The Surprising Age When Thousands Say They're Happiest

There's bad news and good news for post 50s.

The British government recently released a survey of more than 300,000 adults over the span of three years in an attempt to pinpoint which time of life people are their happiest. And there's mixed news for post 50s. The bad news is, the midlife crisis might actually be real. But the good news is, the best years of your life might very well still be ahead of you.

The survey, spearheaded by the UK's Office of National Statistics, found that while people between ages 45-59 have the lowest satisfaction, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Happiness and satisfaction with life peaks for many after age 65 and can be expected to last through one's 70s. That's good news for people about to retire.

Middle-aged people might be expecting the slump in satisfaction as many are juggling the responsibilities of raising children and also caring for aging parents.

But people 65 and beyond reported the highest levels of all-round satisfaction with life. The thousands of people surveyed were asked to rank on a scale of one to 10, things like how happy they felt, their anxiety levels, their satisfaction with their lives, and if they felt their lives were purposeful.

Researchers say their findings do show some evidence of the u-shaped curve theory, which says happiness peaks as a young adult, hits a low point in middle age, and then climbs back up again as we enter our golden years.

A number of studies and surveys have supported the theory that we really do become happier with age, as we appreciate the small things more, find inner peace and accomplish goals. Other studies have put the so-called "happiest age" at late middle age, anywhere from 58 to 69.

Guess that means the best really is yet to come.

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