Looking Forward to 50?

A recent article in the New York Times reported on a recent study on aging (getting older) and happiness.  The study was based on a scientific poll of 340,000 Americans of all ages.  One of the questions related to how satisfied people were with themselves, a measure (indication) of happiness.  According to the study, people at age 18 begin life feeling pretty happy, but soon they start to feel worse and worse.  However, this process reverses (goes in the other direction) at age 50.  Beginning at age 50, people begin to feel better about themselves again.

There are a number of possible explanations for this finding (result of research).  First, by the time you are 50, you are likely to be advanced in your career, making a good salary (money for work), and feeling in control of your life better than when you first started out working in your 20s and 30s.  Second, if you have children, they are likely to be older adolescents or adults, which leaves you more time for yourself.  Third, you may have a more balanced, realistic view of life in general (overall) and your life in particular (specifically).  By 50, you have seen more of the world and the people in it, and can perhaps see that temporary setbacks (problems) are just that – temporary, for a short time only.

I’m only 46, so I have four more years before my life gets better.  I can’t wait to be 50!


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28 Responses to Looking Forward to 50?

  1. Kuong Do says:

    I am 28 now. I can’t wait to be 50, too!

  2. Reza Akhavan says:

    But you have always been very happy Dr.Jeff! Thus you don’t require to wait for 4 years ahead.
    Reza from IRAN

  3. emiliano says:

    It´s the first time I have listened something like this and it´s amazing.
    Because always I have listened just the contrary:

    There is nothing similar to the youth.
    It´s a pity to grown up so quickly.
    All people above 50 wants to be young again.
    Everyone wants to be forever young as Mephistopheles.
    As much people would give to be young all life.

    and so on.

    Now we have another version?

    My fifties have been past already, so I may say something about the subject, What?
    In general terms I agree, but Jeff I think you don´t need to wait any years to be happy. Sure you are now, but in ten more year you´ll have another view of your previous life and the life you have in that moment, and without being more happy it´s possible that you feel better about yourself, just because there is more peace, less necesities and ambitious, less anxiety.
    That´s all.

    Just to be conformed with the life you have in that moment, without so many necesities or duties, less ambitious and of course to be glad with the person you have at your side. Not anxious about sex, this is another very important thing to be happy and relaxed when you are more than fifty years old.

    Ja, ja, I can say that for my own experience.

    A pleasure Jeff, and don´t be anxious to be more that fifty to feel happy, all at it´s time.

  4. Tania says:

    Hi! Thank you for this wonderful picture : Flock of Seagulls. I admire it for a long time. I love the sea with its seagulls and its infinite surface. I was sad … but now looking at the flight of the seagulls…
    I’d like to fly ,too…

  5. Daven says:

    I’m just be 30s, a terrific long way to 50s.

  6. LUCIANO says:

    Hello, lovers of english!!

    I’m also looking forward to be 50, just like many americans, cause I’m pretty sure when I get there, it’ll be nine years from now, my english will be 9 times better thanks to dear Jeff in beeeeautiful LA!! By the way, Doc, I look like you very much cause I’m also bald, white, wear glasses, and…..love english too!! Rs!!! I hope you keep on doing this great job with english language!! Congrats, congrats and more congrats!!

  7. Linda says:

    hello Jeff,
    it’s the first time for a reply.i’m 26 now.I think i get stressed after i graduate from my college.in other words.my work makes me a lot of pressure.so i looking forward to be 50.everyday i always listen to your podcast to improve my oral english and listening comprehension.until now this aleady have been 1 years older.i hope i will keep on doing it.many thanks for you.

  8. Biby Hanh Nguyen says:

    HAPPY OR NOT HAPPY, it depends on your feeling not ages.
    Thanks Mr Jeff & wish you happiness everyday.

  9. echo says:

    ^_^ your voice sounds just like a young adult!I like it very much
    From your story,I can bet you have a beautiful and kind wife ,to some extent,you are so lucky
    wish two of you happy everyday!
    plus,you did a great job! thanks!!

  10. Sanaz says:

    Dear Dr. Jeff,
    I haven’t a chance to see you but your voice sounds much younger. You seems happy all the times, although, we, your listeners,
    haven’t been all the time with you. But, I think there is no need to wait 4 more years.
    The result of this survay is intresting. However, in my country it is not correct. The older people get, the sader they become.
    I personally think it’s better to live the moment and forget about the age.

  11. Lanter Hermann says:

    Dear Jeff,
    This study makes me happy ! Next year, everything will be better for me !!!
    Thanks a lot for this encouraging outlook.

