People find true happiness by reaching the age of 50, a report revealed today.
Researchers found many of those who have passed the landmark birthday are ‘comfortable and content’ with life.
Key factors include the peace of mind brought by having the mortgage paid off, time to enjoy life and being happy in a relationship.
The ‘age of happiness’ emerged in a study carried out by Engage Mutual.
A spokesman for the company, which polled 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 study found four out of ten people aged 50 and over are more content with their lives now than ever before.
Many admit they enjoy a sense of achievement from their career and pride in having children who are settled in their chosen careers.
More time to spend with friends and family and an active social life are also key factors.
It also emerged almost two thirds of people in their fifties feel more confident now than ever before.
And 85 per cent declared things they used to worry about when in their twenties and thirties are no longer important.
More than one third said they were no longer troubled by worries over their bodyshape or image.
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.
The spokesman added: ”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.”
KEY FACTORS FOR A CONTENTED GOLDEN AGE
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