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Seniors in search of a 're-do': Survey finds older Americans wish they could change some things

A survey of older adults found they have some regrets, but believe younger adults can learn from what they didn't do exactly right.
Lois M. Collins, Deseret News Modified: July 17, 2014 at 7:19 pm •  Published: July 20, 2014
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A USA Today survey of older adults found they have some regrets, but believe younger adults can learn from what they didn't do exactly right.

Writes Sharon Jayson, "When asked about a preselected list of steps they wish they had taken 'to plan and prepare for your senior years,' the most-cited responses illustrate just how regret also plays a role in getting older. Among them are saving more money and making better investments, taking better care of health and staying closer with family. Of the respondents, 18 percent said 'none of the above.'"

The survey was sponsored by USA Today, National Association of Area Agencies on Aging, National Council on Aging and UnitedHealthcare. It included two groups: 1,000 adults ages 60 and older, and a slightly larger group ages 18-59.

"When we get older, people do a life review," Louis Primavera, a psychologist at Touro College, told Jayson. "They begin to think 'I shoulda done this or saved more money or spent more time with the kids.' At some point, you get to the realization that we're not going to live forever."

Besides the regret portion, the survey showed more older Americans are exercising and setting health goals, according to an NCOA release. Those who are working on improving their health also reported greater optimism about their ability to stay healthy. The survey showed more "financial confidence," while the top worry was losing memory and independence, it said.

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