The benefits of growing older

13 December 2019

‘Getting wiser’, ‘more self-confidence’ and ‘having grandchildren’ are considered some of the best things about becoming older, according to over 50s.

Benefits of growing older

Research reveals that obtaining more knowledge about the world, gaining self-confidence and having grandchildren are considered some of the best aspects of ageing. The same research also suggests that being less reactive to other people’s opinions is a major benefit of getting older.

In a recent survey, we asked 1,000 people aged 50 and above what they consider to be ‘the best thing about getting older’. More than half of respondents (519 people) gave a descriptive answer, indicating a number of varied thoughts and opinions on the subject.

Becoming more relaxed with age was by far the most common response, with many people revealing that they have learnt to care less about “other people’s opinions” and “the little things” in life as they have gotten older. Similarly, many gave answers relating to improved self-confidence and being more comfortable in their own skin, with one respondent saying “I love being in my 50s. I've never felt so together or confident in myself.”

For others, having more free time after retirement was considered to be the best thing about getting older. Several respondents specifically mentioned having grandchildren and seeing their own children grow up. Others revealed that having more leisure time and the opportunity to travel have become important and positive aspects of life following retirement.

While the majority of answers were extremely encouraging, a number of respondents were not so positive about the realities of ageing, with several saying they believe there is nothing good about growing older. Technology troubles and health issues seemed to be the cause of this, with one response summarising these general feelings: “I feel that there is nothing to make you feel better in getting older, as the world and living standards are getting harder, plus technology is way beyond our capabilities and moving too fast. Getting older is not easy.”

As well as some that were genuinely moving, a number of respondents gave humorous answers to the question. For one respondent, having “the 'unwritten' permission to say what you think whenever you like,” was the best aspect of getting older.

Emma Simpson, Marketing Manager, said: “It’s fascinating to see these responses and find out what people really think about getting older. It’s a shame that many people feel there are no benefits to ageing, but also heart-warming to discover that most people see the positives, in terms of having the freedom to spend your time as you please and gaining real self-confidence.

“As we read through these responses, it’s clear that people do not lose their sense of humour as they get older. As a pre-paid funeral plan provider, we continue to see life choices, values and hobbies reflected in funeral arrangements as the range of bespoke options increases.”

Source: OnePoll research of 519 men and women aged 50 and above on behalf of Ecclesiastical Planning Services, December 2018.