  12. isaac says:

    so according to this article , there is lots of suffer that I must be through, before i start enjoying my life. I m only 28 , god !! what a disaster. what we have done to you jeff! why do treat us like this ?

  13. Mesut in USA original from Turkey says:

    Hi Jeff,

    I first have to say you and your team; Thank you for your all afford. I’m usually trying to listen and read your podcast and I’m acquiring much more about everything. I’m 48 years old and I think so, I feel much more anxiety myself since couple of years. I think I feel myself more closer to the death. This feeling started after 45. So, time flies very fast after 35 age and we distinguish that life is too short. I’ve just written that my experiences. I don’t know how I will be able to get rid of this delusion. I think that everybody has as like this feeling.
    Thanks for your helping.



  14. Chris says:

    Thank you for this interesting post.

  15. Tania says:

    Hi! I am looking at the flock of seagulls again and again. It gives me an inner peace but and a question mark…a measure of happiness. The happiness is a state of mind, a mood.
    Or. if you stay and count your money every night, yeah … you can be very happy.

  16. Ernesto Villalobos says:


    I’ve always said I’m going to live 100 years; under this point of view, other reason to be happy when you are fifty is because you are barely at half the way in your life.

    Be happy today and tomorrow be happier

    Ernesto from Mexico

  17. Rezaul Karim says:

    Hi Jeff,

    You’re absolutely right and I’m at one with you that beginning at 50 people start to feel better for so many good reasons, but you must accept the fact that it also brings us a problem which is known as mid-life crisis, when people tend to act, feel and behave as if they were young again. Am I right Jeff?

    -Rezaul Karim.

  18. Mehrdad says:

    There may be also another explanation: Some scientists belive that in ages between 50 to 60, people’s mental and physical conditions become reset. There are several investigations as well as evidences. Some people even teethe again at the age of 60! The happyness that mentioned in the research may be related to the fact that people are reborn during their fifties. So, they can have the refreshed perspective to life.
    Then, dear Jeff! Congradulations in advance for you new birth!

  19. aseeel says:

    well , u should’ve been happy from months ago
    alot of ppl love you ;p

  20. Eduardo says:

    I agree. I’m fifhteen years away from 50 and expect a good future personally and professionally.

  21. Tania says:

    Hi! No skywalk, no train, no car, no helicopter, no airplane…I would like to be a California Condor in flight to admire all the splendour of the Canyon landscapes.
    But the high temperatures, the air pollution, the desert… I’d rather prefer the Niagara Falls.

  22. Tania says:

    Hi! We enjoyed famous TV animals like Flipper, a pet dolphin , but and Lassie, too.

  23. Tian Jing says:

    Gee! I am 29, I cannot afford an apartment,a car or anything necessary.The only stuff I got is a laptop & cellphone, and also I’ve got a big family that I have to support!

  24. Fernanda says:

    Hi, this article say so much about living in the 21 century! When i was eighteen i was happier than today. I´ve got more dreams and i think i can get them with effort. But now i see that we must be happy, today. Why? Because the present is the only thing that we can change and waiting for a time that you will be happy is a big lye. I agree with all the topics about why at 50 we can be as we want to be. I love my life and i know that to be happy and another things i want depends only to myself. Thanks for the incrediable words!

  25. Tania says:

    Hi! A lot of articles in NYT on gay people. Almost not at all in my country. Thanks to English Cafe 225 I can understand them including “don’t ask, don’t tell”.
    Interesting article on “New Benefits for Same-Sex Partners”.

  26. Tania says:

    Hi! Reading WSJ from our blog I found out San Francisco and Shanghai became “sister cities” 30 years ago with stronger economic and cultural ties at the municipal level.
    And a new exhibition at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco : The Art of Shanghai.

  27. Farahnaz says:

    Dear Jeff,
    I’m glad you are going to be 50 after 4 years. I have some questions: What do you hop you’ll have achieved by the time you are 50? Have you achieved your goals/aims which you have had in the past? If not. Are you going to try to get them after 50?
    If you answer questions above, you can help me to make a decision on my failures.
    Best regards,

  28. Bakhtiar says:

    I think according to life course perspective, every stages of human being life is conncted together and have great effects on each other, for instance a secure attachment for young childhood influence on your attitude and perspective during adulthood, so i think it does not if you are in what age, it depends on your attachment if it was secure or an secure pattern, however i don’t down grade the influence of economy and social aspects, in another words how the social context influence on individual life and way he or she lives.

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