Financial Regrets Voiced by Majority of Americans

Millennials bemoan their student loan debt loads while Baby Boomers voice the most regret about not saving for retirement earlier, according to a survey.

A new survey from suggests three in four Americans say they have serious financial regrets.

In this group, the survey data shows, more than half (56%) are disappointed with their overall savings, including 27% who wish they had started saving earlier for retirement, 19% who lament not saving enough for emergencies and 10% who say they have not saved enough for their child’s education.

Greg McBride, chief financial analyst for, observes that a failure to save adequately for retirement was the most commonly cited regret of all surveyed Americans (21%). Baby Boomers were most likely to feel this way (33%), followed by 23% of the Silent Generation (ages 74 and older) and 22% of Generation X.

Given their career stage and the growing price of higher education, Millennials feel the most remorse about their student loan debt (17%). According to’s survey, their regret is more than twice that of Gen Xers (7%) and more than three times that of Baby Boomers (4%) when it comes to the level of student debt.

McBride notes that Generation X and older Millennials had the highest incidence of regret about not saving enough for emergencies (both at 19%), taking on too much credit card debt (both at 16%), and not saving enough for their child’s education (both at 12%).

“Everyone makes mistakes in life, financial or otherwise,” McBride says. “The key is to acknowledge those blunders and address them, so that there’s minimal damage. Sadly, 21% have no plans to address their financial regrets.”

The Silent Generation and Older Boomers (ages 65 to 73) are the most likely to say they have no financial regrets (37% and 31%, respectively).