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Marriage, kids and not saving are Brits' biggest regrets

Marriage, kids and not saving are Brits' biggest regrets
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

Not having saved enough for a rainy day, having children and getting married are among the nation's biggest financial mistakes, a poll has suggested.

The poll of investors, carried out by Hargreaves Lansdown earlier this year, found women were more likely to regret having children and not saving more earlier on in life.

According to the poll, 4 per cent of women named having children as their biggest mistake, with more women than men regretting not having started to save earlier on in life and not having set aside enough for a 'rainy day fund'.

Men were more likely to say marriage was their big mistake, with 5 per cent of men citing this. 

Among both sexes, 9 per cent of those polled said not starting a pension sooner was their big mistake, with a further 6 per cent regretting not having put enough into a pension. 

The poll also found that 8 per cent regretted not having invested, and 5 per cent wished they had bought a property. 

According to Sarah Coles, personal finance analyst for Hargreaves Lansdown, the poll shows a lack of careful financial planning can "drive a coach and horses" through your finances. 

She said: "Making mistakes with borrowing, saving and pensions can have far-reaching consequences for life. Almost one in ten say their biggest financial mistake was not having started a pension sooner, and more than one in 20 regret not putting more into their pension.

"Whatever stage you’re at in life, it’s well worth using an online pension calculator to see where you stand, and whether you need to put more aside now to be able to afford the retirement you want."

Coles said while marriage and children may be the most rewarding things in many people’s lives, "they can also be the most expensive, and if you haven’t planned for them carefully, it can drive a coach and horses through your finances".

According to Hargreaves Lansdown, people should be working towards having an easily accessible pot that could pay between three to six months' worth of essential expenses in the case of emergencies."

In September, FTAdviser spoke with Anna Murdock, head of wealth planning for JMFinn, who cited marriage, childbirth and divorce as three key moments in a woman's life where having professional financial advice could really pay off. 

She said: "All key moments in life require a level of financial diligence to ensure you don’t lose out or make mistakes. Planning at these times and seeking support and advice can be crucial."