Traditional wisdom states that our younger years are the best of our lives, with the milestone of 40 meaning we are "over the hill" and already on the wane.
But in fact satisfaction and optimism steadily increase after middle age, easily eclipsing the earlier years and peaking as late as the eighties, according to research.
An easing of the responsibilities of middle age combined with maturity and the ability to focus on the things we enjoy combine to make old age far more enjoyable than one might expect.
This is greatly increased by having good health, a stable income and good relationships with family and friends, according to scientists.
Lewis Wolpert, emeritus professor of biology at University College London, who explained the findings in a new book called You're Looking Very Well, said most people were "averagely happy" in their teens and twenties, declining until early middle age as they try to support a family and a career.
via Happiness peaks in our eighties - Telegraph.
I hope I'm still fit enough at 80 to tour the world, make music and blog about strange news. ;-) Based on my grandfathers, however, (83 and 85) I don't expect to enjoy all of my 80's... unless all this health food and exercise pays off... Life expectancy is based mostly on genetics the way I understand it.
A variation in the gene FOXO3A is known to have a positive effect on the life expectancy of humans, and is found much more often in people living to 100 and beyond - moreover, this appears to be true worldwide. ... Men and women who are 100 or older tend to have something else in common, an extroverted personality, says Thomas T. Perls, M.D., M.P.H., the director of the New England Centenarian Study at Boston University. Centenarians will often have many friends, strong ties to relatives and a healthy dose of self-esteem. - wikipedia