An older athlete hitting the ball.
An older athlete hitting the ball.

Study: Happiness Peaks at age 23, 69

50s are a rough time

An older athlete hitting the ball.

Get full access to Outside Learn, our online education hub featuring in-depth fitness, nutrition, and adventure courses and more than 2,000 instructional videos when you sign up for Outside+.

Blame your high expectations. According to a study from the Centre for Economic Performance at the London School of Economics to be published this week, life satisfaction peaks at 23 and 69, dipping dramatically in your 50s as life’s myriad disappointments kick in.

After surveying 23,161 Germans, ages 17 to 85, researchers discovered that people in their early 20s overestimate their future happiness by 10 percent. After that, disillusionment causes a bottoming-out at around age 55. By age 68, the average person underestimates their future happiness by 4.5 percent, reducing the disappointment they face.

“People in their fifties could learn from the elderly, who generally feel less regret,” researcher Hannes Schwandt told the Daily Mail. “They should try not to be frustrated by their unmet expectations because they are probably not feeling much worse than their peers,” Schwandt said.

Filed to:

promo logo