Jaspreet Singh on the Top 5 Money Regrets People Have in Their 30s

Jaspreet Singh / Jaspreet Singh

In general, Americans are not well prepared for their financial lives. This is chiefly because we don’t grow up with much — if any — education in personal finance. Consequently, we can make mistakes and end up with serious regrets once we’re grown adults.  

In a recent YouTube post, Jaspreet “The Minority Mindset” Singh, a serial entrepreneur and licensed attorney dedicated to spreading financial education, recently addressed the top five money regrets people have in their 30s, as determined by financial experts in a CNBC article by Jessica Dickler. 

Singh went through the list and shared his advice on the points. Let’s unpack it and see what fellow finance expert, Ohan Kayikchyan, CFP, founder of Ohan The Money Doctor, has to say about these five major money regrets

Regret No. 1: Not Negotiating Your Salary 

Negotiating your salary can be daunting and you may not feel like you’re experienced or valuable enough to do it. A survey by Glassdoor found that 59% of Americans didn’t negotiate salary after receiving their most recent job offer. Failure to negotiate your pay is a major mistake that can cause regret later. 

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“The reason why this is so powerful is because I don’t think many people realize that everything is negotiable,” Singh said. “The worst that someone can say is no. And I want you to remember that because there’s a lot of opportunity if people just ask.” 

Kayikchyan said the failure to negotiate with management often ties to feeling lonely when dealing with hiring professionals. 

“In many cases, we settle for the mere idea of having a job and the security of a steady paycheck,” Kayikchyan said. “It’s important to make the effort and request a reasonable pay. One way to determine this is by researching similar positions at competitors or job search sites to find out the average pay for comparable qualifications and responsibilities. Whether it’s your first salary or you’re seeking a fair raise, which often fails to keep up with rising prices, you’re simply asking for fairness. The bottom line is: know your worth.” 

Regret No. 2: Leasing ‘Too Much’ Car

Leasing a car can be an appropriate alternative to buying one, but if not done right, it can lead to financial regret. 

“Leasing ‘too much’ car is probably one of the most common money traps and money regrets for people in their twenties and their thirties,” Singh said. “You are spending a ton of money on something that isn’t making you any money.”

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This approach flies in the face of the desire (and need) to build wealth.

“When you lease a car, you don’t gain any ownership of the vehicle since you must return it at the end of the lease unless you decide to purchase it – but that’s a separate conversation,” Kayikchyan said. “However, if you come to the realization that the primary purpose of a car is to transport you from point A to point B, you might find it acceptable to drive a used, reliable car that you bought outright without taking any loans or obligations. As Jaspreet points out, by choosing this path, you can allocate the lease payment money towards your savings and investment goals, which, in the long run, will grow significantly if invested responsibly. When you have a substantial net worth, you will be able to afford pretty much any car of your choice. This is known as opportunity cost.”

Regret No. 3: Going All in on Tech

Tech tends to dominate the stock market, but pouring all your investment money into tech companies can lead to major regret.

“I think this is an important investment lesson,” Singh said of this common regret. “You see this in pretty much every asset class that’s booming. If you’re not an experienced investor, or even if you are an experienced investor, it’s very easy to get caught up in the hype.” 

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Singh points out that we saw this doomed trajectory in the late ’90s and early 2000s — when the tech bubble burst following a frenzy of investment in dot-com entities. Who’s to say it can’t happen again?  

“We see new investment opportunities emerging like the 2000’s technology boom, the rise in cryptocurrencies and NFTs and the boom in real estate,” Kayikchyan said. “However, history has shown that predicting the next Google or Amazon is nearly impossible. But there is an investment strategy that stands the test of time: low-cost and well-diversified index funds. While many cryptocurrencies may eventually disappear, much like the majority of dot-com companies in the 2000s, well-diversified investment portfolios will remain an option to consider.”

Regret No. 4: Unloading Inherited Stock

“I don’t know too much about inheritances like this, but I think the whole idea boils down to selling investments,” Singh said. “I’m not a huge fan of selling. I like holding — particularly in places like real estate.” 

Kayikchyan points out that Singh’s idea centers on selling real estate only when it becomes problematic or when a substantial amount of equity is accumulated — which can be a mistake.  

“Another crucial point he raises is the importance of knowing where to reinvest the funds after selling inherited assets, ensuring that their purchasing power remains intact,” Kayikchyan said. “From my own experiences, I have encountered individuals who have inherited stocks from major companies like Coca-Cola or AT&T and are unwilling to think of selling them due to the sentimental family legacy tied to these stocks; however, regardless of the assets being inherited, the wisest decision is to carefully consider the overall investment portfolio diversification and align it with your specific financial goals.” 

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Regret No. 5: Not Considering Long-Term Care

According to AARP, there are nearly 48 million caregivers to people over the age of 18 in the U.S. What does that mean? There are tens of millions of adults in need of care! You could end up being one of them. And even if you’re not, you’re probably still going to need medical care beyond the basics at some point in your life. 

“As Jaspreet accurately emphasizes, it is crucial to begin budgeting for long-term care,” Kayikchyan said. “I strongly suggest starting this budgeting process as soon as possible, rather than waiting for a health crisis to occur. The article also highlights numerous insurance options available in the marketplace, ranging from traditional long-term care policies to hybrid ones that combine long-term care and life insurance. It is crucial to remember that any insurance policy is a contact, so it’s essential to thoroughly read and understand the terms prior to making a purchase. I also agree with Jaspreet’s viewpoint that, in many cases, term-life insurance is sufficient in many instances. Instead of having some complicated insurance policy, it can be better to accumulate assets to support your family in the event of an unfortunate circumstance.”

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