Insurance · 12 June 2018

Will you regret your life decisions? Over 50s discuss career regrets and bad investments

MAny over 50s regret not spending enough time with their family and children.

Research from over 50s life insurance challenger brand FiftyLife, shows that money careers and material things came a distant second to relationships, family and health.

Is it better to regret the things you do or the things you don’t do? Almost two-thirds (65%) of the 2,000 over 50s surveyed said missed opportunities and risks not taken lead to more regret than doing and failing.

The response has been triggered by an exploration into what life lessons can the older generation offer to younger people.

Building a successful career was not seen as a priority as only 10% voted it as one of the greatest goals to aim for. On a similar note only 30% thought that money could bring happiness.

Despite this, the top piece of advice respondents would give to their 21-year-old self would be to start saving now for retirement.

Top 5 pieces of advice over 50s would give their 21-year-old self

• Start saving for your pension now
• Don’t rush into a relationship
• Tell your loved ones how much you care while you still have the chance
• Work isn’t everything – take time for family and friends
• Don’t sweat over the small stuff

A third wished they’d saved more for retirement and made better decisions with money.

One in four say they wish they’d challenged themselves and taken more chances – and a similar number regret not pursuing a different career.

A quarter said they were glad they’d sacrificed excess spending to save money, whereas millennials priorities travelling and living in the moment than investing in future plans.

Matthew Gledhill, managing director of over 50s life insurance challenger brand FiftyLife, said:

“The clear message from people in their 50s and beyond to the younger generation is to get out and seize life with both hands, taking the opportunities that arise and pursuing your dreams, even if that means making some brave choices.”

FiftyLife also asked people who had found success in later life by blogging to share their experiences and advice for reaching goals and overcoming regrets.

Ceri Wheeldon, who runs the successful over 50 women’s lifestyle blog Fab After Fifty, uses any regrets as learning curves.

“All we can do is build on past experiences and do things in a different way in the future. It is never too late to live the life you want and be the person you are meant to be.”

David Evans is a teacher turned blogger, who launched a popular site, Grey Fox Blog, in his fifties and has this advice for those starting out:

“Follow your own path. Decide for yourself what you enjoy doing and what you’re good at and find some way of weaving those into your professional and leisure lives. I’d have liked to have had a better understanding of all the career paths open to me when I was young.”

Top 10 aspirations for today’s over 50s

• Relax and have fun
• See the children happily settled
• Retire
• Spend more time with partner
• Get fit
• Create a beautiful home
• Create a beautiful garden
• Visit somewhere I’ve always wanted to go
• Have an active sex life
• Create a beautiful home and garden

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Carly Hacon is a reporter for Business Advice. She has a BA in journalism from Kingston University, and has previously worked as a features editor for a local newspaper.

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