27 Nov 2019
The Centre for Ageing Better commissioned Ipsos MORI to investigate happiness in later life and identify the factors that make for a good later life in 2015.
A mixed methods approach was used, involving analysis of existing data to identify groups of people with similar experiences of later life, in-depth interviews and visits with people in each group, and a survey of people aged 50 and over in England.
What do people say is important to a good later life?
The research identified three key dimensions of a good later life – health, financial security and social connections. These were consistent regardless of age, gender, ethnicity or other sociodemographic characteristics. Most people want their health to be good enough to enable them to maintain relationships and activities they value. Similarly, people want enough money for the essentials, to afford to participate socially and culturally and to have a buffer to afford the unexpected.
Personal outlook is important to how people experience later life. It is possible to enjoy a happy and fulfilled later life with some health and money problems. Likewise, it is possible to feel dissatisfied with later life despite having good health, a lack of money worries and good social networks.