Financial Regrets of Senior Citizens

Financial Regrets of Senior Citizens

Aug 04, 2021

How old are you right now? How many more years before you become a “dual citizen?” And when I say dual citizen, I mean that typical Pinoy joke on people turning 60 – i.e. your Filipino citizenship and your senior citizenship. I used to call it Forever 20 Off but have stopped it because it will soon cease to ring a bell as that fashion brand Forever 21 has gone bankrupt in 2019, so let’s stick to dual citizen.

In our country, turning senior may bring in the excitement of getting that discount card, but together with it may come some financial regrets. The reality in our country is that an enormous 80% of retiring Filipinos are not financially prepared for retirement. In a speech by BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno last year, he said, “The harsh reality is that 8 out of 10 Filipinos aged 60 and above, and in many cases retirees, do not receive sufficient pension to fully cover their living expenses.”

So, it’s safe to assume that, 8 out of 10 Filipinos aged 60 and above do have financial regrets, for no one would want to be a burden to family, loved ones, and the society in general, right.

Here are some of the common financial regrets of senior citizens. No matter how far away you are from senior citizenship, listen up, so you don’t end up having these regrets when you enter that interesting stage.

  1. Not saving enough.
  2. Not saving earlier.
  3. Not saving regularly.
  4. Being too afraid to invest
  5. Overspending on non-essentials
  6. Borrowing too much.
  7. Not signing a pre-nuptial agreement
  8. Not buying a home when it’s the right time
  9. Not planning well for retirement
  10. Maintaining credit card debt
  11. Not accumulating assets for passive income
  12. Trusting the wrong people

It is so easy to fall into the above traps, especially if you are still young and “YOLO-full.” The main culprit to this human weakness of doing the right thing for our future self is Hyperbolic Discounting.To those who have read FQ Book 2, you will recall that it’s the story of the Marshmallow Test to the young Makatwirang Mak and Emotional Emong, that happened again in their adult lives.

We continue to be victims of this behavioral pitfall which is also known as Present Bias, our tendency to choose a smaller but sooner now reward over a larger but later reward. We have a difficult time doing what’s good for us in the long-run because the lure of being satisfied right now is so much more powerful than the thought of having a good life, years into the future. The lack of negative feedback also helps in our tendency to procrastinate doing what is good for us in the future. It’s not like when we make a mistake of accidentally touching a hot stove, cutting your finger when chopping something, etc. If left unchecked, allowing our present bias to always prevail day after day, week after week, year after year will mess up not just our financial health but also our physical health, career, relationships, and other important aspects of life. Nobody gets poor, unhealthy, or falls out of love overnight. It is in the small things that we do or fail to do that accumulate over time that eventually brings us to state that we don’t want to be in, especially when we reach the senior age. I’ve said this before, but let me say it again. “Don’t overdo YOLO, but also remember YAGO!”

So, let me ask you the question once more, “How old are you now? How many more years before you turn senior? Whatever your answer is, check how you can design your everyday life so that you will not have any of the 12 regrets listed above.

Let’s continue this conversation on Thursday August 5, 2021. We will have a special guest who is joyfully turning senior the following day – my favorite person in the world. He will share with us some valuable money lessons for all age brackets – in your teens, twenties, thirties, forties, and fifties. If you have any questions you want to ask him, just sent them in so we can discuss your concern.


  1. Join us on Kumu every Thursday at 11am.

2. Please subscribe to my new FQ Mom Podcast. If you’d rather consume this article in audio and listen to additional comments and insights, please listen to my podcast on the platform of your choice.

3. To learn more about your money behavior, get your copy of FQ Book 2. Get copies for your loved ones too. The principles you will learn from here are not only applicable in your financial life but all the other important aspects of your life.

To know more about FQ Book 2, watch this short video .

4. How good are you with money? Do you want to know your FQ Score? Take the FQ Test and get hold of your finances now. Scan the QR code or click the link

Attributions: Freepik, Banko Sentral ng Pilipinas