Why middle age is the unhappiest time of your life (but things get better after 65)

 
Emma Haslett
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The study suggested people place more importance on their jobs in their middle age (Source: Getty)

They say school years are the best of a person's life - but what about the worst? A researcher has suggested people are at their lowest ebb during middle age - although there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Dr Ioana Ramia, a researcher at the University of New South Wales, said her research has found life satisfaction "decreases from the early 20s, plateaus for about 40 years and then increases from about 65 up".

MedicalXpress reported Ramia, speaking at the Australian Social Policy Conference, said people are at their happiest again around the age of 80.

Why are middle-aged people so miserable? Ramia attributed it to the amount of importance people place on money and jobs, while the quality of housing only became important to people at middle age.

"At this time happiness is at its lowest and it only starts to increase when people start focusing on other things," said Ramia.

Meanwhile, the importance of health spiked twice - at the beginning of the 30s, when people realise they are fallible, and then again later in life.

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