The biggest saving regret? Not starting sooner
"Non, je ne regrette rien".
Expats in France may be able to translate this famous song title to "No, I regret nothing," which is ideally what every saver wants to be able to say as they reach the end of their expat retirement planning period and look forward to moving abroad to their own personal paradise.
But not everyone has the initiative to stay on top of their pension pot, and it might be interesting for the younger generation to hear what older workers and retirees have to say about their pension saving experiences and what they would do differently if they could turn back the clock.
With this in mind, research recently released by Aegon, which asked pension savers about which decisions regarding their pensions they regretted the most, could prove very useful and serve as a firm reminder of why sufficient retirement planning isn't something to leave until the eleventh hour.
What are your worst retirement planning decisions?
Aegon's survey asked customers what they thought were their worst choices regarding their pensions. It surveyed both those still working and those who had already retired.
For both groups, the biggest regret was delaying a saving decision – i.e. not starting to save early enough or taking a break from retirement saving. Over half of workers (51%) wished that they'd started thinking about their pension savings earlier.
The second poorest decision, again ranking the same for retirees and those still working, was found to be poor financial planning. Of course, working out an effective financial plan that continues to work in your best interest is no easy task, and this may be why a sizeable proportion of respondents (14% of working people and 18% of retired people) had difficulty. What's more, 12% of workers believed they should have been more engaged with their retirement planning, perhaps by joining their workplace pension scheme or moving out of their default pension fund to take more control over their money, and 12% of retirees were remorseful over how they used their pot.
The survey wasn't focused solely on the negative, however. Respondents were also asked what they felt was their most beneficial financial decision, and the top answer by some margin was joining their workplace pension or saving into a personal pension (42% of current savers gave this answer). Those who actually did start saving for retirement from an early age and those who paid extra into their workplace pension also were content with their decisions, as these answers ranked as the second and third best respectively.
It has been well reported in recent press that the UK's state pension will be inadequate for most retirees to maintain standards of living, which is why Aegon's pensions director Steven Cameron is urging people not to delay their saving as, for many, their pension is " the most important saving pot we'll ever have" and something we should be building up for "as a long a period as possible".
Aegon's research once again promotes the idea that, when it comes to pension planning, sooner really is better, and this is an idea supported by Blacktower, as we advise our clients that it's never too early to begin their expat retirement planning.
Get started today with pension planning at Blacktower
With a Blacktower financial adviser to guide you, your retirement planning decisions can be made with confidence, leading to no regrets and a stress-free, happy retirement overseas. Send us your details today using the form on our Contact Us page or to speak to someone in a specific country or region, you can find all the details on our Meet the Team page.