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As we grow older, we gain not just wrinkles and grey hair but knowledge and wisdom with the benefit of hindsight.
But if you could write a letter to yourself in the past, what would you tell yourself to do differently?
That was the question posed to pensioners in a recent survey, who revealed the events of the past - or the events that didn’t happen - that cause them the biggest regret in life.
These findings, published by Nationwide Building Society Savings, were polled from a group of male and female septuagenarians who are both retired and working.
Here are the four big things they wished they could go back in time to amend:
I wish I had travelled more
Money and responsibility often the key factors for us not acting on our wanderlust urges, but people in the 70s not having travelled enough as the most common heartache of all.
A whopping 33 per cent of those questioned admitted to regretting not having seen more of the world while they were young enough to do so.
I wish I had saved more money
It’s easier said than done, but just under a third of 70-somethings - 31 per cent - said they wished they had saved more money ahead of retiring.
The survey revealed that people in the age bracket were still saddled with an average of £31,504 worth of debt, including mortgages, credit cards, overdrafts and personal loans.
It also found people in their 70s had an average income of £21,617, only slightly less than the average 30-year-old, who earns around £24,763.
I wish I hadn’t lost touch with a friend or family member
As we go through life, we never stop making new acquaintances, but it’s old friends and family members that people in their 70s wish they’d stayed in touch with the most.
A total of 17 per cent of respondents said they lamented losing touch with someone close to them due to inattention or neglect.
I wish I hadn’t lost a partner from the past
This isn’t the case for everyone, but many people regret not voicing their unspoken thoughts to “the one that got away”.
One in seven - or 14 per cent of those surveyed - said they had romantic regrets of the past, concluding that time and perspective had not diminished the heartache for a former flame.
Looking back on our lives, at any age, can lead us to linger on one poignant moment or period when we wish we had done things differently, but perhaps these insights can be a good reminder for how best to live a life with few regrets.
This article was recently published in the Evening Standard. With the right Financial Planner, it’s very likely at least the first two of these regrets can be avoided by having a Financial Plan in place. Dreams to travel can be factored into your plan along with any other goals and aspirations you may have. Nobody knows what is just around the corner, but by having your finances in order you are able to plan to avoid regrets!