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Health Care
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Your Financial Life
By Catherine Collinson / Jun 21, 2016

Wisdom from Retirees

Wisdom-from-Retirees_TABlog Our greatest lessons about retirement planning and preparations can be learned from today’s retirees and their firsthand retirement experience. A recent survey of retirees by nonprofit Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies® asked retirees about any financial regrets, as well as tips they want to pass on to others.

Retirees’ One Big Wish

Retirees are a diverse group – some of whom feel they will be financially comfortable throughout their retirement, and some much less so. However, when asked to reflect back on their working years, three-quarters of retirees say they wish they would have saved more on a consistent basis (76 percent). This is an important message to those still working – saving regularly and socking away as much as possible should help sustain people in longer retirements.

More Education Is Needed

In addition to saving, retirees say they could have known more on the topic of retirement:

  • two-thirds wish they had been more knowledgeable about retirement saving and investing (68 percent);
  • more than half would have liked to have received more information and advice from their employers on how to achieve their retirement goals (53 percent); and
  • nearly half say they waited too long to concern themselves with saving and investing for retirement (48 percent).

It’s important for people of all ages to become educated about saving and investing for retirement to help themselves be more successful in planning for their future. In addition to learning from financial websites, many employers have tools to help.

Advice From Retirees to Workers

An open-ended question was asked of the 2,000 plus survey respondents  – If you could do it over again, what advice would you give workers today to help them prepare for a financially secure retirement? The answers were all over the board. But consistent themes were saving more, saving early, keeping spending in check and keeping on top of your finances. These are some of their answers:

  • Work in a job that you love.
  • Take good care of your health.
  • Take chances when you are young. Travel and take advantage of what is available to you. Don’t wait for retirement to enjoy life. Enjoy life every day. Do what you know is right and you will have no regrets.
  • Learn as much as possible about investing and finances; go to seminars on optimizing Social Security benefits
  • For women, establish your own financial independence. Have your own savings account and plan for your own future  – and for unexpected life changes.

For more tips and information, visit www.transamericacenter.org.

To listen to the podcast, please click here.


Catherine Collinson serves as president of Transamerica Institute® and Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies®, and is a retirement and market trends expert and champion for Americans who are at risk of not achieving a financially secure retirement. Catherine oversees all research, publications and outreach initiatives, including the Annual Transamerica Retirement Survey. She also serves as the executive director of Aegon Center for Longevity and Retirement.

Transamerica Institute® is a nonprofit, private foundation dedicated to identifying, researching and educating the public about retirement, health coverage, and other relevant financial issues facing Americans today. Transamerica Institute comprises two divisions: Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies® and Transamerica Center for Health Studies®. Transamerica Institute is funded by contributions from Transamerica Life Insurance Company and its affiliates and may receive funds from unaffiliated third parties. For more information about the Institute, please refer to www.transamericainstitute.org