Happiness Is a Choice

Retirement Myth #9: Our happiest years are behind us.

Not so, says Neilsen, the folks who rate TV viewership. “There is scientific evidence that people get happier as they get older.”

The marketing data company points to a May 2016 survey, which measured self-reported wellbeing among American adults. On a scale of 1 to 10, the average 18-year-old rated his or her wellbeing at 6.7.

From there the number trended downward, reaching a low of 6.2 for 52-year-olds. But then, it climbed dramatically, matching the 18-year-old average by 67 and moving to nearly 7.0 by age 83.

Well, it’s only a poll and a self-reported one at that. But it does destroy the myth that happiness decreases with age.

Which makes me think of the old Meier-Minirth book, written in 1978 and revised a couple of years ago. These psychiatrists say that, at any age, “happiness is a choice.”

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