all ages say they wish their financial education had started earlier, despite the obviously positive news that most people think they are sufficiently knowledgeable now,” said Tim Orton, chief executive at Aviva Adviser Platform, which carried out the research.
Counting the cost
“There’s also clearly a continued need, throughout life, for people to refresh knowledge and for them to be able to access information through a variety of sources.
“The more informed people are, and from a younger age, the more they will be able to make the best decisions for their circumstances and avoid making mistakes that may impact on their financial well-being for years to come.
“It’s sobering to realise that nearly a quarter of people aged over 65 are still counting the cost of mistakes they made in the past. Financial impacts of mistakes are felt even more amongst younger people, with over half of people under 45 saying they are still counting the cost. This shows that there is a lot more to be done to help people become better-equipped so that they can make the right decisions for their own circumstances.”