That’s one of the questions BlackRock asked retirees in the recent Investor Pulse Survey.   Here’s what topped the list:

  • 36% would have started investing for retirement earlier
  • 32% would have spent less money
  • 21% would have worked longer
  • 12% would have sought professional advice

Everyone today knows they need to save for retirement. Talk to young workers for whom 1993 feels as distant as a nursery school rhyme, and they accept paying into their 401(k) as a fact of working life – and they are likely to be better for it. Regrets are more likely to emerge among the generation that did not recognize early enough the importance defined contribution would have for their retirement.

Retirement as Part of Your ‘Life’s Path’

But maybe the most practical action to take is to take a cue from the name of BlackRock’s target date fund and recognize that retirement is part of “Life’s Path”. People were told to save for retirement, but the advice was in isolation. There was little guidance that addressed financial wellness.

We need to help people ask meaningful questions that relate to their whole financial self, like, for example, whether or not to save more for retirement or pay their mortgage faster, or if a Health Savings Account can roll over to meet retirement expenses.
Sue Thompson, CIMA, Managing Director, is Head of the Registered Investment Advisor Group, overseeing the firm’s iShares and 529 sales efforts with registered investment advisors, family offices and asset managers. Sue is a regular contributor to The Blog. You can find more of her posts here.