From the swinging sixties to lost love, Brits bemoan missed opportunities.
Ask anybody over the age of 60 about their memories of the flower power decade and they’ll likely reel off the old adage “If you remember it, you weren’t really there”. However, research released today by MORE TH>N Life Insurance reveals that two thirds (66%) of over-65s admit that letting the swinging sixties pass them by is one of their biggest life regrets.
Forget Twiggy, John Lennon, flower power and Carnaby Street, it would appear the truth is that young people in the ‘60s had more in common with Mary Whitehouse than Mary Quant. Research reveals that for the majority of Brits the most rebellious thing they did was to grow their hair long (63%) or read Lady Chatterly’s lover (78%), while 88% admit they never attended a ‘psychedelic happening’ and over half (52%) lamenting the fact they never saw the Beatles in concert.
Surprisingly, the research also reveals it’s the North West, the Beatles’ back yard and home of Merseybeat, that’s the true capital of ‘60s popular culture. Despite London’s world famous Carnaby Street boutiques and psychedelic music clubs, just over a quarter of Londoners admit they lived their life by the swinging ‘60s ideals and ‘did it all’, compared to almost two thirds (60%) of Mancunians and Liverpudlians.
Amongst the other biggest regrets cited by the over 60s, romance features heavily. One third of British women (30%), and almost two thirds of men (58%) admit they regret not dating more people before settling down, while three in ten Brits (31%) say they regret letting their one perfect partner slip through their fingers. Worryingly, a quarter of all men (23%) and a third of all women (30%) admit they regret marrying the wrong person.
Two thirds of all respondents regretted not travelling more when they were younger with the Indian ‘hippy trail’ (33%), Great Barrier Reef (15%) and Great Wall of China (13%) revealed as the top dream destinations. Other biggest regrets include failing to learn a musical instrument (48%) or a second language (44%)
However, it seems that many over-65’s memories have been blurred by the heady atmosphere as 8% have claimed they attended the 1966 World Cup Final at Wembley – placing the official attendance figure at 925,920!
Pete Markey from MORE TH>N says, “It seems that in the sixties most people were too busy with their jobs and raising families to have been involved in all the action we associate with this era – and now they wish they hadn’t let all the excitement pass them by. We want this research to act as a call to action for everyone, young and old, to get out there and live life to the full. Life isn’t a rehearsal and we only get one attempt, so why not seize the day?
It’s not the things in life we regret doing, but the things we regret having NOT done, which matter when we reach old age”.
For more information or a quote, call 0800 107 1905 or visit www.morethan.com
MORE TH>N Press Office
020 7337 5602
MORE TH>N Press Office
020 7337 5797
Notes to Editors:
Research conducted amongst 500 UK adults over the age of 60, by Fly Research (Jan 2008)
The UK’s ‘swinging sixties’ dead spots (% of those who feel the sixties passed them by):
National Average – 66%
East Anglia – 78%
North East – 77%
South East – 74%
Northern Ireland – 73%
West Midlands – 72%
East Midlands – 72%
Scotland – 69%
London – 67%
South West – 67%
Wales – 59%
Yorkkshire & Humberside – 56%
North West – 40%
About MORE TH>N:
MORE TH>N is the direct financial services arm of RSA. It offers home insurance, motor, life, travel and pet insurance by phone and via the internet. It also offers van insurance, shop, office, business car, hotels, property, club, contractor and commercial insurance direct to small businesses.
In December 2006 MORE TH>N, together with its parent company RSA, became the first insurer in the UK to be carbon neutral. The company has cut its carbon footprint by over half since 2000 and has offset the remainder by purchasing voluntary carbon offsets.
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