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Revealed: Americans' Top 5 Biggest Financial Regrets

Liz Smith | JAN 18, 2018

A recent Bankrate survey reveals the most common financial regrets Americans have. 

Let them serve as a warning to make smart financial decisions moving forward – and seek professional help when you need it. 

5 of the Most Common Financial Regrets Among Americans

Regret #5: Not saving enough for children’s education 

According to the College Board, average college tuition for the 2017-2018 school year ranged from $9,970 to $34,740. If you choose to send your child to private preschool or grade school, expect overall education expenses to increase dramatically. 

Regret #4: Taking on too much student loan debt 

The expensive tuition mentioned above impacts some Americans more directly. Those responsible for funding their own education may regret the school they decided to attend or degree they elected to pursue because of the financial repercussions. Student Loan Hero reports that over 44 million Americans now owe a collective $1.4 trillion in student loan debt.

Regret #3: Taking on too much credit card debt 

ValuePenguin estimates the average American household currently has between $5,700 and $9,333 in credit card debt. With average credit card interest rates on interest-bearing accounts over 15%, each dollar of credit card debt can be detrimental. 

Regret #2: Not saving enough for emergency expenses 

Even the most financially savvy and budget conscious cannot predict every life event that comes our way. From job loss to an extended hospital stay, unforeseen incidents can pop up at any time. Without an emergency fund, these incidents can decimate your savings.

Regret #1: Not saving enough for retirement 

The Employee Benefit Research Institute estimates that Americans have a retirement savings deficit of $4.3 trillion. Starting to save too late is another common regret. Since most retirement plans offer compounding interest, the start date can make a big difference in the long run.

The Best Way to Avoid These Financial Regrets

These issues can be paralyzing, but they’re too serious to ignore. One of the best ways to start tackling them is by working with a financial advisor

These financial professionals will holistically examine your financial situation and help you craft a plan to ensure you make decisions in line with your goals.

Furthermore, advisors have the investment expertise to make shrewd decisions in order to grow and protect your money. 

How to Find the Right Financial Advisor for You

Finding the right advisor is key. There are likely several highly qualified financial advisors in your area, but it can seem daunting to choose one. 

This new tool matches you with up to three local fiduciary investment advisors that have passed a rigorous screening process so you can be sure they are a good choice. 

1. Simply enter your ZIP code below.

2. After you enter your ZIP code and answer questions about your financial goals, you can compare up to three top advisors local to you and decide which to work with.

3. Enjoy a better financial future!

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SmartAsset - copyright 2018

SmartAsset - copyright 2018

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