Life after 60 is good

The most satisfying time in life is when you are aged 60 and over.

Life after 60 is good

Life after 60 is good – at least according to the latest Australian Family Trends report, Life satisfaction across life course transitions released this week by the Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS).

The report shows that life satisfaction begins to dip for people from the age of 15 to the early 20s, then declined again from the mid 20s until the mid 30s, before diving to life’s lowest level between the mid 30s and early 50s. But from then on, it seems, satisfaction steadily rises until the late 60s, where it plateaus, before declining from the early 80s.

Researchers tracked around 27,000 Australians of all ages from 15 years onwards for about 12 years before and after significant life events. Some of the key findings include:

  • the impending arrival of a child is linked to a rise in happiness before quickly declining after birth – mainly for women
  • life events such as separation and widowhood result in a decline in happiness in the years immediately after the loss
  • leaving home doesn’t markedly change a person’s happiness levels
  • beginning a new relationship is linked with a sustained increase in life satisfaction for both men and women, but declined after about six years
  • it was also common for individuals to be more financially stable in later life.

“It’s a good news story for getting older,” said Senior Research Fellow Professor David de Vaus. “It’s due to a mixture of factors most likely, with the stresses and strains of life [such as] getting a job less immediate in later life.”

Read more at The Daily Telegraph
Read the Australian Institute of Family Studies report

Do you feel that the results of this study reflect your life experience? Are you satisfied with your life? Which stage in life do you feel was, is, or will be best? Which was worst? What suggestions do you have for our members that may help them through the more difficult stages of life? Do you have a recipe for life satisfaction?


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    18th Sep 2015
    My life has been very happy from the beginning until now and I imagine I will be happy for the rest of my life. It was difficult when I was young as my father was in the Army and we moved every two years or so and some health issues dragged me down however we have to make the most of what we are given. I left home at 16 as I got a job in the big city and being responsible for myself was another great advantage over some of my peers who lived at home.

    I didn't get married until I was 30 and even though life was great before marriage it was even better afterwards. My wife was very happy as I already knew how to cook, launder clothes and keep the house clean, children was another added bonus.

    Now in mid sixties and I still think life is great. I look forward to the remaining time I have be it 1 day or 30 years. Don't think it has been easy as I have been severely hearing impaired since 3 months old, arthritic fingers and toes since late teens and now in the elbows and knees. Also lower back issues from early teens.

    At the end of it all I believe I have had a wonderful life and will continue to have a wonderful life because life is what you make of it. By the way my three brothers and sister think their lives have been terrible!
    18th Sep 2015
    What a lovely, life-affirming post, Captain! Despite your ill health throughout your life, you still have a positive attitude - your glass is definitely half full. Those who moan and groan about trivial things should take a leaf out of your book.
    My problem is boredom now I have (unwillingly) retired. Despite volunteer work, running a home, etc etc I really miss working. Despite this, I agree with the article. I think with age comes maturity and less stress. I don't worry about trivial things and just take each day as it comes. Ongoing health issues are a drag, but I try to look on the bright side and soldier on. No one likes a whinger.
    18th Sep 2015
    Bookworm, I retired several years ago and find that I can now indulge in my three main passions, 1: reading books, 2: gardening, 3: discussing various topics with my wife.

    If you have some spare time you can look at the University of the Third Age (U3A) as they have some wonderful courses and are always looking for volunteers.
    18th Sep 2015
    Yeah, I can agree with those results. Life between 30s & 50s was a bit of a drudge, get up go to work, get up go to work etc etc. Now at 65 I am entering this new stage full of beans. I retired last November, which initially was a bit of a challenge, but after spending 3 months overseas escaping winter, I have returned a week ago revitalized and full of plans and ideas for the future. Yeah feeling good....
    18th Sep 2015
    I am 76 y.o. widow working fulltime in a job I absolutely love. Need to work to pay private rental but when you love doing something its not really a job. I have been on HRT for nearly 30 years with no ill effect (maybe that's the secret!). Have had a few tragedies in my lifetime but overall life is good and I enjoy excellent health. I emmigrated from UK 40 years ago and have never regretted the move. My advice for life satisfaction is to enjoy the little things, look around you there is always something wonderful to see i.e. the birds in your garden, flowers starting to bloom, the waves hitting the beaches and remember to always be kind, smile and talk to people - after all we never know how long we will all be here so make the most of every day.
    18th Sep 2015
    Yes I agree, I am in my sixties and love my life, but then I always have done. I honestly believe some people are happy and look for the best in life while others are negative and will never be happy. I am not wealthy, on a pension and have had two knee replacements, so all is not always plain sailing, but by and large life is pretty good with family and my furry boy for company. Keeping interested in life is a good antidote to boredom.
    18th Sep 2015
    We have been pretty lucky with a very happy marriage. Always made a point of never taking on much debt. But the last 5 years have been more stressful. Trying to sell a business over several year for one thing. Only getting 1/2 its value for another & having to depend on the pension to supplement income.

