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What are some of the regrets that people have once they grow old?

I came out at 16 and was in a relationship with an older man by 18 and travelled the wold throughout my 20's and 30's with him and we didn't settle down properly ( ? ) until in my early 40's. I regret nothing except, my lover of nearly 30 years died without a will and my one regret is not making him make a will. Everything went to some of his family I had only met once - and I was left destitute, homeless and even lost most of my possessions as the lawyers threw me out of the home I had lived in for decades, but was not mine and once my partner died, everything went into probate and I was out. No sympathy from his family as all they wanted was the money and the house etc. and I was unceremonially thrown out with a couple of hours to pack.

I regret not planning ahead as with no pension and no money or home, I am now living in sheltered accommodation and live on government benefits, which is not how I saw my old age.



I didn't save enough for my old age and spent all my money as I earned it. Now reliant on the state pension that is a lot less than I am use to.



I got married and had kids far too early. A father at 19 to twins. More kids followed and my wife and I had 7 by the time we were turning 30. Finances were limited. Council house never big enough. I lived a life on benefits as I had back trouble and couldn't work- but I sure could fuck and have children okay. I love my kids but wish I had had them later and not lost my youth to being a parent.



From 16 - 24, I lived with an older man who - while I worked - he was the one with the money, the home and car etc. and after years together, he replaced me with a younger model and threw me out penniless. It happened again with my next lover - just 2 years and again - when we split, I was homeless and broke. Third time - living in Spain with a rich lover and while we had a great lifestyle, did I learn from past mistakes in not planning ahead, did I hell and after 12 years again, I was homeless and broke. I really should have learned the first time and when in my 40's I woke up and started making plans for myself, it was hard.



I wish I'd told my Mother exactly what I thought of her. She was a horror and got away with it. I never had the guts even as an adult to tell her how she ruined my childhood, was abusive and unloving and I wished I could have had anyone at schools Mother and not her. She got away with it and I never said a word. My biggest regret.



Leaving it too late to do the things they really wanted to do. This is my parents regret. They worked hard all their life, planning to retire and travel. They sold their small business when dad was about 72, bought a 4wd and a big caravan. But within two years my father’s health deteriorated too much for them to travel. All the money can’t fix bad health.



My one regret. I was such a handsome man when I was young and now I see this old fossil looking back at me in the mirror and I regret now using my good looks to my best advantage when I could. I am now invisible where once I was centre stage. Thank God I at least have a personality that keeps people interested and laughing and I am seen as ' the entertainer' at events as I can be enormously amusing, and I am very pleased for that, but when I look in the mirror, the reflection has changed dramatically.



Living a life in accordance to how others saw me living, with parents and family having expectations of the older son to do well and financially support the whole family, which I did. I worked and paid for 2 younger brothers and a sister to go to University while I worked cleaning toilets and building my way up from there, and my brothers and sister now have well paid and important jobs and look down on me because I am just a cleaner ( own business now with 6 staff ) and after all the money I spent on their education, and not even a simple thanks but how it was my obligation - I regret as it has made them into horrible snobs and I have little to do with any of them any more.



Not saving enough when they were in their prime earning years. I am retired and having a great life at 59 because I scrimped and saved over 35 years and I get a lot of ‘I wish I had done that’ comments.


Coming out as a gay man. I wasted a life married with kids and should have come out but as it was illegal back in the 50's and 60's i married and hid my gay side for most of my life. How I wish I had been able to be freely out and proud. I love my kids, don't get me wrong and would, actually, change nothing.

Name withheld


I wish I had not resented gay men so much. I am married and am now a Grandfather and would not change anything BUT I hated gay people and was the worst homophobe and THAT I would change if I could go back in time. When one of my sons ' came out' to me I disowned him, threw him out. Would have nothing to do with him. My wife secretly kept in touch and decades later when he was dying with HIV I blamed him for his lifestyle and was the Father from hell. He died and I wouldn't even go to his funeral and ALL the family turned against me and were appalled at my actions but I was adamantly against anything to do with a homosexual in the family. It took me many years to come around and accept that I had been wrong all along and I can never apologise to my son, he is dead, and I can never forgive myself for my own fears and misinformation bred into me by bigoted parents and a strong Catholic upbringing that fostered fear of anything different within me and hence my rejection of my own dear son. I am so different these days and shall always live with those awful memories of my poor son and how I abandoned him and I now can confess, I have cried so many times over him and what I did or didn't do and if I could, I would go back and change so much.




I worked all my young life saving for that ' rainy day'. I married and had kids and the one big family joke was that I was the Invisible Father as I worked and worked, put money aside and saved and always looked to plan for the future. Even Birthdays and Christmas, I was working and the family saw very little of me and I now realise I missed the children when they were growing up and all those special memories of their first step, etc. I missed and now see as a great loss. Money makes you comfortable but cannot replace those magic moments.



I regret not listening to my parents stories about their childhood more. I know almost nothing about them and now they are gone, it is too late and I know precious little.



Do you have any regrets to share - here is the place to open your soul as these people have done and feel better for getting it out in the open.

John Bellamy


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