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Financial Regret: Preparing For Retirement



Financial Regret: Preparing For Retirement

According to, at least three in four Americans have regrets of a very specific financial nature. 

This is especially true of older Americans, who have whole lifetimes behind them to ponder and regret.


Their Number One Regret, of Course, is Not Saving Early Enough for Retirement

The vast majority of Americans will never be billionaires—the financial system simply does not work that way. 

Therefore, a certain amount of saving has to be done if one ever wishes to retire

Yet, a staggering 18% of Americans say that their biggest financial regret is not starting that process sooner.

The numbers are even higher for those who are 65 and up—more like 27%.


Multiple Financial Advisers Say to Start Saving for Retirement in Your Twenties

The idea of starting sooner is not so much that you have more time to put in more money, though that can also be the case. 

The secret is in the power of “compounding”—the interest has more time to add to your money. 

Vanguard offers an excellent illustration of this concept:

You start your retirement nest egg at 25, and end up only putting $150,000 in your savings; your friend starts at age 35 and puts twice as much in at $300,000. 

However, when you are both 65, you have $1,058,912 and your friend only has $838,019. 

It seems like black magic, but it’s just the way interest works—that annual 6% return had more years to work on your account, and now you’re a millionaire.

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Another Major Regret is Not Having Saved Enough for Emergency Expenses

Back in December, a Google Consumer Survey found that 21% of Americans had no savings account at all. 

Furthermore, 62% had less than a thousand dollars in their savings accounts. 

In spite of the fact that credit is costly, according to Bankrate, 12% of people say that credit cards are their backup plan instead of savings accounts.

Other Common Financial Regrets:

  • Student loan debt (9%)
  • Credit card debt (9%)
  • Not preparing to pay for your children’s education (8%)
  • Buying more house than you need and can afford (3%)

Forbes Says 21% of People Also Regret Not Having Finished Their College Education

There is already a steep difference in projected earnings between those who merely finished high school and those with a college degree. 

That gives non-graduates something to regret in itself. 

However, there are those who started their college degree, racked up debt doing so, and never finished.

Read more: If you want to lower your student loan payment, click here

Forbes Also Says 19% Regret Letting Their Partner be in Charge of the Money

Apparently, combining finances with a spouse is a regret many people have. 

It raises questions of dependence and control. 

Furthermore, it’s a common bone of contention, often associated with subsequent divorce.


In Spite of All the Regret, Bankrate Says that People Are Feeling More Financially Secure Than They Were Last Year

More Americans surveyed say they feel better, not worse, about their current financial situation this year, at a rate of almost 2 to 1.

So Why All the Regret?

It may be that regret over money is simply a part of the human condition. 

For instance, one wouldn’t expect CEOs, executives, or multimillionaires to have any regrets about money at all. 


However, Business Insider begs to differ in its article on successful people’s financial regrets:

Jon Stein, CEO of Betterment, Regrets Trying to Beat the Stock Market

He claims that he thought and over-thought, trying too many complicated schemes and even investing in Enron. 

He regrets the lost money but also regrets the lost time with family and friends.


Sallie Krawcheck, Chair of Ellevate Network, Regrets a Job She Was Rushed Into

She was drawn in by a CEO, who promised to stay for a full two years to help her learn the ropes. 

The transition was rushed, her requests to meet coworkers in advance were denied, and her financial agreement was extremely informal. 

Naturally, the CEO ditched her within a few months, and the job was a financial disaster.


Scott Adams, Creator of Dilbert, Let His Bankers Manage a Portion of His Money.

Three words:  Enron and WorldCom.  Said bankers are no longer managing his money.


Conclusion:  Everyone—rich, poor, and in-between, has their financial regrets. 

But one of the biggest of all is not preparing well enough for retirement

Everyone wants—and arguably deserves—to live out the latter part of their lives in comfort and dignity.

So start saving now.  Especially if you’re twenty.  Compound interest is black magic, and it will work for you.



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US Vows 100% Tariffs on French Champagne, Cheese, Handbags Over Digital tax



Image via Shutterstock
By David Lawder and Andrea Shalal

The US government on Monday said it may slap punitive duties of up to 100 percent on $2.4 billion in imports from France of Champagne, handbags, cheese and other products, after concluding that France’s new digital services tax would harm US tech companies.

