Listen To Your Elders! Advice For A New Generation


Treat others as you would wish to be treated yourself, never start smoking, always use your right to vote and look after your teeth – these canny pearls of wisdom are among a list of important life lessons chosen by the nation’s over 50s.

Researchers carried out an in depth study of almost 2,000 Brits aged 50 plus – and revealed a host of moral and practical guidelines they would pass down to the younger generation of Brits.

Stay in touch with those that you love, pay off your credit cards every month and learn to love your looks also made the list of advice – as did don’t be a cheat, read more books and forgive and forget.

And when it comes to our relationships – the study revealed that the older generation believe friendship is more important than sex – and also that if a relationship has to be a secret, then you should not be in it.

Having children to save a relationship also made the list of things to avoid, according to those blessed with the wisdom of years.

A staggering 90% of parents and grandparents said they wish they knew what they know now when they were younger – with a further 98% admitting they learned their life lessons the hard way.

Nearly seven out of ten of those questioned said they often give their children and grandchildren the benefit of their advice. Whether they want it or not! A spokesperson for Amigo Loans, which commissioned the study, said: “The older gang know a thing or two about life and they’re often the best people to go to whether it’s advice about borrowing money, taking a new job or buying a new car, it pays to listen to your parents!”

According to the study, matters of the heart was the area where people had made the most mistakes and learned the hardest lessons (39%) followed by financial matters (26%), while a further 19% said they had learned the hard way about jobs and careers.

While ten per cent of those surveyed said they had made mistakes regarding their health and wellbeing, a further 6% confessed they had made mistakes bringing up their children. However, a confident 25% said they were very happy with the way their life had turned out. Phew, we were starting to get a bit depressed!

The survey also revealed that 58% of today’s older generation thought that they were given either the wrong advice or no guidance at all when they were growing up from their parents or grandparents. But despite learning lessons the hard way – 91% said they felt stronger and more empowered having undergone the ups and downs of life.

Almost half of those in the study said they would live their lives again if they knew what they know now.


1.       Treat others as you would wish to be treated – 76 %

2.       Never start smoking – 66 %

3.       Stay in touch with those you love – 64 %

4.       Use your right to vote – 56 %

5.       Look after your teeth – 54 %

6.       Pay off your credit cards every month – 54 %

7.       No one is in charge of your happiness except you – 49 %

8.       Don’t be a cheat – 49 %

9.       Family comes first – 47 %

10.   Don’t compare your life to others – 46 %

11.   Spend less time online and more in the real world – 46 %

12.   Don’t waste time in a job you hate – 45 %

13.   Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good – 43 %

14.   Read more books – 42 %

15.   Don’t take yourself too seriously – 42 %

16.   Time is a great healer – 41 %

17.   Forgive and forget – 41 %

18.   You don’t have to win every argument – 41 %

19.   Don’t judge others – 40 %

20.   Never have children to save a relationship – 40 %

21.   Follow your gut instinct, it’s usually right – 39 %

22.   No-one likes a know it all – 37 %

23.   Friendship is more important than sex in a relationship – 37 %

24.   If a relationship has to be secret, you shouldn’t be in it – 36 %

25.   Blood is thicker than water – 32 %

26.   Make new friends and be sociable – 32 %

27.   Don’t marry for money – 30 %

28.   Learn to love your looks – 25 %

29.   All that matters is that you are loved – 25 %

30.   Whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger – 25 %

31.   Look after your skin – 24 %

Emily Cleary

Emily Cleary

After almost a decade chasing ambulances, and celebrities, for Fleet Street’s finest, Emily has taken it down a gear and settled for a (slightly!) slower pace of life in the suburbs. With a love of cheese and fine wine, Emily is more likely to be found chasing her toddlers round Kew Gardens than sipping champagne at a showbiz launch nowadays, or grabbing an hour out of her hectic freelancer’s life to chill out in a spa while hubby holds the babies. If only!


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