Marriage, travel and lacking confidence to follow dreams top list of biggest regrets among over 50s

14 November 2019

Making the wrong decision surrounding work and education is the most common regret among those over 50, according to a new piece of research.

Biggest regrets

Many over 50s also wish that they had travelled more when they were younger and had the confidence to pursue a different romantic relationship.

In a recent survey, we asked 376 people aged 50 and above what they would have done differently in their life.

The most common answers surrounded work and education (22%), including having the confidence to pursue a career or taking a career opportunity which was offered to them at some point in their life. This was closely followed by making better choices in love (18%), with many revealing they wish they had gotten married. There were also a number of answers from people who described a relationship they wish they had pursued in their youth, which for one reason or another they did not progress at the time.

11% of the responses revolved around family, with many respondents wishing they’d had the chance to have children, or been able to spend more time with loved ones. An additional 11% mentioned having financial regrets, such as not being able to earn and save more money and making sufficient plans for retirement.

Many respondents (8%) also regretted not having travelled more in their youth, with one respondent wishing they’d “travelled more before getting married and having children”.

However, despite the list of regrets, 6% of respondents explained that there was ‘nothing’ they would change about their life. When asked what they would have done differently, one respondent astutely answered: “nothing, because I have learnt from everything, good or bad.”

Funeral plan Marketing Manager, Emma Simpson, said: “It was interesting to read through the answers and see how detailed some people were when describing their biggest regrets. Having the confidence to pursue a new career or a romantic relationship comes up quite frequently in these responses and it proves that it’s often the things you don’t do you regret the most.

“It’s disheartening to see just how many people wish they’d taken a different career path, for their own personal fulfilment or financial reasons, or made better preparations for retirement. This research highlights that there are many people who are not in a position to make financial provision for their own funeral. However, it is still a good idea to make funeral wishes known in order to reduce the worry for loved ones.”

Source: OnePoll research of 376 men and women aged 50 and above on behalf of Ecclesiastical Planning Services, December 2018.