I imagine it is a rare 60+ year-old who doesn’t have a few regrets about some stupid things they did earlier in their life. It appears the most common regrets are financial mistakes that are catching up with them now. For example, poor planning for retirement, not saving enough, early withdrawals from retirement accounts, and underestimating how long we might live.
I never made much so this saying worked for me:
“The amount of money you have has got nothing to do with what you earn. People earning a million dollars a year can have no money, and people earning $35,000 a year can be quite well off. It’s not what you earn, it’s what you spend.” ~Paul Clitheroe
Other regrets are health-related. Obesity is a common problem for Boomers. The approximate prevalence of obesity is 40.0% among American adults aged 20 to 39 years, 44.8% among adults aged 40 to 59 years, and 42.8% among adults 60 and older. Over 40 % of baby boomers are obese, up from about 29 % of their parents’ generation. This epidemic of obesity is the primary health concern for boomers today. Why are baby boomers so unhealthy? One culprit in there being so many obesity-related chronic diseases in Boomers, could be the big dietary shift that began in the 1950s to fast, convenient, processed foods with additives and preservatives. This generation also felt the need to overwork and were generally too busy, making the pull toward fast food even stronger.
Another strong regret? That they didn’t travel more when they were younger. I was brain-washed from an early age to save, save, save, but also belonged to a traveling family. I had a free trip to Bangkok at age 19 and I took it. Then it was trips to Asia regularly until I lost interest. I also enjoyed a number of trips to the Caribbean and Mexico, and a trip to Paris and Italy in the 1980s. I also took another free trip to Cuenca, Ecuador before we moved down here.
My regrets lean more towards some of the relationship choices I made in my 20s and 30s, ones that set me on a path of destruction for decades. Put simply, I trusted the wrong people because I was young and stupid. Even my first marriage at age 39 was stupid, but lucrative 🙂 Which brings me to a few of my favorite quotes from that period…
Sometimes I sit and wonder, what was I thinking? But then I try to give myself a break and summarize with live and learn. And that’s really the point, isn’t it?
WE MUST LEARN FROM OUR MISTAKES!
I finally got marriage right at age 50, and when it’s right, IT’S RIGHT! After being hard on myself forever for not producing more or having more to show for my life, I met a partner with a great attitude. His opinion?
Get to it! Embrace the imperfection and enjoy the ride!
The irony is that he is a perfectionist and yet he chose me! I have never figured that one out, but we are committed for life now, come sunshine or rain. My revised opinion of regrets is very similar to what Willie Nelson said in his interview yesterday:
“If I changed anything in my past, I wouldn’t be where I am now… and I love where I am now!”