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Old 02-25-2012, 10:39 AM   #21
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Not sure I follow, what for example comes to your mind?
An example would be raising children and the experiences that it provides.

I don't know the answers because I'm not on my deathbed. If someone asked me the regrets question while I was on my deathbed I'd tell them to get the hell away from me. My regret would be them asking me the question. I'd much prefer to reflect back on why my life was such a positive experience.

I think that there is more to be gained by learning what people succeeded at rather than what they failed at.
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Old 02-25-2012, 10:42 AM   #22
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I'll ask DW and get back to you.
Well, if yours is like mine, I already know the answer.

Yes
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Old 02-25-2012, 10:52 AM   #23
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6. I wish it was that guy over there who was dying, instead of me...

Oh, wait, he's dying too...

I tried doing my own thing, and found that being broke took much of the charm away.
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Old 02-25-2012, 12:05 PM   #24
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6. I wish it was that guy over there who was dying, instead of me...

Oh, wait, he's dying too...

I tried doing my own thing, and found that being broke took much of the charm away.
Funny! But you changed the topic of discussion, as it is not about wishes, so let me change it for you.. "I REGRET that it is not the guy over there dying instead of me..."
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Old 02-25-2012, 04:53 PM   #25
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1. I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
2. I wish I hadn't worked so hard.
3. I wish I'd had the courage to express my feelings.
4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.
I don't think that I'd have such regrets except for maybe #5. Can never seem to have too much happiness.

How to make yourself happier?
Maybe:
1) Look to make others happier and share the fun? DW and I recently reserved a flight to Paris in September. Also I try to make my dealings with others (DS, friends, trades people) a win-win situation.

2) Take it now and put it to good use -- SS that is. Probably will pull the trigger a bit earlier after reading through my own analysis that was spurred on by a recent SS thread here.

3) Dig deeper into your passions. Could be reading novels, investing, oil painting, gardening, home maintenance, the wonders science uncovers. Whatever I like.

Other ideas on getting more happiness into ones life?
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Old 02-25-2012, 06:08 PM   #26
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Great list! I wish I saw it about 30 years ago. I am sure guilty of working far too much.
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Old 02-25-2012, 09:38 PM   #27
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My dear FIL passed away earlier this year at the age of 87. His biggest regret? Drinking beer/getting drunk on Okinawa during WWII. I think that was the only time in his life that he strayed from his Baptist beliefs. It only took a War and flying a dozen or so combat missions plus a little peer pressure from his Marine buddies.
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Old 02-26-2012, 08:31 AM   #28
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Good post, im working a lot now at age 31 but just had a child and hope to be around more as he gets older. I need to remember to not work so much but still build a nestegg
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Old 02-26-2012, 11:18 AM   #29
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This list doesn't do much for me. I'd much prefer a list of those top five items that provided the greatest satisfaction, gratification, bliss, happiness, contentment, etc.
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An example would be raising children and the experiences that it provides.
I don't know the answers because I'm not on my deathbed. If someone asked me the regrets question while I was on my deathbed I'd tell them to get the hell away from me. My regret would be them asking me the question. I'd much prefer to reflect back on why my life was such a positive experience.
I think that there is more to be gained by learning what people succeeded at rather than what they failed at.
Wow. I don't know what this thread did to annoy you, but maybe you'd be better off starting a thread about "top five successes of the dying". I'm pretty sure that's a book opportunity all its own, too.

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(or, then again, too few to mention, heh, heh).
I think the deathbed regrets are mainly of the variety "... and it's too late for me to do anything about it". Any other time, if we had those regrets then we'd either rectify the situation or dismiss the thought.

BTW your Sinatra reference might be too obscure for the younger crowd!

My daughter and I were at a taekwondo clinic a few years ago. As we stood around in our gear waiting for the sparring to start, the instructor put on that song from Frank's "Greatest Hits" CD for inspiration. I was already laughing and enjoying the music when my daughter said "Who's that singer?" As I laughed even harder, one of her (older) black-belt women friends named C.J. came over and said "You know that's Frank Sinatra, right?" My daughter said "Frank who? Oh, is he one of those 'oldies' guys?"

C.J. laid my daughter on the floor with one punch.

