AA Life Insurance surveys good advice

New research shows some unusual answers, but confirms 'mums know best'

Take your chances with good advice?


People are most likely to say their mother gave them the best piece of advice they ever received, according to a poll by AA Life Insurance.

In comparison, fathers were half as likely to have passed on such a valued piece of wisdom. Siblings were rated the least wise. People have actually had better advice from well-meaning strangers.

Most popular pieces of advice from survey

'Live life to the full' was voted the best piece of advice that respondents had ever had.

This was followed by: 'never give up', 'be yourself', and 'treat others as you would like to be treated'. The top 10 were rounded off by: 'try your best', 'be happy, 'don't sweat the small stuff' and 'have no regrets'.

While the most popular bits of advice might sound familiar, others had some more peculiar bits of wisdom to share. These include:

  • Don't go grocery shopping hungry
  • If you don't like where you are, move – you're not a tree
  • If you were meant to smoke, God would have given you a chimney pot on top of your head
  • Lie on your face but don't squash your nose
  • Never pat a burning dog
  • Never tie your shoelace in a revolving door
  • Never trust a man that wears his jacket over his shoulders and doesn't put his arms down the sleeves
  • Speak quietly but carry a big stick

Other pearls of wisdom that respondents received include:

  • Be picky who you invest your time in. Wasted time is worse than wasted money
  • It's better to have something to regret than nothing to remember
  • It's how you deal with failure that makes you a better person, not how you deal with success
  • Try always to be health wealthy rather than money wealthy – you cannot buy yourself a cure for something that is incurable (greed)
  • With one foot in the past and one foot in the future you'll never be able to enjoy the present
  • You always have a choice to change things. Choosing not to do anything about the situation is a choice and choices have consequences
  • You live and you learn. Life is like photography we develop from the negatives
  • You've got to hoot with the owls to soar with the eagles

Who offers the best advice?

The best givers of good advice – here's the league table:

... it's wise to plan ahead and think about what will happen when you're gone. It's important to organise your affairs

Mark Huggins, AA Financial Services

1 mother: 23%
2 father: 14%
3 friend: 12%
4 grandmother: 5%
5 colleague: 4%
6 grandfather: 3%
7 teacher: 3%
8 stranger: 2%
9 sibling: 1%
10 other: 5%
11 can't remember: 27%

A more organised approach

Mark Huggins, director of AA Financial Services, comments: "Good advice is priceless. But if you want to leave behind more than just advice it's wise to plan ahead and think about what will happen when you're gone. It's important to organise your affairs – so for instance making a will and taking out life insurance to help pay off your mortgage, or to leave a lump sum behind for family."

About AA Life Insurance

Level or term life insurance covers the policy holder for a specified term eg 25 years. If the policy holder dies within the policy term, their next of kin will receive a cash lump sum. Terms and conditions apply.

Over 50s life insurance is designed for people aged over 50 and offers guaranteed acceptance. Policy holders pay into the plan for a specified term (usually until their 90th year) but the cover continues for the rest of their lives. The plan then pays out a cash lump sum upon their death. Terms and conditions apply.

AA Life Insurance is provided by Legal & General Assurance Society Limited.

Get more information about AA Life Insurance

* Research carried out by One Poll among 2,000 adults on 11 February 2014.


27 August 2014