According to a recent Pew Research survey on global attitudes regarding aging, America isn’t as concerned about our population growing older as many other countries are. When asked if the growing population of older individuals was a “major problem” in our country, only 26% of Americans responded that it was, versus 87% in Japan, 67% in China, 55% in Germany, and 43% in Britain. In fact, of the countries polled, America was the third lowest, beat out only by Indonesia at 25% and Egypt at 23%.
This trend partially tracks the pattern of aging populaces across the world. In Japan, for example, the percentage of people age 65 or older is expected to increase from 23% in 2010 to almost 37% in 2050, while in America the percentage will grow from 13% to around 21%. The study also showed a wide divergence in confidence of one’s standard of living after retirement, which may contribute to global concerns. While the U.S. was one of only 4 countries surveyed in which more than 1/3 of the population felt that retirement expenses were primarily a personal obligation, rather than a duty of families or the government, Americans were also among those who seemed most confident in their standard of living after retirement.
The reasons for these attitudes may also have something to do with the fact that recent data shows that Americans get happier as we age. Contrary to what many people may expect, according to a recent Gallup poll, Americans are happiest between the ages of 75 and 79, and most unhappy between the ages of 40 and 44. The study was based on over 500,000 interviews, which ranked responses to questions about how often respondents experienced things like: smiling/laughing, learning or doing something interesting, being treated with respect, happiness, worry, sadness, or stress. They found that the level of happiness, satisfaction, and emotional health began to rise at age 55, and continued until into the 70s, with 1 in every 3 Americans reporting high emotional health in their 70s.
The Gallup poll data suggests that Americans are at their most stressed in their 30s and 40s, as they struggle with family and career obligations, relationships, and other stressors. Their increased happiness as they age probably has a lot to do with the confidence they feel in maintaining a good quality of life after they retire.
One part of maintaining good quality of life can be finding an world-class senior community that caters to your emotional health, as well as your physical. At Fox Hill, we understand that emotional health is just as important as physical health, and that a lot goes into maintaining the quality of life that you’ve come to expect. That’s why we offer a range of opportunities, activities, and lifestyle options, to help keep even the most active seniors happy, healthy, and full of life. Whatever your passion, you can find it at Fox Hill in Bethesda, Maryland!