Below is a summary of the top regrets from those very near the end of their lives. These come from one of the largest studies with input provided by hospice care workers, nurses, and ministers.
10. I wish I would have pursued my talents and gifts.
9. I wish I would have experienced more, instead of settling into a routine.
8. I wish I would have made more of an impact in the world.
7. I wish I would have been more confident and tried more things instead of fearing embarrassment.
6. I wish I would have told the people I love the most how much they mean to me.
5. I wish I would have forgiven more.
4. I wish I would have stayed in touch with family and friends.
3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings more without the fear of rejection.
2. I wish I would have spent more time with my children as they were growing up.
1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life other people expected of me.
You might be thinking, what does this have to do with money and investing? The very interesting answer is nothing. There is no mention of money, investing, or anything related to finance on the list. No, I wish I would have bought Apple stock 15 years ago. No, I wish I would have watched more CNBC. No, I wish I would have sat in front of the computer more.
PlanForward’s short but simple mission statement is for clients to enjoy retirement without the fear and stress of running out of money. We can’t define “joy” for clients, but we can stick to our mission so clients can accomplish theirs, whatever that might be. As we see from the above list, some of the best investments we can make don’t involve money at all.