Research is showing happiness is very alive and very well in older age! The researchers found even after controlling for variables such as health, wealth, gender, ethnicity and education, that well-being increases over a lifetime (Age Brings Happiness).
The data shows that people generally start out life fairly cheerful. But happiness slides downhill from youth to middle age and into an abyss commonly called a mid-life crisis. During the middle years of life, people may be juggling an additional job, while tending to family (perhaps children and older parents or grandparents) and simultaneously troubled by job insecurity or career uncertainty (At What Age Does Happiness Peak?). Stress and conflict are common during these years. It is not uncommon for a middle-ager to feel trapped by demands and needs of others. Thoughts of happiness are often way down the list of priorities.
Then, as people move towards older age and lose physical strength, health, spouses, friends, and youthful appearance, they also gain something most sought by most – happiness (The U-bend of life).
The most striking thing from the general U-shaped results on happiness chart is lowest levels of well-being found in the mid 40’s to early 50’s is followed by people reporting the highest levels of well-being sometimes into their 80’s (This chart show the age when people feel the least happy).
In general, the odds of being happy increases 5% with every 10 years of age beyond 50 (Research: Older adults are happiest Americans).
Collecting data from 72 countries revealed happiness reaches the global lowest low at the average age of 46. While there is some variation in the age of maximum unhappiness (Ukrainians are most miserable at 62 while the Swiss hit bottom at 35 years of age) the great majority people around the world are their unhappiest when in their 40s and early 50s. As it turns out, even controlling for variables such as cash, employment status, or children that low area in the U-bend is still followed by a significant upward rise in happiness (The U-bend of life).
More than half of those surveyed who are 65 and older report to be in good health. Today’s oldsters have more free time, more money, and are better equipped to take advantage of it. Research also indicates the happiest older Americans adults are also quite socially active. (Research: Older adults are happiest Americans).