Women Are Happiest at THIS Age

Women are happiest between the ages of 50 and 70, a finding that is likely to surprise a lot of people.

That's the word from Chicago-based TrendSight Group, a consulting think tank, that conducted in-depth interviews with 50 women and supplemented that information with the results of a 30-year lifestyle study.

The results? They found that women in this age group are more than just content with life. They also believe they're in the prime of their life. Why? They feel liberated! They are not only happier, more confident, more involved and more socially active than their mothers were at this age, but also compared to today's younger women.

"The majority of today's older women don't experience midlife as a 'crisis'-- the way some men typically do," says lead study author Marti Barletta and author of "PrimeTime Women: How to Win the Hearts, Minds and Business of Boomer Big Spenders." "They truly feel at their peak--personally, professionally, financially and psychologically. They are what I've come to call The PrimeTime Women." The 50-plus population is growing, while the under-50 population is shrinking. Barletta advises that "younger generations need to know aging isn't a dirty word; with it can come incredible confidence, strength and freedom."

According to Barletta's research, older women are more content with their lives than younger women. Overall, older women say this is a time of new freedom, since they no longer feel constrained by familial and societal pressures to be, act or think a certain way. Only 42 percent of older women felt they were under a great deal of pressure most of the time, compared with 65 percent of younger women. Older women know adversity will come, but feel they have the tools and skills to handle it. "PrimeTime Women experience what I call a 'liberation from expectation.' They have a newfound control over their lives," says Barletta. "Our research confirmed what numerous studies have indicated, but that society has chosen to ignore--the 50s and 60s are the happiest decades of life."

Older women are involved with their family, work, community and society more deeply and passionately than younger women. Fifty-eight percent of women 50 to 70 consider their work "a career" rather than just a job, compared to 51 percent of women 25 to 49. Moreover, 66 percent of older women say they enjoy their work "a lot" compared to 56 percent of younger women.

Women 50 to 70 years of age are more politically engaged as well. More older women are interested in politics (64 percent) and believe their vote counts (81 percent) than younger women (54 percent and 73 percent respectively). PrimeTime Women are more likely than younger women to do volunteer work (61 percent vs. 57 percent) or belong to a club or organization (51 percent vs. 42 percent). And the environment certainly isn't a "young" issue. PrimeTime Women actively "go green" even more than younger women.

This is real optimism: Fully 59 percent of women ages 50 to 70 feel their greatest achievements are still ahead of them.

--From the Editors at Netscape

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