1. Of the 76% of Americans with financial regrets:

56% are disappointed with their savings
27% wish they had started saving earlier for retirement
19% lament not having enough for emergencies
10% say they have not saved enough for their child’s education

2. Not saving enough for retirement was the most commonly cited regret of 21% of all Americans, including:

33% of baby boomers (ages 55-73)
23% of the Silent Generation (ages 74+)
22% of Gen Xers (ages 39-54)

3. Debt also was cited as a major regret, especially:

taking on too much credit card debt (16%)
taking on too much student loan debt (11%)
taking too big a mortgage (7%)

4. Student debt was the top regret for:

17% of millennials
7% of Gen Xers
4% of baby boomers

5. Older millennials (ages 30-38) and Gen Xers had major regrets about:

not saving for emergencies (19%)
taking on too much credit card debt (16%)
not saving for a child’s education (12%)


6. The good news is of those with financial regrets:

50% already are addressing the problem
12% plan to address it in the next six months
7% plan to address it in the next six to 12 months

7. The bad news:

Twenty-one percent — mainly, respondents who bought more house than they could afford — have no plans to address their financial regrets.


Retirement weighs heavily on most Americans when the main issue is whether or not they have saved enough for it. A recent survey by Bankrate.com found 76% of Americans have financial regrets. Besides retirement savings, there also are regrets tied to other savings and debt.

The survey did find some good news about getting older: Silent Generation respondents and older baby boomers (ages 65 to 73) were less likely than younger respondents to have financial regrets.

The study was conducted by SSRS via its Omnibus survey platform on which 1000 interviews were conducted from April 30 to May 5.

“Saving money may seem impossible at times but taking a few proactive steps can safeguard you from potential hardship in the future,” said Bankrate chief financial analyst Greg McBride in a statement. He suggests that Americans need to pay themselves first through automatic deposits from paychecks that go into savings accounts or employer-sponsored retirement plans.

See the above slideshow for results from the Bankrate.com survey, and which generations have the most financial regrets.

— Related on ThinkAdvisor: