A detailed study of 2,000 over 40s commissioned by home security specialist Yale, asked people to reflect on their levels of happiness through different stages of life and compiled the key factors for each decade.
Results showed age 34 as the happiest year for people on average – ticking boxes such as tying the knot, having kids and making decent strides in a chosen career being the biggest influencers.
The study also found 34 is the age when we are most comfortable in ourselves, earn enough money to get on the property ladder, meet monthly payments with confidence and begin starting to enjoy the finer things in life.
Being able to have visited one or two dream destinations and still feeling healthy were also reasons cited for those deeming this their happiest age to date.
The research found the happy factors for those reflecting on their twenties were associated with more freedom, wider social circles and launching a career.
Those who chose a year in their forties as their happiest so far cited career changes, watching the kids grow up and getting a bigger home among their reasons.
While people opting for a year in their fifties pointed to work winding down, the kids leaving home, paying off the mortgage and even getting a new start after a divorce among their defining moments.
Yesterday Nigel Fisher, MD of Yale, said: “The results show the range of the many happy times experienced by people throughout the different stages of life.
“The study reminds us of the many treasured memories and experiences to be had at every stage of life and the foundation of many of those is a happy and secure home life.
“The same can be said for the memories and associations a family home holds, whether it’s family dinners every Sunday, building a den in the living room with the kids, or BBQs with friends in the garden. If a home is ever broken into, these memories are compromised, and Yale wants to avoid this at all costs.
“That’s why the ‘Yale it’ campaign urges homeowners to consider the ways in which they can keep their treasured possessions safe. By thinking about investing in a house alarm, or changing your locks when you move, a few simple steps can make a big difference to keeping your home – and the memories it holds – protected.”
The study also found those choosing a year in their sixties as their happiest year so far said the ability to retire, travel more and finally relax as crucial boosts to a positive outlook.
A key reason behind being most happy included ‘meeting someone I fell in love with’ which appeared in the happy moments for 20s, 30s and 40s, while ‘getting married’ appears in every decade.
People were most likely to state that they had become happier as they had grown older rather than the other way round, results showed.
Overall people reflected on their lives happily, with 47 per cent able to say most of their life had been happy so far.
And 43 per cent said their life had been an equal balance of happy and rougher times, while one in ten unfortunately looked back on their life as mostly unhappy.
Nigel at Yale added: “Getting on the property ladder was a recurring theme throughout the study and the age a person gets their first home often correlated with the happiest year they chose.
“That sense of a permanent home and place to create new and happy memories is a big part of the study and shows the importance of a secure home environment in making us content with life.
“Making sure that home is secure and doing everything to ensure our treasured possessions and memories are as protected as they can be should always be a priority.”