Regrets of the Dying and How to Navigate in the Midst of Chaos

I recently came across an article published by the Guardian called “Top 5 Regrets of the Dying.”  The article is based on a book published by Bonnie Ware, an Australian palliative care nurse who wrote about the most common things she heard when people were faced with questions of life regrets or things they wish they had done differently.

Interestingly enough, the top two on her list were:

  1.  I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life other’s expected of me
  2. I wish I had worked less!

She writes that when people realize that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honoured even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made.

They also realize that devoting their lives to work (especially with little control over their jobs) leads to extreme regret.  Missing important milestones in their children’s lives was one of their deepest regrets.

She also writes that ‘going bungee jumping or skydiving’ didn’t even get discussed!  Interesting isn’t it.  This is what we tend to talk about when we get into talks of ‘things I must do before I die!”

Reading this gave me a chance to reflect, and continue to count my blessings.  Leaving my corporate job was one of the hardest decisions I made, and I definitely went against the grain of what other’s expected of me (go to school, get a good job, climb the corporate ladder etc).

However, I can at least tell myself that I am living a life true to myself.  And as for working less – well I’m still working on that one!


The American election has taken over all our media outlets.

Meanwhile, world violence is consistently making headlines and the threat of an economic downturn has an underlying buzz.

In Canada, we have our Toronto market which continues to be flooded with bidding wars and low inventory whilst big changes continue to happen in Vancouver – moreover Alberta is still in the midst of turbulent economic times.

I still wake up every morning and count my lucky stars that I am Canadian, but there are moments of worry and anxiety with all that is happening around us.

Many investors and people alike are scared.  Scared of the stock market crashing, of the price of oil and other commodities and of course, worried about the prices of real estate.

I was at an open house just the other day, and the realtor warned me of ‘the market softening’ – what does that even mean and when will it happen?

Many investors are treading cautiously with all this happening around them, and I think that is wise.

However, the advice I follow is to go back to the basics – examine the economic fundamentals in the areas you invest or intend to invest in.

That is the beauty about investment real estate.  It is not speculative – we are not buying on the assumption that the market will go up, or down, or continue to appreciate at a certain percentage.

And for those who do speculate (like buying pre-construction condos for example) – where cashflow is not considered and appreciation is relied on – market fluctuations can cause huge losses.

We choose the areas we buy in based on job growth, transportation, population growth and in turn rental demand.

At the end of the day, if you have a well maintained product, there will always be a tenant who is willing to rent from you. Housing is a basic human necessity, just like food and clothing.

And regardless of what the economy does, and whether real estate prices skyrocket or plummet – or simply coast along, your property will continue to sustain itself.

Effectively running your portfolio, and buying in areas with strong economic fundamentals takes the speculation out of investing.  That is the entire basis on why I choose real estate as the primary mechanism to grow my wealth.

So until next time., happy Canadian Real Estate Investing.

Jose Jafferji, REIA

Your Real Estate Investment Advisor

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