Does the ‘Perfect Age’ Really Exist?

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
Retire: 61

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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b>By Anne-Marie Botek, Editor


Elena T.
Elena Poensgen4 years ago

Thank you :)

Lindsay Kemp
Lindsay K4 years ago

Every age has its good points and bad points. And we don't always appreciate the good points at the time, nor are we always aware of the bad points. Eg, we don't always appreciate the delight of being young with small children when they are keeping us up at night, and we're not always aware that the reason we enjoy sitting watching telly of an evening so much is because we are not as well as we used to be.

Enjoy what's good about the age you are now!

eloise bastille
barbie bastille4 years ago

ideal age i think is 100, by then i hope to cross out that long list! at 61 i;m dating, going to the gym, salsa dancing, jog, learning russian and polish, starting the guitar again! hope to rescue a lot of animals,,,,,,have a laugh!

j A4 years ago

excellent question

Bonnie M.
Bonnie M4 years ago

Ideal, perfect age? To me, this is a self-defeating mindset. Let Life flow- as many mentioned- NOW is the right time. Life is about facing the challenges, the complications , the changes, the failures and most importantly, the battles in this Life that is won. Savor these moments.
One can have it all before they are in their '30's. There are others who plod along, wearily, in their hearts, hoping, hoping. Some have it all, all along and never appreciated it , oblivious to their blessings.
It does not matter if one is thirty or seventy. Youth does not guarantee perfect health. Old age does not always mean mental and physical incapability. Let the sum total of your Life equate to strength of spirit as the years pile on. Let the experiences, relationships and accomplishments you had bring you a sense of fulfillment. Have a plan in Life and live it to the fullest each day. For tomorrow may never come.

GGma Sheila D.
GGmaSAway D4 years ago

I find the best age seems to be th one I'm at the time. Each year brings with it good things, more plus than minus.

Stanley R.
Stanley R4 years ago

I see a lot of "fuddy duddies" at 50 years of age, many work weary people at age 60 appear to have "one foot in the grave" The lucky ones can retire to "God's waiting room" and spend their soulless final years in a state of gloom. The essential way to stay really alive is to keep up your spirit with mental and some physical exercise, cherish friendships and maintain a positive frame of mind.

Mac C.
mac C4 years ago

This is a very interesting survey. I've always liked the age I'm at. I do like the idea of retiring at 61. Thank you.

Karen Gee4 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Bob P.

thanks for sharing age is but a number and you are only as old as you let your self feel