ATLANTA (CBS Atlanta) – Those about to enter their 30s may want to sit down for this.
A new study suggests you won’t be as happy as you are now for about another four decades.
Australian researchers say happiness follows a predictable trajectory as we age, with the highest levels of happiness reported from age 15-24 and over 75.
“Satisfaction over life decreases from the early 20s, plateaus for about 40 years and then increases from about 65 up,” explained lead author Dr. Ioana Ramia, with the University of New South Wales.
Ramia’s team looked through data from a national survey to reach their conclusions, reportsThe Daily Mail.
Couples reported the greatest satisfaction with life just before having their first child, then a dip from the first year of the child’s life until the child reaches age 6 and starts school, according to the study.
The researchers also found younger people aren’t as concerned about the quality of their homes, though they do want to be close to their friends and places to hang out.
As we get older, the importance of living standards increase.
“At this time happiness is at its lowest and it only starts to increase when people start focusing on other things, like their free time,” Ramia told The Daily Mail.
But there is good news for those in the unhappiest phase of life, getting older means getting happier.
[Happiness] then stays till low, but increases slightly, and is the highest around the age of 80,” said Ramia. “So that’s something to look forward to.
“At this time happiness is at its lowest and it only starts to increase when people start focusing on other things, like their free time,” she added.