Many people believe retirement will be the happiest time of their lives. And it turns out that such hopes may not be in vain.
Americans born between the years 1943 and 1952 feel more satisfaction with their lives than any other age group, according to a survey from the MIT AgeLab and Transamerica.
More than 1,000 adults were asked to rate their life satisfaction on a scale of 1 to 10. Based on those results, researchers found that life satisfaction tends to follow a U-shaped pattern.
Satisfaction is high in our younger years but then dips during midlife. However, things get better in our senior years, when life satisfaction reaches its highest point.
Here is the breakdown of life satisfaction scores by birth years, starting with the youngest folks and ending with the oldest:
- 1993-2002: 5.96 out of 10
- 1983-1992: 6.30
- 1973-1982: 5.66
- 1963-1972: 5.87
- 1953-1962: 6.67
- 1943-1952: 7.17
Why does life satisfaction slide in midlife? According to the researchers, midlife — the years between ages 40 and 59 — can be a time of “balancing multiple roles” and is a period with a “high potential for life transitions.”
However, by the time a person is 60 or older, people are evaluating goals and priorities and “planning for and engaging in successful aging.”
So, if you are unhappy in midlife — or even at a younger point in life — the lesson seems to be that if you hang in there, life will reward you.
If you are preparing for what appear to be the accurately named “golden years,” check out the “10 Places Where Retirees Enjoy the Best Quality of Life in America.”