This post first appeared on Forbes.
Musicians Count Basie and Frank Sinatra sang to the truth in their 1964 recording of The Best is Yet to Come. So much rings true in the lyrics of this famous jazz song that Sinatra had the title etched on his tombstone. There is more to this statement than the song, as studies show that people are their happiest from their mid-50’s onward. And it makes sense when considering the following.
So Long, Farewell, The Kids Are Finished School
Still playing with song lyrics, Oscar Hammerstein II and Richard Rodgers see a goodbye as all too sweet when going to bed. The same feeling to flit, float, flee and fly is true for when children are finished college and mortgages are paid as there is much less financial stress with all essential expenses paid in full!
This freedom of expenses milestone also takes place around 55, when most people are at the peak of their career and earning more than ever before. And regardless of how well you planned for retirement, these financial freedoms offer peace of mind and clarity for the future.
It’s Been A Hard Day’s Night, And I’ve Been Working Like A Dog
Musicians clearly sing about the often cold and warm realities of life, as The Beatles nailed it with this title song. Studies conversely show that people between the ages of 45 and 54 are the least happy financially when they typically struggle to make ends meet.
This sandwich generation is squeezed between the financial and emotional expense of young children and aging parents. The added uncertainty of a promotion or, worse yet, possible unemployment due to ageism in the workplace is a hard sandwich to swallow that leads to much stress. The good news is this too shall pass.
Don’t Worry, Be Happy, Beauty Is Ageless
So, with this better understanding of our financial peaks and valleys, here is a surprise. It appears that those in their 70’s and beyond are happiest with their physical appearance. People seem to care less about how others view them at this point in life, which leads to a more comfortable self.
On the flip side, people between 55-59 are least happy with their physical appearance. Considering the financial stress of the previous decade and the toll it likely took on leading a healthy lifestyle, it makes sense that people don’t feel that they look their best at this age.
Ah – The Gift Of Youth – And Age
This same study about life stages for financial and physical happiness also examines when life overall is reported to be the happiest. This finding is when both ends of the spectrum agree they were most satisfied at 23 and 69.
It makes sense that 23 is an age of joy. Young adults are graduating college and are truly independent for the first time. Endless possibilities, optimism, and exploration are inspiring as careers begin, travel is possible, and parties can last into the wee hours of the night without a 24-hour hangover.
Now look to the 69ers – this age group shows a sense of contentedness and acceptance. The main stressors of life have dissipated, and retiring is on the horizon. This age is a time to reflect on all the accomplishments during the best and worst of times. Ahhh – take a breath and enjoy the moment.
Grandchildren Are The Best Children
Another happiness factor older adults share is the grandkids. Something about spoiling children, celebrating their happy times, and handing them back to their parents when they fuss and moan, brings great joy to grandparents. Who can blame them!
Wealth and Health Bring Happiness
Regardless of the study, financial planners are the first to help people and families navigate all stages of life. Building trust and long-lasting relationships with a wealth manager can help ease the times when least happy financially. These financial experts prepare clients to manage their money through the good times and bad times so that ultimately, their health is in good shape along with their savings. After all, the goal is to retire financially secure and agree with the findings that life after 69 is sweeter than expected.