It’s official. The 70s are going to be the best time of your life. Even if AARP didn’t come out with a recent survey that indicated people in their 70s were the happiest, I myself was feeling pretty darn happy, just so you know.
You can click the link for the AARP/National Geographic “Second Half of Life Study, but the bottom line is that people in their 70s are in one description, “doggedly optimistic” about their life and the future. Keep in mind, these people were interviewed post-COVID and they are still thinking positively about their lives and what’s ahead. Thirty-four percent of adults 80-plus and 27% of those in their 70s report they are “very happy,” compared to 21% of those 60 to 69, 18% of those 50 to 59 and 16% of those 40 to 49. According to the survey: 90% of respondents in their 70s said they were happy, compared with 81% in their 60s and 80% in their 40s.
Some observers have noted people in their 70s might be referred to as Generation X, for the lack of attention that they receive. It’s all about people in their 60s who are on the cusp of retirement, or people in their 80s who are beginning to face physical and cognitive limitations. You could say we’re the Rodney Dangerfield Generation, since we don’t get any respect.
How do we account for this extraordinary level of happiness? The simple, unscientific answer is that we’re boomers. Our generation is known for its sense of optimism and willingness to explore new things. These are people who flocked to San Francisco for the Summer of Love and hitchhiked to Woodstock without much more than a few dimes in their pockets. Now we are hitting the road again to see and do things we’ve not done before. As one observer put it, the seeds of being boomers in their youth are now growing into a sense of tranquility that other generations can only aspire to gain.
I congratulate you if you are 70+ and reading these words. You’ve made it, found more happiness than most, and can just focus on enjoying the years ahead. For those not yet 70 – the best is yet to come.
Jay Harrison is a writer and creative consultant for DesignConcept. You can also visit his author page here. His newest mystery novel, Rio Puerco Demise is available on Amazon. His first mystery novel, Head Above Water, is also available on Amazon.