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My dear FIL passed away earlier this year at the age of 87. His biggest regret? Drinking beer/getting drunk on Okinawa during WWII. I think that was the only time in his life that he strayed from his Baptist beliefs. It only took a War and flying a dozen or so combat missions plus a little peer pressure from his Marine buddies.
If that's the biggest problem he encountered on WWII Okinawa then I'd suggest that his regrets also fall into the category of "too few to mention"...
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Old 02-26-2012, 11:28 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by Nords

Wow. I don't know what this thread did to annoy you, but maybe you'd be better off starting a thread about "top five successes of the dying". I'm pretty sure that's a book opportunity all its own, too.

I think the deathbed regrets are mainly of the variety "... and it's too late for me to do anything about it". Any other time, if we had those regrets then we'd either rectify the situation or dismiss the thought.

BTW your Sinatra reference might be too obscure for the younger crowd!

My daughter and I were at a taekwondo clinic a few years ago. As we stood around in our gear waiting for the sparring to start, the instructor put on that song from Frank's "Greatest Hits" CD for inspiration. I was already laughing and enjoying the music when my daughter said "Who's that singer?" As I laughed even harder, one of her (older) black-belt women friends named C.J. came over and said "You know that's Frank Sinatra, right?" My daughter said "Frank who? Oh, is he one of those 'oldies' guys?"

C.J. laid my daughter on the floor with one punch.

If that's the biggest problem he encountered on WWII Okinawa then I'd suggest that his regrets also fall into the category of "too few to mention"...
Nords, I caught the "My Way", but its funny I never knew that was Sinatras signature song until much later in life. Growing up I listened to alot of Paul Anka ( who wrote it of course) and Elvis. I thought in my early teen years that was their song as those were the only versions I heard, not Sinatra's.
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Old 02-26-2012, 04:42 PM   #31
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Let's take a quick detour here.

"My Way" has been one of my favorite songs for many years, and I heard it from Sinatra first, before I knew that Paul Anka wrote the lyrics for it.

But this was originally a French song, and the English lyrics from Anka bore no resemblance to the original 1967 French song, "Comme d'habitude". A presentation by the song writer, Claude François, follows. This was a love song, or rather about lack of it.

A first few lines of translation follow. For the rest, the curious may find it here.

Comme d'habitude / As Usual


Je me lève / I rise up
Et je te bouscule / And I bump into you
Tu ne te réveilles pas / You do not wake up
Comme d'habitude / As usual

Sur toi / Over you
Je remonte le drap / I pull up the sheet
J'ai peur que tu aies froid / I am afraid that you are cold
Comme d'habitude / As usual

Ma main / My hand
Caresse tes cheveux / Strokes you hair
Presque malgré moi / Almost unwillingly
Comme d'habitude / As usual

Mais toi / But you
Tu me tournes le dos / You turn your back on me
Comme d'habitude / As usual


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Old 02-26-2012, 06:03 PM   #32
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My dear FIL passed away earlier this year at the age of 87. His biggest regret? Drinking beer/getting drunk on Okinawa during WWII. I think that was the only time in his life that he strayed from his Baptist beliefs. It only took a War and flying a dozen or so combat missions plus a little peer pressure from his Marine buddies.
Well, there's the old saying about "I've spent my time in hell." I celebrate with you that he lived such a long life and had such an obvious True North to steer by.
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Old 02-26-2012, 06:11 PM   #33
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I spent quite a bit of time last night reading the Inspiration and Chai blog that you linked to above. I really like the way she thinks. Thanks so much for posting it.
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Old 02-26-2012, 06:57 PM   #34
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Nords, I caught the "My Way", but its funny I never knew that was Sinatras signature song until much later in life. Growing up I listened to alot of Paul Anka ( who wrote it of course) and Elvis. I thought in my early teen years that was their song as those were the only versions I heard, not Sinatra's.
When I was growing up, rock&roll was not played in my house. Barely even the Beatles, and then only their "pop" songs.

When I got to college and heard "While My Guitar Gently Weeps", I mentioned to my roommate that it sounded like a great song and asked who performed it. He was speechless.

My blissful ignorance was quickly rectified over the next four years...

I think my daughter's teen insouciance just made C.J. (who's all of 20-something) feel old & grumpy.
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Old 02-26-2012, 11:20 PM   #35
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I don't think I have anything to regret, if I were to die soon, other than I should not be dying at my age, though plenty of unfortunate people have had much less time than I have had.

