What the recently retired would do differently if they had their time again

Hindsight can be a wonderful thing. We asked people who had recently retired how they feel about retirement and what they’d do differently if they had their time again.

A third of the recent retirees regret financial decisions they have made since stopping work.

The good news is the overwhelming majority (94 percent) of recently retired pensioners are enjoying their retirement years, but more than two in five (41 percent) regret retirement-planning mistakes, which have left them struggling financially.

The results are part of an online survey of 409 UK adults who have retired within the last five years, conducted for us by Consumer Intelligence between 2 and 16 March 2016.

The study found that nearly a third of pensioners are leading a lifestyle less comfortable in retirement than when they were working, and they feel that decisions they made both before and after retirement, have had an impact on their quality of life.

The cost of not making hay while the sun was shining…and not making a plan

Nearly one in five (19 percent) of the recent retirees say that in hindsight they realise they didn’t save enough for their retirement, while 15 percent regret not starting to save earlier in their working lives.

Meanwhile, many of the pensioners now regret not thinking hard enough in advance about their early years in retirement – with 10 percent wishing they had set themselves a budget to live on as a pensioner, and others regretting that they overestimated the value of the State Pension and not taking financial advice.

Important financial decisions don’t go away once you’ve retired

A third of the recent retirees regret financial decisions they have made since stopping work. The most common regrets include assuming that the State Pension would be worth more than it really is (13 percent), spending too much money immediately after retirement (11 percent) and not being able to take advantage when they retired of the new pensions freedoms.

Help is at hand

To ensure you don’t reach retirement with similar regrets, why not consider getting advice in advance. Find out more about how a Prudential Financial Adviser could help, or seek a financial adviser on unbiased.co.uk. Please note that Prudential Financial Advisers provide restricted advice.

In addition to the support we offer, we also recommend that, from age 50, you seek impartial guidance from Pension Wise, the free service from the government that is available on the internet, over the phone or face to face.

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