    Then coping with Centrelink & all the changes to the rules about Pensions. Next year our pension will be cut by the new rules. My husband took on a few clients to supplement our income. But at 73, is finding it harder to keep up with constant Legislation changes.

    As we age, we have to rely on tradies to paint the house, clean the gutters, trim the trees, etc. Our track & power poles need grading & replacing fairly regularly. So as not to be a burden on Medicare we have always paid health insurance. Both have chronic diseases & rely on Specialists visits regularly.

    So far we have relied on our moderate savings to see us through. With the new rules, we will have to use this money just to live. So wil probably have to leave our beloved acreage & rely on medicare & the public system. That is a huge cause of stress affecting our happiness.
    18th Sep 2015
    Life has never been better. At 58 I had spinal surgery which gave me back my life and then I started my own business. 6.5 years later my partner has retired and is waiting for me to retire. I haven't had a holiday in all those years, apart from 2 weekends away but I feel no stress or need for a holiday. I am thoroughly enjoying life. Other than my partner, I have no family in Australia apart from one of my daughters, and she's given me three beautiful granddaughters. And I have good friends. I don't think there's a single thing that I want or need that would make my life better. I walk every day and I credit that for enabling me to feel about 35. So yes, I'm fortunate enough to be one of the over 60s who says, "life is good."
    18th Sep 2015
    I agree with the results. I got married at 19 and still married. Had 3 children but went through no end of trauma's and bereavements in our 30's.
    I don't envy the youth as they are going to suffer in this climate of dog eat dog and just want material things. The one bit of advice would be make sure you don't have to pay rent after 55! That is the crux of a happy life! To be content at not having so many bills. Our generation had nothing when we were young and can be happy with basic things today. Mobile phones will cripple a lot of youth or parents if they are not careful.
    18th Sep 2015
    I think someone made big mistake with this article this is my story.

    I am John Pisac 62 years old and I can't get disability pension with 3 fusions to neck and 2 ruptured discs in lower back and right shoulder surgery and 2 specialists reports state that I am unfit for work. Medical panel is even better they have in they report - unfit for work indefinitely and this is my number from centre link as we are all numbers.
    303351473X and this is my work cover court case number E12604880 Hearing Type Work cover Mention Its really funny barristers go there once a month to move it to next month they been doing this almost one year but nothing gets resolved only I get a bill so can someone explain to me how the person lives on $577 per fortnight an pays bills
    On 23 July I was admitted to Epworth hospital for fusion to fix fused disc that I had 2 years ago to put 2 extra screws in the back of my neck as previous fusion that has not fused properly
    If anyone is interested to see my doctors reports you can send me email
    18th Sep 2015
    Good luck with your pursuit of a disability pension John. I've heard many similar stories. It seems our government no longer feels the need to take care of our disabled despite us all paying tax to cover just that eventuality.
    PS, my own spine is fully fused with two rods, 23 screws and 2 iliac bolts into my pelvis but I am one of the few lucky ones. I'm upright and have no pain, 7 years out.
    Juan Powerball
    18th Sep 2015
    Life is good after 60. Retired 2yrs ago, rent out the "Hacienda" long term, escape to SE Asia for Oz winter, return for Oz summer and cruise the Islands living aboard our boat. Cost of living in SE Asia enables us to save money and be able to return to the "lucky Country" for an Endless Summer. May not last a long time but will be a good time!
    18th Sep 2015
    Sounds like a great plan!
    18th Sep 2015
    They obviously have a sick sense of humour. Who said that life is great. Try ill health, for both you and your partner. This despite taking care of oneself, eating right, not smoking (ever). You sometimes just get a bad deal genetically. Having said that I am now 73 I have a belligerent father who is 98 and for some unknown reason thinks his daughters "owe" him. We have lived on opposite sides of the world for most of our adult lives and it is only that my parents followed us here that we have somehow become responsible for them and, now just my father. I do not owe him, and neither does my family. Everyone else thinks we should "take care of him". When is it going to be my turn to be the older parent and have some consideration?
    It must be much worse for people who have little or no income as many in my age group find themselves. I am hearing some very troubling stories and most are through no fault of their own. Just a bad deal that life as dealt them or bad advise. Sorry this is so negative but it gets most frustrating and hurtful when people make these kinds of judgements.
    I am fortunate that I have been married for 54years and we still very much live for each other. With some of the issues we have had to deal with it has made our relationship stronger. I would just like to be able to enjoy my retirement as others do.
    18th Sep 2015
    Health is of course, a lottery. It can make or break us. Those of us who enjoy good health now, need to appreciate it because in a year's time, it may be a different story.

