Golden Oldies: Adults Over 55 Happier, Less Stressed Than Millennials

STAFFORDSHIRE, England — They say youth is wasted on the young, but who says you can’t have fun in old age? Our culture tends to look at older adults as over the hill and past their prime, but a recent survey of 2,000 British adults is illustrating just how much fun life after the age of 55 can be.

So many younger and middle-aged adults are just starting out professionally, and as such, end up devoting the majority of their time to their work. For many, these exhausting times can make it feel like life isn’t getting any easier. But, the over-55 crowd offers a pleasant reminder that retirement can be a light at the end of the 9-5 tunnel. Consider this: 69% of the survey’s respondents said they now have ample time to finally do all the activities and hobbies they want in their lives.

According to the research, which was commissioned by Riviera Travel, 74% of respondents work out regularly each week, and 20% get in the gym at least once a month. Many older adults are also experiencing a renaissance in their social lives: 74% go out to eat at a restaurant at least once per month, and 32% get together with friends on a weekly basis.

Concerts and festivals are usually considered fare for younger generations, but 17% of surveyed over-55s go see their favorite musical artists at least once a month, and 31% attend festivals annually.

Perhaps the most prevalent cultural stereotype when it comes to older adults is the image of grandpa or grandma struggling to make sense of their laptop or smartphone, stupefied by modern technology. This survey, though, is challenging that notion with 83% of respondents using their smartphone or tablet several times each week. Another 58% are active on social media, and 32% do most of their TV watching these days via Netflix or YouTube.

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A large percentage of surveyed older adults finally have the time to travel and see the world. In all, 39% have spent more than 20 days on vacation over just the past year. Only 27% of adults under 35 could say the same. In fact, many older respondents agreed they’re happy they waited until their later years to do most of their traveling, as now they are better equipped both financially and emotionally to really enjoy different parts of the world.

The majority of surveyed older adults are also enjoying good mental health as well. A significant 70% said they are feeling happy and content on a mental level, compared to 59% of adults under 35. Similarly, only 30% of the older respondents admitted to frequent bouts of stress or anxiety, while 63% of adults under 35 often feel stressed, and 60% battle anxiety.

All in all, it’s clear that older adults are, to put it simply, very happy. For instance, 72% are comfortable with their age, 64% are content in life, and 53% have never felt more confident. Moreover, another 53% said they feel much younger than what their date of birth says!

Of course, with old age comes wisdom. Respondents were asked if they had any advice for younger generations, and their most frequent response was always make time for your loved ones. Other popular answers included travel as much as possible, don’t be afraid of new things, don’t change to please other people, and try not to worry about the small stuff.

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