When Does Old Age Begin?
This Is The Age That Middle Age Actually Ends
by Yagana Shah, huffingtonpost.comNovember 6 11:37 AM
People in your 40s and 50s — you can stop calling yourself “old” now. With rising life expectancies, middle age ends a lot later than you might have thought.
A new survey of 2,000 Britons, released today, reveals that 68 is the true age at which middle age ends and “old age” begins, The Mirror reports.
The survey asked people about their views on the start of old age, with people under 35 saying it was around 61. Overall, men felt old age started a little earlier than the average, at 67, with women thinking it started at 69. Interestingly enough, people in their 60s felt old age wouldn’t begin until their mid-to-late 70s.
“Our research suggests that the lives of the over-50s have transformed rapidly in recent years. This is now an age full of ambition and opportunity for many,” Paul Flatters, who helped conduct the survey with the Trajectory Partnership, told The Huffington Post.
Of the over-65s surveyed, over six in 10 felt life had become more enjoyable after 50.
Indeed with the U.S. national life expectancy at an all-time high of 78.8 years, it’s no surprise that older Americans might feel they have plenty of opportunities for life experiences ahead of them. The research found that people over 50 felt they’d still experience major events like divorce and dating, going back to school or starting a new business.
But Flatters said there’s some bad with the good. “The bad news is that our research also suggests that some perceptions have not kept up with this reality. Over half of over-50s feel that society treats them as old when they don’t feel old,” he said. “The key lesson from our research is that the over-50s must not be treated as a single group.”
Indeed, other surveys have shown that life really does begin after 50. One 2014 survey of Britons found 58 was the age when people said they were most content with their lives. And another recent survey found that happiness starts rising around age 60 until 85.