But I can see a moribund person regretting being mean to someone, or having cheated a spouse, or having done some terrible deed.

I don't see that one would regret not having seen Niagara Falls, or the Eiffel Tower, or being to Tahiti. Well, that would not be good, because the world is vast and how can one ever seen them all.

I don't see that one would be regretful that he should have experienced something, like having owned a fancy car, a plane, a luxurious RV, or a yacht. Life should be about more than that!

So, other than relationships with others, or how one has conducted oneself, what can one regret about?

There was this song that I liked in my late teen years. It was first translated from a 1961 French song by Jacques Brel and sung by the Kingston Trio, but only became successful in 1974 with Terry Jacks.

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Old 02-27-2012, 07:56 AM   #36
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I don't think I have anything to regret, if I were to die soon, other than I should not be dying at my age, though plenty of unfortunate people have had much less time than I have had.
Maybe the dying people who expressed regrets only represented a total subset of all the patients this nurse saw (although she does say "all male patients" regretted working too hard). Maybe her patients were more like me -- I often ruminate over regrets and "what ifs"-- and the happier ones are like you and my DH, who thinks regrets are a waste of time (which is true, I'm sure).

Merely reading this forum with all the threads on the downfall of SS, the growing costs of medical care, need for LTC, etc, is enough to set me off on a worry-fest. Sometimes it's hard to find the right balance.
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Old 02-27-2012, 11:55 AM   #37
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The conventional wisdom seems to be 70% of current projected benefits, though I am sure there are other estimates. ... Health care is in more trouble than Soc Sec.
We're in our mid-50's and I've included SS in our income at 75% of the projected benefit and 100% taxable. I guess I'll drop that to 70%. And growing my current medical expenses at 8% per year leads to an unsustainable number down the line, but I'm leaving it in for now because I prefer to use the most conservative estimates.

It's increasing clear to me that retirement planning (like life itself) is fraught with risk and uncertainty. I'm trying to prepare as best I can, and then get out of my own way (see #5 in the OP's list).
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Old 02-27-2012, 12:34 PM   #38
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Are people on their deathbeds saying they wish they had spent more time worrying about how the Social Security program is administered? I was enjoying the thoughtful responses here to the OP--probably there is another thread about Social Security on this forum
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Old 02-27-2012, 02:14 PM   #39
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Yes, I think they got switched from that thread to this...

Social Security - When to start benefits..

But, I guess we can talk about SS on our death beds...Hmmm after thinking some more...maybe not.
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Old 02-27-2012, 03:00 PM   #40
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I would love to hear a few anecdotes of what exactly people meant by their dreams. The knee-jerk thought is that they chose the safe career over a risky venture, but maybe people have more unique dreams that we don't know about? .
I grew up in a mid-sized town that I hated - if you weren't into winter sports or hunting, you got to sit and watch TV or go bowling. I just wanted out of there - that was pretty much the extent of my dreams.

I enrolled in a pre-med program at a very well known university, but it didn't take long before I figured out that I wasn't cut out to be a doctor. I didn't know what else to do, but I knew I wanted something. I went back home, met a guy and was well on the road to the whole marriage, family, clerical job thing but I was very unhappy. Nothing felt right.

Then I went to Club Med in Guadeloupe for 2 weeks. It felt like home. Better still - they offered me a job. When I got home, though, reality set in: I'd be giving up my fiance, my new car, my job (where I'd just been promoted) and, in short, my security. I was going to give up the return ticket when my boss told me that if I didn't take the job, she was going to fire me!!! She said that there was nothing worse that getting to the age of 40 and wondering "what if". And if I gave up the opportunity, then that made me stupid and she didn't want stupid people working for her!

So I quit the job, sold the car and told my fiance that I was going to Guadeloupe. Eventually I transferred to Mexico (where I got really sick). After that, I spent some time in Haiti and Tahiti. I travelled all over the Caribbean and loved every minute of it. Eventually, I gave up wandering and put roots down in Vancouver - life is exciting, I've done lots of weird and wonderful things, travel a lot, and now I've bought an RV and am planning the next phase of my gypsy lifestyle.

All thanks to a boss who wouldn't let me settle for "what if"... I hope the angels smile on her
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