The secret to being the happiest people 46



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Yup – just what we’ve always suspected: over 60s are the happiest Australians! It’s no surprise really but it’s now been proven with research from over 50,000 households.

The Alere Wellness Index survey has found that us over 60s are loving life and staying happy even as we become less fit and healthy as we age, whereas those in their 20s and 30s are experiencing more sadness and discontentment. But what is it that makes us the happiest demographic?

Survey respondents said that these four things were key to their happiest and fulfilment:

1. Acceptance

Life has gone quickly for some of us and slowly for others, but one thing is for sure: it has changed since we were younger, and we’ve had to learn to accept that. We’ve learnt that life is too short to worry about small things so instead we embrace who we are and who others are too. We accept reality and love ourselves for who we are and where we’ve been.


2. Wisdom

They don’t call us wise for no reason! We’ve had life experience and a lot of it. Our world has changed more in the last 50 years than it has in centuries and we have lived through it all. By our 60s, we have shed our ego and our self-centredness and instead have a deeper sense of self. We have independence and some may say we’re stuck in our ways but we are safe in our identity and believe the things we say. We say what we think and don’t hold back! If you want our honest advice, we’ll give it to you.


3. Safety

As we age, we tend to want only the more simple things in life and splash out occasionally on the odd holiday or nice thing for ourselves. Among them is safety and we love to feel safe and secure. Once we are, we’re delighted. Sometimes when we were working, we can feel emotionally unsafe or unsure due to a range of factors, but in retirement, we create our own safety. We also can independently think more so than our younger counterparts and this makes us feel more able and therefore happier.


4. Security

If we own our own home (finally) or if we rent, we like to know we are secure and can afford to live comfortably. This is one part of happiness that we can get confused as we sometimes think that money can buy happiness when it is back to that basic thing where if we have a roof over our head and food in the fridge and cupboard, we can be happy. And if we don’t have that, that’s when we can be sad.



It goes to show that even against all odds, we can be happy and make do. We can be poor, sick or ‘old’ but we have our mind, our memories and our friends. And we have lost many things – friends, family, pets, jobs, money, houses, the lists goes on. But with this has come the invaluable lessons we have learnt and our obstacles have become our triumphs. Our suffering has illuminated what we do have in our lives…our life itself and the life we have created.

As the saying goes: “Getting older is hard – but it is better than the alternative”!


What is the best life lesson you have learnt? What makes you happiest? Tell us below.



Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. Being happy is living today, enjoying today and throwing out worries as they only draw on your energy

  2. Happiness is a frame of mind. It helps if you think happy. I also believe it is the personality you are born with & your life experiences. I heard yesterday of a young man with a wife & child who had to have a major heart operation. I asked his Mother yesterday how they will cope financially as he will not work for 3 months. She broke down sobbing. The local community did a fund raiser for him. How beautiful is that & doesn’t it make you so proud & happy to be a part of it? I’m happy.

  3. Agree totally. All of a sudden there’s a new freedom to see the world through new eyes and you realise just how much those you love mean to you – not for what they can do for you but purely for the memories and love shared down through the years. Often that’s what keeps you going through the tough things.

  4. Because we are out of that retrace we call,work
    And everyday is great 8.20 laying bed sifting through fb
    Get up when I am ready
    Even grandkids say your lucky you don’t have to do nothing Sue

  5. I think we learnt to wait for things back in the day and to save up our pocket money and wait to but our much wanted toy.We had our good clothes and it may have been only one good dress, one pair of good shoes. I loved my best clothes. And all could be repaired. Dad fixed everything. We had hand me downs and we were happy with our lot. We saved for a deposit, saved for a TV, waited for a holiday or didn’t have one. Now we are older we have learnt to be happy with what we have and were we are going. Today could be classed as instant gratification generation.Not a lot is cherished anymore.

  6. Contentment with what you have, just be yourself and enjoy each day as it comes. Work out what is important and what is not, and don’t worry about petty things.

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