Twentysomethings may have youth, smooth skin and the stamina to party on their side but the average Brit does not experience true contentment until the age of 38, new research from The Huffington Post UK Lifestyle and YouGov reveals.
The survey asked 2,000 UK adults aged between 18 and 80 to name the time in their life they felt most content and confident in a variety of different situations.
When it comes to the modern day demands of relationships, career, friends and family, Brits, on average, feel most content with their life at the age of 38, the study revealed. But perhaps even more telling is that for the respondents aged 55 and over, the age of contentment rose even higher to 48.
These findings suggest that growing older is not, as the anti-ageing industry would have us believe, something to be feared but rather the path to true fulfillment.
In an age where women are encouraged to pursue the image of eternal youth, and fashion magazines are dominated by images of fresh-faced twentysomethings, it is interesting to see that it is not until 31 that body-conscious British females feel at ease with their body image. Perhaps that explains why 31 is also the age when sexual confidence peaks, rising to 35 amongst the 55+ age group.
Ironically, it is the younger generation who are most concerned about getting old, the preoccupation with ageing at its highest among those aged 18 to 24 at 46% and lowest amongst those aged 55 and above at 35%.
This reinforces the idea that the insecurities and unfounded fears we harbour in our youth may not be worth the worry we assign to them, after all.
Even social confidence is fuelled by age and experience, for while bars, clubs and parties may be the domain of those in their teens and twenties, it's at the age of 35 that people are most confident in social situations, rising to the age of 43 amongst those aged 55 and over.
So is life so bad for modern day twentysomethings?
It is not just emotional insecurities that affect the outlook of the younger generation. With the rise in youth unemployment and the increasing costs of education, it is not surprising that financial concerns also take their toll. Worryingly, four times as many 18 to 24-year-olds say money (17%) is now more important than their own health (4%).
But the future is not all doom and gloom. Hardworking twentysomethings coping with the tough economic climate and battling their way up the career ladder can console themselves with the idea that life really will get easier. It's at the age of 34 that the elusive, all-important work/life balance is finally achieved, according to the survey results.
It is fortunate then that us Brits are an optimistic, forward-looking lot with nearly half (43%) saying they feel happiest when thinking about the future.
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