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The secret's out - Life actually begins at 60

Press release: 28/01/2011

  • You’re officially old at 66 according to the British population
  • However, 60-somethings are happier, financially and physically fitter than their younger counterparts
  • People in their 60s feel up to 16 years younger than they actually are

The secret's out - Life actually begins at 60

The average Brit thinks you are officially 'old' at the age of 66. However, what the younger generation don't realise is 60-somethings are happier than their younger counterparts, feel financially and physically fitter and take more holidays, according to a new report[1] by retirement specialist LV=.

The definition of what is 'old' is different for every age group. According to the research, no one in the UK thinks they themselves are old; 18-19 year old teens say 44 is officially 'old' while 40-somethings balk at this and say 67 is when you are actually 'old'. Those in their 50s think you're over the hill at 71 years old while those in their 60s think you're past it at 73.

The research also shows the older we get, the younger we feel. While those in their 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s generally feel their age (27, 32, 40 and 46 respectively), 60-somethings say on average they feel younger than they actually are at an average of 52 years old. Those in their 70s feel, on average just 58 years old.

Ray Chinn, LV= head of pensions commented: "Forget the old adage 'life begins at 40', it seems to begin at 60 instead. While the younger generation think those in their 60s are officially old, they could probably learn a thing or two. 60-somethings say they feel the happiest and the most financially fit of any age group. Furthermore, they feel physically fitter than those in their 40s or 50s. They also know how to enjoy themselves and make sure they get away on holiday more than those who are younger.”

Financially fit or unfit? The older you are, the better shape your finances are in, according to the research. When asked about their finances, those in their 60s are the most 'financially fit' compared to any other age group. A third (33%) say their finances are in the best order or in good order while this only applies to 23% of those in their 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s. Nearly one in ten of those in their 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s (8/9%) admit their finances are in the worst order possible, compared to just 3% of 60-somethings.

Health and fitness Exercising regularly seems to be the right tonic for feeling young for those in their 60s with one in five (20%) saying they are in good or the best ever shape. This is compared to 16% of those in their 50s and 17% of those in their 40s. This could be down to the over-60s exercising more frequently than any of their younger counterparts at nearly twice a week on average. Those in their 20s manage to exercise three times a fortnight.

Getting away from it all A quarter of (25%) people in their 40s and 50s say they rarely get to go on holiday whilst 60-somethings are taking advantage of their retirement and free time by taking more holidays than any other age group. 81% of people in their 60s go on holiday every year, with over a third (40%) of those taking between two and three holidays a year, and a further 15% taking four to five holidays every year.

Blue tooth, not blue rinse The older generation continue to embrace technology with a higher number of 60 and 70-somethings using Skype (17% and 23% respectively) than those in their 40s and 50s (12%). Nearly half of 60-somethings are also regulars on Facebook (44%), as well as emailing more regularly than other generations (90%). They also make good use of the internet for shopping online (69%) as well as to check for general information (73%).

Ray Chinn concluded: "This research sheds a lot of light into the lives of those in their 60s and 70s and how they are far from being classed as 'over the hill'. In fact, it shows they are financially and physically fitter than a lot of the younger generations so able to live out their 'golden era' to its fullest.

"Retirement planning and keeping your finances in order can be an important part of leading a comfortable and happy life in retirement. This can be done in many ways, from drawing an income while your pension stays invested, to releasing equity from your home. Expert advice earlier on in life, rather than later can go a long way to making sure people have a fulfilled and happy retirement."

For details of the LV= range of flexible retirement solutions, protection and investment products go to

About LV=

LV= is a registered trademark of Liverpool Victoria Friendly Society Limited (LVFS) and a trading style of the Liverpool Victoria group of companies.

LV= employs around 4,000 people, serves over 4 million customers and members, and manages around £7.9bn (as at 30 September 2010) on their behalf, via LV= Asset Management (LVAM). We are also the UK's largest friendly society and a leading mutual financial services provider.

Notes to editors

[1] Research carried out online by Opinium among 2491 UK adults aged 18+ from 5-7 January 2011 on behalf of LV=. Results have been weighted to nationally representative criteria.