50 is the new 40…..but only if you are 45!

50 is the new 40…..but only if you are 45!

New research from Standard Life has revealed that 30% of the population think middle age hits between 46 and 50. The big exception is the 18-24 year old category; with 41% thinking that middle age is a staggering ten years earlier between the ages of 36 and 40. However one in five of over 65’s don’t think we reach middle age until we pass the age of 50.

John Lawson, Head of Pension Policy at Standard Life, said:
“The differences in the findings illustrate just how important perceptions about age really are and evoke the old adage ‘you are only as old as you feel’. When you are young everyone older than you seems past it. But it would seem, as we get older we keep revisiting what being older and the age we attach to it means. When we are 20 we can’t imagine being 40 and so on, we effectively move the goalposts as we go through life.

“The same can be said about planning for our future, nothing is set in stone anymore so flexibility is the key. The prevalence of second marriages can mean a young family later in life that we need to provide for - this can keep us young at heart but possibly working for longer! Once we reach 50 we can effectively retire when we want, and for many it is the time they realise that life-long ambition of travel or pursue specialist hobbies.”

The research also shows a marked difference between men and women when it comes to categorising middle age. Nearly half of the women questioned believed it starts beyond the age of 46 compared with only just over a third of men.

John Lawson continued:
“It would seem men are prepared to accept middle age starts earlier than women, perhaps because they ‘feel older’, or perhaps because women generally live longer than their male counterparts so want to be perceived as youthful for as long as possible.”

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