The Biggest Regret Retirees Have from Their Working Years
Life + Money

The Biggest Regret Retirees Have from Their Working Years


Retirees are relishing their golden years, but financial concerns still haunt some, a new study shows.

Nine out of ten retirees said they are enjoying life, with 44 percent reporting their happiness has increased since they stopped working, according to a new study from Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies.

But one in six say their nest egg isn’t big enough to sustain them through retirement. More than a third reported a decline in their personal finances situation since retirement and a quarter said their standard of living has gone down.

The median savings of today’s retirees is $131,000, not nearly enough to cover a retirement that they expect to last 28 years, according to the report. A fifth of retirees must use their income to pay a mortgage, while a quarter are still paying down credit card debt.

Related: Baby Boomers Face a Shocking Retirement Shortfall

Looking back on their working years, three-fourths of retirees wished they had saved more on a consistent basis, while two-thirds wished they had known more about saving for retirement and investing.

Retirement came sooner than planned for three out of five retirees, according to the report. They were forced to stop working due to job issues—such as layoffs, buyouts or organizational changes—health concerns or family responsibilities. Only one in six retired early because they were financially able, a lesson for today’s workers planning their golden years.

“Mathematically, the notion that people can work for 40 years to save enough and accrue sufficient benefits to fund a 30-year retirement does not add up,” TCRS president Catherine Collinson said in a statement. “Solving this equation requires changes in how we think about aging, employment, and retirement itself.”