The top 6 regrets of the dying
You've heard this before: No one on his or her deathbed ever said, 'I wish I had spent more time at the office.' Here are the other things you'll likely regret.
This post comes from Angela Brandt at partner site Money Talks News.
For the past few years, a list of the most common regrets of the dying compiled by a palliative care nurse has been making the rounds online.
Are you going to have remorse for the same reasons? We'd argue that avoiding these regrets is not only affordable but good for your personal finances.
Let's take a look at them.
1. I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
Be like Frank Sinatra and do it your way. So you're not a rich, famous and handsome man with your pick of the ladies. That doesn't mean you can't pursue and hopefully fulfill your dreams.
Ask that crush on a date, then think of something romantic, creative and frugal to woo them -- a milkshake and a sunset worked on me.
Not fulfilled in your current job? Launching a proper job search is a remedy.
Bronnie Ware, the nurse who compiled the list, says unfulfilled wishes were the most common regret among her patients. Those who had that regret "had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made."
2. I wish I had not worked so hard.
Just because you don't kill yourself on the job doesn't mean you'll be broke.
Consider this: Dutch workers are on the job about 400 fewer hours a year than Americans, yet they have "robust personal savings," says Bloomberg. Americans average almost 1,800 hours per year at work versus less than 1,400 for the Dutch. Not only that, but the Dutch were listed fifth in the world a few years back for life satisfaction. Americans weren't even close.
"By simplifying your lifestyle and making conscious choices along the way, it is possible to not need the income that you think you do. And by creating more space in your life, you become happier and more open to new opportunities, ones more suited to your new lifestyle," Ware says.
Another case in point: Harvard researchers forced a group of professionals -- accountants, lawyers, investment bankers and the like -- to back away from their workaholic tendencies by logging off of the matrix after office hours and actually taking their allotted time off.
In the study, a control group performed normally, meaning they worked 50 or more hours each week, skipped part of their vacation time and were constantly on call. The career-minded individuals who clocked a regular 40-hour schedule and left their work cellphones at the office when they went home "reported increased learning and development and better communication with their teams and, most surprisingly, they actually produced more total output than their workaholic colleagues," the four-year study found.
In addition, they noted higher satisfaction with both their job and in finding the proper balance of personal time.
3. I wish I'd had the courage to express my feelings.
In a brilliant infographic inspired by Ware's work, Addicted2Success illustrates regrets of dying people, including those who regretting not having said "I love you" more often -- a problem easily remedied at no cost. Others addressed speaking one's mind in order to not harbor resentment and resolving conflicts rather than holding a grudge.
"Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others," Ware wrote. "As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result."4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
Technology makes this easier and cheaper than ever.
Facebook, anyone? Shoot a text. Compose an email. Support the dying Postal Service and write a letter.
Ware says that everyone misses friends when dying. Keep in contact and you won't have that longing. "It all comes down to love and relationships in the end. That is all that remains in the final weeks -- love and relationships," she adds.
5. I wish I had let myself be happier.
Laugh a little and smile more, and it could increase more than your mood. The Wall Street Journal says a study of more than 10,000 young Americans found that those who reported being happier and more positive had a higher income by age 29.
"The analysis suggests happiness isn't just linked to higher income -- it's helping generate it. That could be because happier young adults are more likely to earn a college degree, get hired and promoted, be more optimistic and less neurotic," the Journal says.
6. I wish I had saved more for retirement.
This regret comes from Addicted2Success and was not on Ware's list. Perhaps it should have been.
A recent study shows that 28% of Americans don't think they'll have enough money saved to retire comfortably, according to The Journal. Also, 57% of U.S. workers surveyed had less than $25,000 in savings.
Remember that it's never too late to start saving.
"Failing to plan for the retirement years leaves people destitute in their old age. When that happens, their last moments on earth can be very difficult and miserable," Addicted2Success says.
Do you worry that you'll have regrets near the end of your life? What steps are you taking to avoid them?
More on Money Talks News
VIDEO ON MSN MONEY
Most will say these days: "I wish I could visit one more website or Facebook again"
Get a life -- go outside!!!!
I take as much vacation as I feel the desire for. Don't work yourself to death with long hours. The only thing long hours ever got me, was more long hours. Just remember, no one on their deathbed ever wished they had spent more time at the office.
In my job, I am on call 24 hrs. However, I have decreed Sunday to be Nextel free day and the hell with what may happen. So far, nothing has. And I don't take it on vacation.
Do things for others less fortunate than you. When you stand before God on judgment day, it may give your defense attorney something to plea bargain with!
#7. Some may regret letting MSN convince them to delay taking social security.
Save plenty now, retire when you want (early) instead of the societal norm for retirement age, and for heavens sake, take your social security when you need to, not a moment later. Free yourself up while you are young enough to enjoy it.
my great regret now that I am in my 70's is that I can't do the things I loved, skiing,motor cycles racing,sailing the
world, never got past mexico. I guess I should be happy because I did many things. I used to be
criticized for taking time off for skiing, I am happy I did it.
In one of my classes, they said another somewhat common saying is "I am glad this is over with".
I remember that because my mother said that.
Its not all sunshire and rainbows for everybody.
You all can dog 'blamee', but get real, to a certain point what this person has said is true for a large number of people. And it's not just the whiners and those who "didn't plan."
blamee: "I was onboard until the whole "wish I had saved more for retirement" propaganda thing was snuck in. With Social Security and Medicare about to go belly up "under-funded," and 0-percent interest rates causing negative savings, you can forget about retirement. Most of you will be like my neighbors who ran out of money and both committed suicide just as their last dime went out the door. Remember "Abreit Macht Frei" because work is just the long walk to the American gas chamber on the United States of Ambien drugged out line at the wrong end of the 9mm.
"Deniability" is a great thing for our government. The people are the SS; not them. It's never the government's fault. You will never retire. You will work until you are too old, too tired, too worn out, too broken to work anymore. And then you will live until you run out of money and have to die prematurely."
Think about it people, the price of a gallon of gas, a gallon of milk, a loaf of bread, has TRIPLED in the past 15 years. Have our salaries tripled? Uh, I don't think so. In many areas, homes that were nice, decent $75,000 homes (read: AFFORDABLE) years ago cost $200,000 now.
My advice? Start paring down now and be prepared to live simply, and simply live. You best evaluate NOW what happiness means to you, and figure out how you're going to live it; don't wait til old age is upon you and then starting wringing your hands.
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