The New York Times/YouTube screengrab

The New York Times tasked students across the US with finding out what elderly people wished they’d known about old age and retirement when they were younger.

This is what they learned:

Use your common sense

They say save, give and live. That should’ve been my motto

-Nancy Darst, 76

Be patient. Don’t decide that one political moment is when you’re going to make your decisions.

-Richard Shoberg, 75


You’re going to want to plan, especially if you’re married and have children. You’ve got to start thinking about how long you want to stay in your house, if you’re going to stay in your house forever. Do you want to be close to where your children are living? How long is your spouse going to work?

-Brad Baznik, 58

Start thinking about 40 years from now or so. And what are you going to be doing?

-Margarito Rodreiguez, 82

I would have probably put more money away for later years

-Gerald Bernabei, 76

Put yourself first

Get your own degree. I worked night and day on my husband’s degrees, and your degree die with that person.

– Dru Evarts, 82

Stay active and be healthy

I was farming about 1,200 acres my whole career until I just kind of retired about 10 years ago. But I still farm over 450 acres. Health is the biggest factor. If you’re healthy and stay active, you’ll do well.

-Gerald Bernabei, 76

You can have all the money you could’ve possibly accumulated, but if your health is no good then what good is the money?

-Albert Zona, 65

Watch your diet, a lot of exercise, keep your muscles going so if you fall on your butt you’re not going to crack your hip.

-Liz McCord, 66

Nurture your relationships

The most important thing when you want to have a happy retirement life is to have a good relationship with your spouse.

-Susan Jeng, 75

See the full video here:

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