Over 50s age of happiness

Posted in: Research Last updated: 20 Jan 2011

Many British people are at their happiest when in their fifties and beyond, it was revealed yesterday (19 January 2010).

A surprising forty four per cent of those aged fifty and above claim they are now more content with their lives than ever before.

The key to their happiness lies in having good health; having time to enjoy life; and being in a relatively good financial position.

More than 40 per cent claim they are comfortable with the size and shape of their bodies, and happy with what they have achieved so far in life.

Other factors contributing to the ‘age of happiness’ include being in a strong relationship, having paid off the mortgage, and the children being happy and content with their lives.

Karl Elliott, marketing director at Engage Mutual, which conducted the poll of 1,479 adults, aged 50 and over, said:

“It is heartening that so many are finding that being in your fifties can be the most rewarding time of your life.  With increased life expectancy, being 50 is considered to be relatively young these days.

“And if people have been able to maintain a healthy lifestyle, and plan their finances, they may start to feel the benefit of their efforts in these years.

“With many 50 year olds working, household finances can start to look a bit healthier.  There may be a bit of spare cash to spend on holidays and hobbies, rather than working solely to pay bills, debts and the mortgage.”
The survey reveals 52 per cent are relishing the fact they have more time on their hands.  More than a fifth enjoy a great social life, and can rely on a good circle of friends.

A third of happy over fifties say their children are content with their own lives, and no longer rely on them for as much support.

Karl Elliott continues:

“Being a parent comes with huge responsibilities.

“While you never stop worrying about your children, many parents experience a sense of relief when the children settle down, and they can start to pursue their own interests.”
The study shows an astonishing 69 per cent of people in their fifties feel more confident than ever before.

And 85 per cent say some of the things they used to worry about when in their twenties and thirties no longer seem so important.  Over a third say they are no longer troubled by whether they are good looking or thin.

Of those who are unhappy with their lot at fifty plus, more than half say they are worried about their finances or their health, and more than a third worry about their children’s finances.

Worries about their children’s relationships and concerns about the care and health of their own parents are also stopping them feeling happy.


1.       In relatively good health

2.       Have more time to enjoy life

3.       In a relatively good financial position

4.       Relationship is stronger than ever

5.       Comfortable with body

6.       Happy with life achievements so far

7.       Mortgage is paid off

8.       Know what you want from life

9.       Children are happy and content with their lives

10.     Take lots of holidays

11.     A circle of reliable friends

12.     Starting to pursue hobbies and interests

13.     Became a grandparent

14.     Enjoy drinking with friends

15.     Able to help out children financially

16.     Have a great social life

17.     The children have left home

18.     The children are married and settled down

19.     Taken early voluntary retirement

20.     More friends than ever before