Keys to Longer Life: Puppy, Spouse Finding love later in life still counts By Liam Carnahan, Newser Staff Posted Nov 15, 2012 8:54 AM CST 14 comments Comments The key to long life is good relationships, and maybe a puppy along the way. (Shutterstock) (Newser) – The ticket to a longer life: happiness, reports the Daily Mail. In 1940, Harvard researchers reviewed 200 young, white, healthy men; they checked back in on that group every two years. They found that happiness (stemming from factors like marriage, puppies, and friendships) had more of an impact than social factors (like class, wealth, or hometown). Of the 31 men who remained single, only four are still alive today, but more than a third of the men in "good relationships" are still going strong. If you're middle-aged and unmarried, don't fret—the current head of the study says many of the men found love late in life, and that marriages bring more happiness after 70. And for those 50 and under, how you live life now will impact how you age after your 80th birthday more so than genetics will. He adds, "The finding on happiness is that happiness is the wrong word. The right words for happiness are emotional intelligence, relationships, joy, connections and resilience."