The worst time of middle age? When you’re 47.

Researcher discovers a universal slump in life satisfaction.

Image source: National Bureau Of Economic Research, ©2020 David G. Blanchflower/Milan Ilic Photographer/Shutterstock/Big Think
  • In 132 countries, a clear U shape is seen in happiness in the late 40s.
  • The study controls for influencing factors in arriving at its conclusions.
  • Three possible reasons for a post-middle-age return to happiness are suggested.
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A New Year’s resolution to make a difference: Help others.

Charity and volunteering not only benefit the recipient but help you become happier and healthier in the new year.

  • Most New Year's resolutions are self-directed and enjoy a failure rate of about 80 percent.
  • Research has shown that selfless giving can enhance happiness, improve your health, and even extend your life.
  • Resolving to help others can help you keep your resolution this year.
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On your busiest, most stressed-out days, you may not be thinking much about what ends up on your lunch or dinner plate.

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8 principles that will make you smarter about money

It's not the act of buying but how you spend money that improves happiness and life satisfaction.

  • To prove money can't buy happiness, people point to millionaires and lottery winners who ruined their lives.
  • Psychological studies have shown that learning how to spend your money can improve overall happiness.
  • We explore eight money-spending principles that research suggests can bolster life satisfaction.
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Can we afford to live longer?

We're living longer than ever, but few of us will save enough to afford this historical boon.

  • A person reaching 65 today can expect to live into their mid-80s, many into their 90s.
  • A 30-year retirement requires a nest egg of more than $1 million, yet 77 percent of American households fall short of such savings and investments.
  • Experts recommend several strategies for affording a longer life, such as pushing the retirement age back to at least 70.
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