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Do seniors get retirement blues? Not so much

June 22, 2012

There's often a misconception that older adults may be less happy than their younger counterparts. However, a report recently published in the Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization proved just how wrong that assumption is. Researchers found people tend to be happiest in retirement.

The study looked at about 60,000 people in Australia, Great Britain and Germany in an effort to see if most experts' predictions that there is a U-shaped trend in happiness, including a dip in middle age, rang true. Interestingly, they found there is not the expected lull in happiness once a person reaches their 40s and 50s.

In the case of Australians, the findings were especially pronounced. Researchers found Australian respondents maintained about the same happiness level from theirs 20s through to their mid-50s before peaking between 65 and 70.

The findings should be good news for older adults, as more literature comes out on the importance of happiness for healthy aging. There are many ways for older adults to boost their mood later in life, but exercise has proven to be one of the best methods. A recent study out of Norway found even people who exercised even a little had better mental health than those who did not, The New York Times reports.