Biggest life regrets of the over 50s revealed - and how to avoid them

Kim Hookem-Smith
Yahoo Lifestyle
20 February 2013

Not travelling enough has come top of a list of regrets felt by the over 5os, beating regrets over relationships, careers and healthy choices.

It seems that if we want to look back on our life to date with rose-tinted specs when we hit our half century, we're better get out into the wide world as often as possible.

Failure to travel enough was cited as a top regret by 91 per cent of more than 2,000 adults over the age of 50 polled by

But it's not just hopping on a plane that will ensure your future contentment. Now is also the time to make sure you're making career choices you'll be pleased with in the future (the second biggest regret) and getting you love life on track (the third).

[Related: Exhaused? Five easy tips to give you an healthy energy boost]

Paying attention to your health and keeping fit came up as a big concern, which is hardly surprising as it's in your fifties that you might start feeling the effects to over indulging and under exercising in your youth.

What's rather reassuring for all of us 20somethings who are putting off children because of finances, relationship security, career and well, maybe just because we want the freedom to go travelling more, is that having children too late was only a regret for eight per cent of people. While, 27 per cent regretted having them too early.

[Related: Five big impact, low effort health resolutions]

The top 10 regrets:

1.    Not travelling enough
2.    Career choice
3.    Bad relationship choices
4.    Not staying healthy (diet/exercise)
5.    Losing touch with certain friends
6.    Being careless with money
7.    Having children too early
8.    Worrying too much
9.    Not being a ‘yes’ person
10.    Having children too late

The study found that 64 per cent the respondents took less than on holiday a year over their lifetime.

Chris Clarkson, co-founder of said: “Travelling is something that I think every person should have high up on their list of priorities in life, because, as this poll has shown us, it’ll only lead to regrets if they don’t.

"Many people picture ‘travelling’ and imagine six-month-long stints in exotic countries, but seeing the world is much more achievable than that and you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg or pack in your job.

"Just make sure that every holiday, or at least every other holiday you go on, is to somewhere brand new. You’ll get to see the world bit by bit, but your bank balance won’t suffer as much as if you were to fly out to Thailand for three months. Give it a go!”

You don't really have to tell us twice to head off on holiday, but then you could say Chris has a rather vested interest in us 'giving it a go'.

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