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There is no lack of texts, reports and interviews on the Internet about the retirees’ biggest regrets. These are questions that, as a rule, do not assail us with great frequency, but that make us think when, for some reason, we are faced with them.
We live so obsessed with the “now” that, not infrequently, we avoid stopping to think about the future. What will we think thirty years from now about what we are and what we do today? With every decision we make and every choice we make, we are conditioning our own future and we don’t even realize it.
So, take the next few minutes to read about the biggest regrets of retirees and reflect on your own regrets, as well as the ones you really wish you didn’t have when you were old and how to avoid them.
These Are Retired People’s Biggest Regrets
Not having started investing sooner
We have already seen in other articles that money generates money and that idle money devalues. Unfortunately, many people only become aware of this truth when it falls into their lap and they realize that they have reached the end of their lives with little more than what they effectively set aside.
Investing savings is an important step to make them pay off and benefit from profits in old age. If you have some money aside, consider investing it in solutions that make you grow. Your 60-something-year-old self will most certainly thank you for your financial awareness.
Making ill-informed investments
When the world around us puts pressure on us to invest our savings and make them grow, threatening us with the specter of poverty in old age as a result of the devaluation of money that has been stagnant, it is all too easy for us to make hasty and ill-informed investment decisions.
If you don’t want to go along with this, which is one of the biggest regrets of pensioners, take it easy and inform yourself well before investing your money in solutions you barely know. Always be careful to understand the financial products you invest in, how they work and be aware of the risks involved.
Above all, don’t have problems investing little or investing in products that yield less because they provide more stability: everyone knows what they earn, what they can spend and what kind of risks they are willing to take, so choose what you feel comfortable with. more confortable. As long as your decision is made consciously, regardless of the end result, you won’t regret having made it so much.
Investing in the employer’s own shares
This is a very common strategy around the world and one of the most regretted by Reformers.
Buying shares in the company where we work seems, at first glance, a safe strategy: we know the company inside out, we have access to information that we wouldn’t even dream of if we invested in another company and, truth be told, it’s the best way to arrive at the ideal model of “the more you work and produce, the more you earn” – because the better the company’s productivity, the greater the profit distributed by shareholders.
This, however, can be a big trap. Remember that employees don’t always know everything about companies and that even the best entrepreneurs in the world fail from time to time. Imagine that there is an economic crisis and your company closes: not only will you lose your job, but you will also lose your life savings, because stocks will plummet and devalue your money.
If you invest in the company where you work, don’t put all your eggs in one basket: keep the investment within a maximum limit of 10% of your savings and apply the rest in shares of other companies or in other financial products. That way, if things go wrong, you don’t run the risk of losing everything overnight.
retire too soon
Of course, we all want to rest and avoid working until we die, but Social Security systems have a sustainability limit and penalize citizens who apply for retirement before reaching the legal age to do so.
Asking for retirement before the legally foreseen date can result in a serious penalty in retirement, and this is one of the biggest regrets of retirees – when, in the long term, they look back, they conclude that it had been more beneficial to wait two or three more years for retirement and live the rest of your life with a few tens of euros more in your pocket.
Thus, the most common advice given by these people is to continue working as long as we feel capable of doing so, because that will make all the difference when the body stops being productive and we need to sustain ourselves only with what the State gives us every month.
Focus only on financial planning for retirement
Reforming is not just stopping working: it is stopping completely. This is often a problem for the most active people and the one most regretted by retirees.
It is common for people to feel “lost” when they retire: suddenly, they no longer have obligations, schedules or goals. There is no reason to wake up in the morning or a plan to stick to throughout the day. They feel lonely, bored and, not infrequently, even useless.
So, when preparing for retirement, remember that you are not only thinking about your livelihood, but also about your day-to-day life and occupation. What are you going to do when you leave the company?
Make sure that, instead of leaving the activity, you are going to change activities: leave your job to dedicate yourself to something else. That other thing could be a hobby, a volunteer activity or a small business of your own – in fact, it doesn’t matter, since, if you have done the right financial planning, you just need to be doing what you love and you won’t have to worry about the whether it makes money or not.
Planning your retirement from an occupation point of view is essential to ensure that, in addition to a good financial situation, you are in a good emotional situation.
If you don’t want to share the biggest regrets of retirees, it’s time to look at the life you lead today and reflect on the necessary changes so that destiny is no different from what you dream.
Article originally published in July 2019. Last updated in March 2023.