From Sweet Sixteen To Seventy, How Happiness Varies As We Age

According to a recent report from the Resolution Foundation, statistics highlight happiness sweet spots in our lifetimes. The report found that well-being levels, which include factors such as happiness, life satisfaction, self-worth and lack of anxiety, tend to fall between our mid-20s and early 50s. They also rise between the age of 50 and 70.
On the basis of age alone, says the Foundation, the key to happiness is to be 16 or 70.

The U-Turn of Happiness

The happiness levels of more than one millions Brits have been mapped, providing a range of statistics to generate these findings. The researchers from the Resolution Foundation used seven years of surveys from the Office of National Statistics to write the report, published 13th February 2019. Respondents were asked to rate their life satisfaction, self-worth, anxiety and happiness on a scale of one to ten.

The results confirm a U-curve on happiness.

Happiness Factors

The report finds that the most important determinants of well-being are having good health, a job and a partner, but that levels of well-being also vary significantly depending on someone’s age, income level, housing tenure, and where they live.

One of the key factors related to happiness, as identified in the report, is home ownership. Home ownership is associated with higher well-being than private or social renting, even after controlling for factors such as income and age.

However having good health was the most significant determinant of well-being according to the report.  

Reacting to the report, David Forsdyke, Equity Release Development Manager at Access Equity Release said, “It makes sense that people aged fifty and over are living some of the happiest years of their lives – especially those who are home owners. The clients we talk to who want to consider releasing some of the equity locked in their homes are at an exciting juncture in life – planning for the future and often helping their own children to get onto the property ladder. It is a sweet spot and after years of working hard and bringing up families – so it should be!”