The 5 regrets of retirees (and how you can avoid them)

Everyone has regrets – whether it's the pretty girl you should have kissed that one night, the spicy curry you should have ordered 'medium' instead of 'extra hot', or the test you should have studied a little bit harder for, there's no escaping the fact that you will leave this world wishing you'd done a few things differently.

However, there are some regrets that you can avoid, simply by making a few small life changes in the here and now. Here are five retiree regrets – maybe they'll inspire you to start living the life that future-you would have wanted?

I didn't spend enough time with family

If you're anything like most Australians, odds are that you've had a fair few arguments and fights with your close family in your lifetime. However, if you're still holding grudges or not paying your family the time and attention they deserve, it might be time to bury the hatchet.

Keep in mind that when you get to retirement, some of your elderly relatives probably won't be there to enjoy it with you. That's why it's important to make every second count, by spending plenty of time with your parents and siblings while you're still young.

I should have worked less

In 2013, former Australian palliative care nurse Bronnie Ware published an interesting blog article which highlighted a number of the most common regrets that people expressed on their deathbeds. Sadly, "I wish I didn't work so hard" was listed as number two.

Many retirees regret not taking more time out when they were younger to live life to the fullest. Sure, having a job and supporting yourself is important, but don't be afraid to take time off for holidays and R&R breaks. You'll be glad you did!

I wish I'd saved more money

There's no getting around the fact that retirement is expensive – more expensive than a lot of people realise. Perhaps this is why many people find themselves retired and ready to live the high life, only to find they haven't quite saved up enough money for the golden years they always dreamed of.

While it might be hard to deny your youthful spending urges, making a few voluntary contributions to your super fund or investing in a good retirement savings strategy could pay off further down the road when you're ready to enjoy retirement.

I could have seen the world

Christian theologian Saint Augustine of Hippo once said "the world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page", and this is something many people only learn once they hit retirement. How can you consider your life lived if you've never seen the world?

Fortunately, this is one regret that it is never too late to rectify. Many older Australians have taken up travelling in their old age, foregoing the bowls club and the aqua aerobics for a chance to see the world on their own terms.

I regret not taking better care of myself

Even though you might be feeling young and spry right now, odds are you're not going to feel that way forever. Our bodies are naturally going to deteriorate as we get older, which is why it's important to take care of yourself now in order to ensure you can have a pleasant retirement later in life.

Make sure you are eating well and getting plenty of vitamins and nutrients. Visit the doctor's and dentist's regularly, and don't be afraid of getting important check-ups such as mammograms as you get older.

Can you think of any other tips that will help people avoid retirement regrets?