Pensioners have revealed the mistakes they made when making their pension and retirement decisions.
Although nine out of 10 are enjoying their retirement, 40% had regrets over financial decisions they got wrong that have left them struggling to find enough money to pay their bills.
The confessions were disclosed in a survey by financial firm The Prudential – and the three main regrets were:
- Not starting to seriously save soon enough
- Not saving enough money
- Failing to set a retirement budget
The answers were in response to questions to pensioners who had retired within the past five years who were asked if they would handle their retirement differently if they had the chance.
Financial mistakes impact income
A third admitted that they were less well-off financially now they had retired than when working and that spending and saving decisions both before and after retirement had affected their standard of living.
Many pensioners also admitted that they had over-estimated the value of the state pension and had spent too much cash from savings too soon in retirement.
“Money’s not everything when people retire as our survey clearly shows, but it does help,” said Stan Russell, a retirement expert for the firm.
“The financial choices we make earlier in our lives clearly have an impact years later when we give up work.
“Saving as much as you can as sooner as you can start obviously pays off later in life.”
Happier and less stressed
Despite their financial disappointment, most pensions are making the best of their retirement.
Three-quarters were happy that they had more free time to spend how they wished, two thirds felt less stressed than when they were working and another two thirds were glad they could give up commuting.
Two thirds of the recently retired were receiving benefits from a final salary pension – an option that is unlikely to be available for future retirees.
Three quarters had state pension income.
Almost half had cash savings, 28% had stocks and shares and 21% had annuities.
“The best way to make your retirement as financially comfortable as possible is to have a plan and to take professional advice,” said Russell.
“So many options are available to save for retirement and invest pension cash that many of us need help.”