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Later Life in 2015

We want to ensure that what we do starts with the person and is relevant and beneficial to those we want to help.

We partnered with Ipsos MORI to undertake a major social research project exploring people’s wellbeing as they age.

The research identified three key dimensions of a good later life – health, financial security and social connections. These were consistent regardless of gender, ethnicity or other socio-demographic characteristics.

These dimensions are interrelated and all influence each other. They also have an impact on the extent to which people feel happy, satisfied with their lives and that their life has meaning and they are in control. Interestingly, the study revealed the significance of strong social connections and how they help some people to overcome disadvantages such as poor health or a lack of financial security.

There is wide variation in how people experience later life. We identified six groups of people aged 50 and over according to their experiences, circumstances and levels of wellbeing. These groups (or segments) are of broadly similar size and are distributed evenly across the country.

These are:

The study explored the fact that people living longer presents a tremendous opportunity for everyone to enjoy healthy, active and fulfilling later lives. However, at present too many people risk missing out.

There are opportunities to learn from those groups which have higher levels of wellbeing than could be expected on the basis of their health, financial situation or social connections.

We are using the many insights from this study to help inform which topics we focus on and who we work with to affect change.

You can read more in the full report here: Later life in 2015: An analysis of the views and experiences of people aged 50 and over. Or get a snapshot from our Executive Summary. For our methodology, please see here.

You can also explore the six groups and find out more about how people are experiencing older age today in this interactive report.

Read here to see our news story announcing the report and its key findings.

See here for a breakdown of the six groups identified in our study.