What Age Are We Happiest?
In our 80s, research shows
By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff
Posted Apr 3, 2011 2:00 PM CDT
Happiness peaks in our 80s, research shows.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Wait a second before you buy that "over the hill" cake for your buddy's 40th birthday: Research shows that satisfaction and optimism actually increase after we reach middle age, and peak as late as our 80s. Why? Responsibilities ease, maturity increases, and we are often able to focus on doing the things we enjoy. Of course, it helps to be in good health, have a stable income, and enjoy good relationships with friends and family when we hit old age, the Telegraph notes.

Most people are "averagely happy" in their teens and twenties, but that declines as they start supporting a family and working at a career, says Lewis Wolpert, who wrote about the research findings in a new book, You're Looking Very Well. But then, he says, "from the mid-40s, people tend to become ever more cheerful and optimistic." One survey of 341,000 people found that life enjoyment started rising in the late 40s, and peaked at age 85. (Click here to meet America's "happiest person"—who is age 69...)

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Showing 3 of 13 comments
Apr 21, 2011 10:01 AM CDT
Woah! I still got a long way to go to be happy! Well, I guess what this article is saying is that people starts positive in life until they realize that life is full of misery. Then they get used to life's misery so they become bitter or better in life. By the time they reach 80 then there is nothing left for them but optimism. I read in another blog (here's the link in case you like to read it http://clickily.ws/qbz89) about optimism in the real world and I will quote from what the author said: "Misery is a “reality,” but it does not have to be “mental reality.” My opinion is that we can will ourselves to be satisfied and happy which means that satisfaction is all a state of mind.
Apr 5, 2011 6:20 AM CDT
Since when did Dustin Hoffman and Helen Mirren become a couple?
Apr 4, 2011 4:33 PM CDT
I found out that after I retired (age 55) there was no more office politics, having to put up with the nonsense from the boss's, and my high stress level from being a poice officer just went away. I can live like a normal person and actually socialize with my friends. I am no longer working shift work or being called at all hours and on my days off. I can speak my mind mind without fear of some one calling my boss and complaining because they did not like what I said. I can actually spend time with my wife and grown sons.I am happier and healthier than I have ever been. Retirement is great, this is what I worked for thirty years for, it was worth it.