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Americans Top 6 Biggest Regrets

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When Americans think of their biggest regrets, the number one misgiving is romance -- be it the dead-end relationship that continued far too long or the wonderful lover who got away. Researchers at Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign surveyed adults about their life's regrets, specifically things they wished they had done differently. They were asked to describe in detail one particular decision they deeply regretted. The top six regrets involved these topics:

1. Romance: 18 percent

2. Family: 16 percent

3. Education: 13 percent

4. Career: 12 percent

5. Finance: 10 percent

6. Parenting: 9 percent

The biggest regret for women: When it comes to relationship regrets about romance or family, women are far more likely to harbor misgivings for their actions -- specifically 44 percent for women, compared with 19 percent for men. The biggest regret for men: Men are more likely to have regrets about work or education -- specifically 34 percent for men, compared with 26 percent for women.