Refereed Journal // 2023

Saving regret and procrastination

We define saving regret as the wish in hindsight to have saved more earlier in life. We measured saving regret and possible determinants in a survey of U.S. households in which respondents were aged 60-79. We find high levels of saving regret, affirmed by some 58%. Saving regret exhibits significant and plausible correlations with personal characteristics and wealth: Married, older, healthier and wealthier respondents are less likely to report saving regret, suggesting the measure’s validity. We find only weak evidence for correlations between saving regret and measures of procrastination: persons with traits associated with procrastination express saving regret about as often as those without those traits.

Börsch-Supan, Axel, Tabea Bucher-Koenen, Mike Hurd and Susann Rohwedder (2023), Saving regret and procrastination, Journal of Economic Psychology 94

Authors Axel Börsch-Supan // Tabea Bucher-Koenen // Mike Hurd // Susann Rohwedder