The US Trade Representative’s office said its “Section 301” investigation found that the French tax was “inconsistent with prevailing principles of international tax policy, and is unusually burdensome for affected US companies,” including Alphabet Inc’s Google, Facebook, Apple and

US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said the government was exploring whether to open similar investigations into the digital services taxes of Austria, Italy and Turkey.

“The USTR is focused on countering the growing protectionism of EU member states, which unfairly targets US companies,” Lighthizer said. His statement made no mention of proposed digital taxes in Canada or Britain.

The US trade agency said it would collect public comments through Jan. 14 on its proposed tariff list as well as the option of imposing fees or restrictions on French services, with a public hearing scheduled for January 7.

It did not specify an effective date for the proposed 100% duties.


The list targets some products that were spared from 25 percent tariffs imposed by the United States over disputed European Union aircraft subsidies, including sparkling wines, handbags and make-up preparations – products that would hit French luxury goods giant and cosmetics maker L’Oreal hard.

Gruyere cheese, also spared from the USTR aircraft tariffs levied in October, featured prominently in the list of French products targeted for 100 percent duties, along with numerous other cheeses.

The findings won favor from US lawmakers and US tech industry groups, who have long argued that the tax unfairly targets US firms.

“The French digital services tax is unreasonable, protectionist and discriminatory,” Senators Charles Grassley and Ron Wyden, the top Republican and Democrat, respectively, on the Senate Finance Committee, said in a joint statement.

Spokespeople for the French embassy and the European Union delegation in Washington could not immediately be reached for comment.

But prior to the release of the USTR’s report, a French official said that France would dispute the trade agency’s findings, repeating Paris’ contention that the digital tax is not aimed specifically at US technology companies.

“We will not give up on taxation” of digital firms, the official said.

France’s 3 percent levy applies to revenue from digital services earned by firms with more than €25 million ($27.86 million) in French revenue and €750 million (£644 million) worldwide.

The USTR’s report and proposed tariff list follow months of negotiations between French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire and US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin over a global overhaul of digital tax rules.

The two struck a compromise in August at a G7 summit in France that would refund US firms the difference between the French tax and a new mechanism being drawn up through the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

But Trump never formally endorsed that deal and declined to say whether his French tariff threat was off the table.


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Stocks Just Spiked to Record Highs After China Budged on a Key US Trade Demand



According to a Fox Business report, China “issued a document to ‘effectively curb’ violations of intellectual property rights such as trademarks and copyrights.” This move is aimed at increasing the chances of a trade deal between the two largest economies. The S&P 500, Dow Jones Industrial Average, and Nasdaq Composite Indexes reached all-time highs after China’s statement.

Adam Phillips, director of portfolio strategy for EP Wealth Advisors, said “I don’t think we would be seeing these types of deals if the outlook for markets and the economy weren’t favorable. This is one additional piece we can look at to see the outlook for markets is a positive one.”

Bloomberg reported that equities climbed across Asia, “led by those in Hong Kong, where local elections brought a landslide victory to pro-democracy candidates. The dollar gained versus the euro and yen.”

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Andrew Yang Wants You to Make Money Off Your Data by Making it Your Personal Property



Andrew Yang, 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, plans to regulate the tech industry by prioritizing in giving people the right to own their personal data (“data as a property right”), thus allowing them to make money by sharing it with companies. Currently, companies entirely own users’ data – users do not have much control over it.

Yang said, “our data is now worth more than oil” and gave emphasis to the great amount of data people create and how companies make money over it. “By implementing measures to increase transparency in the data collection and monetization process, individuals can begin to reclaim ownership of what’s theirs,” he said.

He also cited a report saying that the collection and use of Americans’ personal data has become a $198 billion industry. Yang believes that people should have more control over their data, such as being able to see how their data is being used and having the freedom to opt out if they choose.

Yang added that we need politicians “who understand technology and a modern way to regulate it,” as reported by Engadget. “In order to regulate technology effectively, our government needs to understand it. It’s embarrassing to see the ignorance some members of Congress display when talking about technology, and anyone who watched Congress question Mark Zuckerberg is well aware of this,” said Yang.

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