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3 things centenarians regret, according to longevity researchers who talk to the world's oldest people every day

Ben Meyers with the oldest living Texan, Elizabeth Francis, on her 114th birthday.
Ben Meyers with the oldest living Texan, Elizabeth Francis, on her 114th birthday.Emmanuel Rodriguez, LongeviQuest
  • LongeviQuest researchers verify the ages of the world's oldest people.

  • They've listened to the stories of and picked up advice from supercentenarians around the world.

  • Here are the biggest regrets the centenarians have told LongeviQuest they have.

Two longevity researchers who talk to supercentenarians as part of their day jobs have shared the most common regrets that the world's oldest people have.

Ben Meyers and Fabrizio Villatoro work for LongeviQuest, an organization that verifies the ages of supercentenarians — people who live to the age of 110 or older — around the world. Meyers, LongeviQuest's CEO, and Villatoro, its Latin America research president, have both asked some of the world's oldest people for their longevity tips as well as the things they wish they had done differently.

Meyers said most of the centenarians LongeviQuest had spoken to had very hard lives, given that many of them experienced huge events during the 1900s, such as war, the Great Depression, and decolonization. Despite this, he said they mostly had "pretty human regrets that most people share."

But as 102-year-old Janet Gibbs previously told Business Insider, a positive mental attitude is thought to be key to longevity. And centenarians tend to be people who try not to stress too much, as Meyers and Villatoro previously told BI, and don't let regrets get them down.

Not spending more time with family

Meyers said not spending more time with family was a "typical" regret for centenarians.

Others had regrets about life's hardships or world events interrupting their stability and their ability to have more children, Villatoro said.

Working too hard

Villatoro said Juan Vicente Pérez Mora from Venezuela, the oldest validated person ever at age 114, wished he had worked less. Mora did hard physical labor on his family's farm from "dawn 'til dusk" for his entire working life, starting from when he was 13 or 14 years old. Villatoro said Mora's family had spoken about his regrets that he wasn't able to try a different career, which would have enabled him to enjoy more time with his family.

It's not just centenarians who wish they'd prioritized work less as they near the end of their lives; BI previously reported that many patients in hospice and palliative care regretted focusing on work when they could have been enjoying spending time with their families.

Not traveling more

Evangelista Luisa López grew up in Santa Fe province, Argentina, and moved to Mar del Plata, a seven-hour drive away, with her family when she was 82. But Villatoro said López wished she had traveled more in her life.

Karl Pillemer, a professor of gerontology in medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine who wrote "30 Lessons for Loving: Advice from the Wisest Americans on Love, Relationships, and Marriage," wrote in 2016 for HuffPost that older Americans also regretted not having traveled more, especially when they were younger. One 78-year-old that Pillemer spoke to said: "If you have to make a decision whether you want to remodel your kitchen or take a trip — well, I say, choose the trip."

Read the original article on Business Insider