Study: You’re Happiest in Your 80s

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NEW YORK (MainStreet) — Not looking forward to old age? Well, researchers from University College in London may have something for you to look forward to in your golden years: happiness. A study shows you’re likely to be at your happiest at 85.

Youth is often associated with happiness, but it isn’t the happiest point in your life, scientists contend. Adulthood – and certainly young adulthood – can be a struggle, thanks to increased responsibilities and pressures to succeed during schooling. But once you get through the rut of middle age, scientists say people tend to get happier.

The findings were brought to light by University College biology professor Lewis Wolpert in his new book, You're Looking Very Well. He analyzed a study from the American National Academy of Sciences that surveyed 241,000 people and found younger people are only "averagely happy." And it gets worse before it gets better: The study found that as people get older, into their mid-30s and 40s, they feel overburdened by the responsibility of raising a family and succeeding in a career.

The payoff in old age comes from a variety of factors, namely decreased responsibilities, maturity and the time and ability to focus on things you enjoy while weeding out what makes you unhappy, The Telegraph reports.

Of course, having a good bill of health, income and relationships are also important factors in happiness at an older age, so check out MainStreet’s Retirement Hot Topic for tips on how to make sure you are prepared for your own golden years.

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