Regret and the Gift of Time

PadillaCRT client Allianz Life released an eye-opening new study on Monday and the lead statistic was sobering. A third (32 percent) of Americans say they regret the major choices they made in their lives, such as when/where they went to school, the profession they chose and when/where they worked. That’s an uplifting thought, right?

Before I wax all doom and gloom, the study introduces a concept that’s been getting a lot of play in the media lately and is rather thought provoking: longevity—loosely speaking, how long you’re going to live. And the good news is that according to the Stanford Center on Longevity, Americans can expect to live, on average, an extra 30 years compared to 100 years ago.

That fact has many embracing the prospect of recharting their course, an opportunity directly afforded by the fact that Americans today are living longer than ever. According to Allianz Life, more than nine in 10 Americans (93 percent) expressed having a favorable view of living 30 extra years. In addition to positive views of a longer life, the study reveals how longevity is making Americans rethink their major life choices, the paths they may take and alternative possibilities for their future.

Longevity infographic 1

Allianz Life’s study of 3,000 Americans found that optimism about longevity extends beyond Americans’ own interests. When asked what increased longevity means for both themselves and the human race as a whole, nearly three-quarters said either, “I think it could open a lot of new and interesting possibilities for people’s lives” (49 percent) or “it’s a wonderful development” (25 percent). Only 5 percent of respondents classified living 30 extra years as “terrifying.”

So what does all of this mean? According to Allianz Life Vice President of Consumer Insights Katie Libbe, “Americans are just coming to terms with the fact that they’ll likely live an extra 30 years, they have the opportunity to look back and evaluate their past decisions and consider the newfound possibilities for the future afforded by time.”

Consider yourself informed, you’ve got a lot more time on this planet than you previously thought. The bigger question becomes, what are you going to do with it?

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