Life satisfaction increases with age – new report

The over-55s are far more likely than the younger generation to be really enjoying themselves, according to new research from Audley Retirement.

People shotJust one in five 18 to 34-year-olds (22 percent) are very satisfied with their lifestyle, compared with more than half (53 percent) of over-55s. In fact, satisfaction levels remain fairly static throughout life until the age of 55, at which point they increase dramatically.”

The research creates a picture of a dissatisfied UK population, where satisfaction levels remain stagnant before experiencing a sharp spike age 55.

An emerging generation of positive over 55s suggests life becomes significantly more gratifying as you advance in age. In fact nearly a third (31%) of those aged 18-34 think their lifestyle in retirement will be better than it is now.

Ambitions it appears are not the preserve of the young with 45% of people stating that their ambitions won’t diminish as they grow older. It seems that they are right, with over half (51%) of those aged 55 and over saying they have ambitions that they still want to satisfy.

As little as 3% of 55 and overs indicated that they are frightened of ageing, in contrast to 14% of 18-24 year olds who are scared of the thought of getting older. In general, when it comes to aging, a third of people don’t mind getting old as long as they stay healthy (36%), rising to more than two fifths (40%) for 55 and overs.

While many people are unperturbed at the thought of ageing, there appears to be a disconnect between how individuals view ageing, and how they believe the outside world views older people. Almost half (48%) of all respondents thought society was unprepared for the challenges presented by an ageing population, and 37% felt that society patronised or marginalised older people.

Nick Sanderson, CEO, Audley Retirement Villages said: “Fears about ageing have long been a topic of interest but the number of younger age groups expressing concern and highlighting their relative dissatisfaction with their current lifestyle is surprising.

“This contrasts with the news that the older demographic is not scared of ageing, and satisfied with their lifestyle which is particularly encouraging given the fact that they will live longer than any previous generation. We can see that older people are challenging stereotypes and the status quo, approaching retirement with a sense of undiminished adventure and curiosity.

“The current generation of over 55s are, on the whole, both healthier and wealthier than ever before: with a myriad of different goals and aspirations which influence their views on how best to enjoy later years. For the first time in generations, attitudes towards retirement are changing too, and society is slowly starting to see older people as individuals.

“However this research shows how far we have to go. It is vital that government and industry work harder to ensure they are meeting the needs of such a sizeable and diverse group, and help people make the most of their retirement.”