Workers say these are their 5 biggest regrets in life

Man filled with regret
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If you have been living on this planet for a while, you have regrets. Certainly at the age of 30, the “what ifs” and “shoulds” begin to pile up in your mind. And the list grows from year to year.

Although regrets differ from person to person, there are some grievances that many of us share. American Century Investments surveyed 1,500 full-time workers and asked them to share their biggest regrets in life as part of the company’s 9th annual survey of pension plan members.

The workers were between 25 and 65 years old and reported saving through their employer’s pension plan. Here is a list of their regrets and the percentage of workers who placed each regret at # 1 on their list.

Not being a better person overall

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Respondents who cited this as their biggest regret: 6%

We all wish we could take back what we said or did. Such regrets extend from our days on the playground to last week’s office meeting.

A small percentage of respondents said that not being a better person was their biggest regret in life. The good news? It is never too late to reverse this regret.

Not doing enough to enjoy life

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Respondents who cited this as their biggest regret: 14%

Some of us spend endless days chained to our desks, never taking the time to smell the roses right outside the office door. Others simply see the glass three quarters empty by default.

It’s time to stop doing the things that rob you of joy. For more tips on getting the most out of life, check out “9 Habits Happy People Use to Improve Their Lives.”

Don’t do better with personal relationships

Couple having an argument
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Respondents who cited this as their biggest regret: 14%

Maintaining strong relationships can be a challenge, but the rewards are well worth it.

As we have reported, retirees say their main source of fulfillment is spending time with loved ones. In other words, those who have lived a long time – and have seen all of life’s ups and downs – have learned that nothing beats being surrounded by those you love.

For more wisdom from retirees, check out “8 of the Greatest Fulfillment for Retirees.”

Not doing better in your career

confused senior looking at computer
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Respondents who cited this as their biggest regret: 14%

In the modern world – especially in America – what you do for a living often defines you. So, it’s no surprise that a healthy segment of survey respondents say their main regret is not doing better when it comes to career goals.

But like becoming a better person, it’s never too late to advance your career.

Don’t save more for retirement

Senior couple with empty wallet discussing financial issues
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Respondents who cited this as their biggest regret: 35%

By far the biggest regret in life for working Americans is not saving more for retirement. In fact, the percentage who cited this as their # 1 regret was more than double that of any other item on this list.

While it’s never too late to save for your golden years, the job gets easier the earlier you start. So if you’re young – and even if you’re not – consider signing up for the Money Talks News course. Money made easy.

The course will teach you everything from how to set and achieve goals, to ways to live more while spending less.

No regrets

Man listening to music on headphones at work
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Respondents who cited no regrets: 14%

Finally, a decent percentage of survey respondents said they had no major regrets in life. It seems like these people just take life as it comes and if they make mistakes, quickly walk away. We tip our hats to these sunny optimists!

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, sometimes we receive compensation for clicking on links in our stories.

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