So much for the notion of the mid-life crisis—the ideal age for Americans appears to be 50 years old, according to a recent survey by international research firm, Harris Interactive.
That’s right, though the magic number fluctuated a little, depending on gender, geographic region, and current age, most people would prefer to stop the clock at age 50, provided they were able to maintain good health.
Curiously, this new number is nearly a decade older than people desired to be just ten years ago. Forty-one was the magic number when Harris conducted a similar poll in 2003.
Current age influences desired age
Is there really a “perfect” age? When does one reach that golden number where energy and experience mesh on an optimal level?
The theory is that the old often desire the return of youthful vigor, while the young crave the social standing and overall stability that comes with advancing years.
But, while younger respondents were drawn towards older ages—those in their twenties and early thirties naming 38 the best age—older individuals (those in their late forties to late sixties), cited 55 years as their ideal. Only those 68 and older seemed to want to be younger—67 being their age of choice.
A 61-year plan
Adolescents in high school and college are often encouraged to come up with a “5-Year Plan” to keep them focused and grounded as they endeavor to chart the course of their lives.
The survey also asks respondents to cite at what age they would preferably like to encounter certain life milestones, such as graduating from college, getting married and retiring. The results form a framework for what the ideal 61 year plan would look like:
Graduate from college: 22
Move out of your parents’ house: 20
Get married: 26
Have child number one: 28
Become an empty-nester: 45
There’s obviously no formula for leading the “perfect” life, but these types of studies lend interesting insight into how our own life stage and experiences influence our perceptions.
What would your ideal age be?
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