Deciding whether or not to have children is one of life's toughest choices, a study has claimed
Deciding whether or not to have children is one of life's toughest choices, a study has claimed

Deciding to have children is one of life's biggest decisions, study says

Choices affecting children and finances among hardest choices to make

Alice Hughes
Wednesday 15 May 2019 16:14

Deciding whether or not to have children is life's biggest decision, according to a new poll.

The discussion on whether or not to bring another life into the world takes more soul searching than filing for divorce or moving house, the survey of 2,000 adults found.

Moving abroad and getting a pet were also agonised over.

With the exam season well underway, respondents also found it emotionally draining to make decisions about GCSE and A Level choices.

Nearly one fifth of those polled recalled the stress of making their "first big decision" picking subjects they would study going forward.

Such decisions often leaves people feeling "anxious", "terrified" and even "old", the survey found.

“It’s likely 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," said Nicola Stubbs, head of marketing at Beagle Street Life Insurance, which commissioned the poll.

She added: “Decision making can be hard but if you're struggling it's always worth talking it through with family or friends."

The survey 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.

The Queen beams as she's asked how many great grandchildren she has now that Baby Sussex has been born

Because of this, many respondents cited 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 research also pinpointed the age at which we make the most vital choices as being 28.

One fifth believe love-life based decisions had the biggest impact on their future, while only 16 per cent said career-based choices had 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 home takes 18 days to determine.

Respondent also appeared to 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 could not be rushed and they would need more than a month to make up their minds about getting married.

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Overall, respondents took an 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 described themselves as ‘indecisive’, which is unsurprising when seven in 10 often seek advice rather than taking it upon themselves to make big decisions.

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.


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