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Paying off your mortgage has been hailed as life’s greatest achievement, research has found. A study into the reflections of 1000 over 50’s found that reaching the tail-end of mortgage-payments was a huge achievement, even more so than happiness within the family or a long-lasting marriage.
Supporting the family financially and being able to put children through university also featured highly in the list, compiled by Make-A-Wish Foundation UK.
Job security was obviously a keen concern alongside the money issues- never having experienced unemployment was also a massive achievement for those polled.
Amanda Williams, Director of Fundraising at Make-A-Wish, commented on the findings:
“It’s a sign of the times that the top achievement is to pay off the mortgage.
“But it’s refreshing to see that many of the achievements revolve around improving other people’s lives, be they those of your children or partner, or helping others through charitable giving.
“Although nearly half feel that they haven’t been as charitable as they could have been, it’s never too late to help others and give back to a charity close to your heart.”
Other life goals deemed ‘important’ included avoiding a criminal record, staying faithful to a partner, keeping children on the straight and narrow and becoming a parent.
Finding true love and visiting more than eight countries were also among the top 20 biggest achievements.
Interestingly, over half said they had ticked off the majority of life’s to-do list.
Many of the top-20 were money-focused, and despite tough financial times, one in seven aim to leave money in their will to help a charity or good cause.
“It’s great to see that so many people over the age of 50 are already thinking about how they can continue to give to charity and leave a lasting legacy – but there are still many who don’t realise that they can leave a gift in their Will.
“Many people also don’t realise that they can provide for friends and family as well as remember a charity. Leaving just a small fraction of your estate to charity could be a significant gift, and often much more than you could afford to give during your lifetime.
“It’s a way of ensuring your good work lives on – for instance, leaving a gift to Make-A-Wish would help create magical memories for children fighting life-threatening conditions.
“Talking to our many volunteers and donors, I know that helping charities both now and in the future is something they feel very proud of. They find it tremendously fulfilling.”
TOP 20 BIGGEST ACHIEVEMENTS IN LIFE
1. Paying off the mortgage
2. Keeping kids on the straight and narrow
3. Maintaining a strong bond with your children
4. Having a marriage that lasts more than 30 years
5. Getting married
6. Staying faithful to your partner
7. Being able to support your family financially
8. Finding true love
9. Making time to watch the children grow up
10. Supporting children through university
11. Not having a criminal record
12. Maintaining a strong bond with your relatives
13. Obtaining a degree
14. Never having experienced unemployment
15. Travelling to somewhere you’ve always wanted to visit
16. Being home to put the kids to bed most nights
17. Being able to afford nice holidays
18. Always having a clean driving licence
19. Being charitable
20. Living as much as you can to help other people