Deciding whether or not to have children is life’s biggest decision, it has emerged.
Researchers found the discussion on whether or not to bring another life into the world takes more soul searching than filing for divorce or moving house.
Other agonising decisions to make the top 30 list include moving abroad – and getting a pet.
With the exam season well underway, the study of 2,000 adults also found making GCSE and A level choices leave many emotionally drained.
Nearly one fifth of those polled recalled the stress of making their ‘first big decision’ picking subjects they would study going forward.
The research, which was commissioned by Beagle Street Life Insurance, found making such decisions often leaves people feeling ‘anxious’, ‘terrified’ and even ‘old’.
Nicola Stubbs, head of marketing at BGL Life, said: “It’s likely that we’ve all made decisions in our lives that we’ve regretted and we were surprised to see that people take the same amount of time to decide on a car as they do to end a relationship.
“Similarly, we think it’s crazy that people insure their homes, cars and even phones – but not their lives.
“Decision making can be hard but if you’re struggling it’s always worth talking it through with family or friends.
“We care passionately about families being protected should the worst happen and so we’ve simplified the process of buying life insurance, making it easy to financially protect those we love.”
MAKING BIG DECISIONS
The study also found Over two thirds agreed there is pressure on young people to make important decisions when it’s too early to know what they want.
Because of this, many respondents quoted their choice of degree, dropping out of university, leaving school early and not taking A-levels as decisions they now regret.
One in seven claimed settling down with a partner was their first major life choice.
The study also pinpointed the age at which we make the most vital choices as being 28.
Interestingly, one fifth believe love-life based decisions have the biggest impact on their future, while only 16 per cent said career-based choices have the greatest effect. Family decisions are ranked most important of all.
Typically, adults spend on average five days toying with the notion of going on a date and taking the leap to buy a house takes 18 days to determine.
Surprisingly, Brits take almost the same amount of time to decide on a new car – 13 days – as they do deciding whether or not to end a relationship – 14 days.
But three in 10 agreed some decisions can’t be rushed and they would need more than a month to make up their minds about getting married.
Life's biggest decisions
1. Having children
2. Getting married
3. Moving house
4. Learning to drive
6. Buying a property with a partner
7. Breaking up with a partner
8. Choosing to save or spend money
9. Getting a divorce
10. Quitting a job
11. Moving cities
12. Moving abroad
13. Getting a pet
14. Going travelling
15. Standing up for yourself
16. Quitting smoking
17. Investing money
18. Removing toxic friends
19. Changing career later in life
20. Whether to go to university or not
21. Choosing a career sector
22. Opening your own business
23. Staying in touch with friends
24. Choice of degree to study
25. Putting an elderly relative in a care home
26. Deciding between renting or buying
27. A-level choices
28. GCSE choices
29. Buying a new car
30. Turning down/accepting a promotion
Brits are most concerned about their choices affecting their children and finances, and four in 10 said they worry about the impact this may have on family and friends once they have passed.
Top reasons for this are because half want their loved ones to be ‘comfortable’ in life and 44 percent don’t want to put financial pressure or stress on them.
With this in mind, one sixth believe the ideal stage to take out life insurance is when children come along, while one in 10 said getting married and buying a house is when this is needed.
Overall, UK adults take on average 17 days to make a landmark decision, while over one third have regretted a past choice and therefore tend to avoid making them if they can.
One fifth of those polled via OnePoll described themselves as ‘indecisive’, which is unsurprising when seven in 10 often seek advice rather than taking it upon themselves to make big decisions.
MOST READ IN NEWS
Parents and friends are key confidants for more than one quarter of respondents, but two-fifths will still turn to their beloved other half when looking for guidance.
Despite turning to their nearest and dearest for help, nearly half would rather make a decision for themselves with more than a quarter preferring to make a collaborative life choice.
To find out more about the survey results please visit here.
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