Home Mental Health & Well-Being Don’t Freak Out – Your Late 20s Are Officially the Best Years of Your Life

Don’t Freak Out – Your Late 20s Are Officially the Best Years of Your Life

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If you’ve been told your carefree school years were the best of your life or retirement is when your golden years begin – think again. A new study from Getting Personal has revealed that the ages of 25–29 are actually the best years of our lives.

In a comprehensive study analysing data across 12 factors including physical and mental health, disposable income, time spent with friends, travel opportunities, stability in relationships and even when you are most likely to get a pet Getting Personal can reveal the years when your life will actually be at its peak.

Physical health peaks between the ages of 25–29, making them your prime years for health in a physical sense. Disposable income is also at its highest along with job satisfaction making your late 20’s a career highlight. Romantic relationships start to settle down during this period too making 25–29 the popular time to take a connection to the next level and tie the knot.

Arguably some of the worst years of your life come between the ages of 50–54. Happiness and mental health are at their lowest point in a lifetime whilst friendships and travel become less of a priority too. These are likely factors behind why people this age are the most likely to own a pet.

Friendships have their moment in the teen years between the ages of 15–19 as time spent with friends is at its highest in an individual’s life. Whilst physical health might be at its worst when aged 75+, mental health is actually at its best. When it comes to travel, the later years are the best for jet setting with those aged between 60 and 74 having the most time to holiday in the UK and abroad.

Best ages for

Worst ages for

Physical health

25–29

65–75+

Happiness

65–74

50–54

Mental health

75+

50–54

Friendship

15–19

50–54

Job satisfaction

25–34

75+

Disposable income

25–29

20–24; 35–39, 45–74

Travel abroad

65–74

25–29

Travel in the UK 

60–64

25–29

Getting a pet 

50–54

75+

Relationship stability

25–29

65–74

Retirement

65–74

45–49

Paying off the mortgage

60–64

30–34

21st, 30th and 50th Birthdays all mark significant life milestones. When there is so much to celebrate at all ages why do we still obsess over “big” birthdays?

Confidence Specialist and Life Coach at The Academe, Lucy Cox shares her thoughts on why we place so much emphasis on milestone ages:

 “Human beings are hard-wired to seek meaning, pattern and (ultimately) control in and over all aspects of our lives. In order to make sure that we are squeezing as much juice from life as possible, we subconsciously create markers of success linked to money, academic achievement, speed of professional progression, asset collection and more, and we link these to age milestones. 

This gives us the ability to quickly compare our progress with others and adjust our course and our efforts accordingly; thus avoiding the painful regret or social risk of not meeting cultural expectations.”

Why should we celebrate every birthday?

Lucy continues: “Most of us can reel off the benefits of staying young, but can we list the many benefits of growing older? Probably not. The risks of not embracing ageing are actually quite far-reaching. From the ironic speeding up of metabolic ageing through perpetual stress and anxiety about getting older to the denial of health precautions and screenings that are linked to certain age milestones, seeking to deny the passing of time doesn’t do us any favours. 

“Conversely, birthdays are a powerful opportunity for social interaction, gratitude, recognition of personal achievement and a time for goal setting; all of which have actually been linked to increased happiness, health and longevity. There are even studies that show that eating cake in a state of positive emotion can actually be good for you!”

Tara Butler, celebration expert at Getting Personal shares her thoughts on the findings: 

“This study offers a valuable roadmap for celebrating the different stages of our lives. Whether it’s raising a toast to health and success in your late twenties, cherishing lifelong friendships in your teens, or embarking on new adventures in your sixties and seventies, there’s always a reason to celebrate the unique gifts each age brings. Life is a journey to be celebrated at every stage and just because our late twenties are amongst the best of our lives, doesn’t mean that there is nothing to celebrate after that.”

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