    Not negative, BElle, just truthful. And I'm sorry life is so difficult.
    18th Sep 2015
    Friend of mine use to quote a saying by a well known poet that went something like this, "Things are bad, but they could be worse, so we'll see how we go with it, mate."
    18th Sep 2015
    This is the best time of my life.
    Brian from HomeExchange50plus
    18th Sep 2015
    Life is good for me also, despite the backache, but I also know that it is less good for others and I do think it important not to forget that.
    20th Sep 2015
    Well said, Brian. In my comment I did not mean to say that things should be fine for everybody. In fact, my life has had many challenges. Even now I have health problems to cope with, plus living on the Age Pension. However, in the past few years I have a sense of contentment. I have learnt many life lessons, I have a loving family (which comes partly with having learnt when to be quiet and listen to others!) , and overall I am at peace. Along with the challenges have come opportunities, and there is nothing now I want to do, that I have not already done. My 'bucket list' is merely to go to the beach a few days every year, and continue to enjoy the company of family and good friends.
    20th Sep 2015
    And yes, I do understand that it remains challenging for many.
    Nan Norma
    18th Sep 2015
    Choosing the right partner is essential to a happy life.
    Brian from HomeExchange50plus
    18th Sep 2015
    Agreed, we celebrated our 37th anniversary yesterday.
    Nan Norma
    18th Sep 2015
    Brian, You're a very lucky man. Congratulations.
    Brian from HomeExchange50plus
    18th Sep 2015
    Yes Nan I am indeed. All the very best Brian
    18th Sep 2015
    Like Captain I've had a fantastic life. I've done everything I ever wanted to do, much more than I ever thought possible for an average bloke.

    I've flown jets of aircraft carriers, raced cars, sailed the Pacific in a yacht, ridden show jumpers & eventers, & I have shared all this with a couple of fantastic ladies. I simply can't imagine a better life.

    My kids are doing well, much more careful & sensible than their mother & father, & look set for great, if a little less adventurous lives than their parents.

    At 75 I own my home, & although dependent on the pension, We are debt free, & have been able to help the kids a bit get started. It's a simple life these days, but still great fun.

    I do have a bit of pain from an autoimmune disease problem, & probably wear & tear, but can still do most things if I pace myself carefully. When I look back it is hard to believe one man could have done so much, & had it so good. I might not believe it if I didn't have the photographs.
    20th Sep 2015
    If you have plenty of money, fantastic health and a wonderful partner you have odds for happiness, sadly I don't have any of these. But at 54 I live in hope, more money, better health and by some miracle find a partner would be nice. I am not complaining as I am very happy being a mum to my 14 year old. I read recently a saying: You need something to do, something or someone to love and something to look forward to. I have all this :)
    29th Sep 2015
    Thank you John for your kind words, do not feel sorry for me as I am very happy with what I have, key to happiness don't wish for what you haven't got but enjoy and be grateful for what you have. Though I will keep buying a lotto ticket occasionally just in case.

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