The top benefits of being over 65 are being free to speak your mind, a seemingly endless supply of spare time – and finding pleasure in the little things.
A poll of 2,000 UK adults aged 65 and over, found that half think having grandchildren is the best blessing to be found in later years – with more than a third proclaiming it to be even better than parenthood.
Realising there is more to life than work, wearing clothes for comfort and not feeling pressure to do anything you don’t want to, also featured in the top 30 list.
A further 35 per cent love not feeling tied down for any reason, and 31 per cent enjoy being able to spend their hard-earned cash on themselves.
The research, commissioned by Home Instead Senior Care UK (HISC), also revealed that a prevalent ‘young-at-heart’ attitude exists among the over 65s.
And those polled say people shouldn’t qualify as being ‘old’ until the ripe age of 77, with nearly nine in 10 agreeing wholeheartedly with the saying, ‘you’re only as old as you feel’.
Martin Jones, CEO of Home Instead Senior Care UK, said: “Many of us fear growing old, but this research shows that there’s little to worry about and a lot to look forward to.
“Being in the latter stages of one’s life can bring with it a sense of liberation and independence that few other stages can.”
The study also found feeling less stressed, being able to try new things and actually enjoying exercise are also among some of the best things about growing older.
Also making the list was knowing your likes and dislikes, being more sensible with money and being able to pass on your wisdom to younger generations.
As well as highlighting the many gifts that old-age can bring, the poll found that growing beyond middle-age triggers an appreciation of what does and doesn’t make us happy.
And nearly two-thirds of over 65s wish they’d done some things differently in their youth.
Looking back on their life, the most common regrets included not saving more money, wishing they had followed a different career path and wishing they had taken better care of their health.
Respondents, surveyed via OnePoll, were also asked which celebrities in their age bracket most embrace the ‘essence of positive ageing’.
The three most admired house-hold names were Queen Elizabeth II, Sir David Attenborough and Dame Judi Dench.
National treasures Dame Maggie Smith, Joanna Lumley and Helen Mirren also featured in the list of top older-age icons.
However, fashion icon Dame Vivienne Westwood and basketball legend Michael Jordan fared less well.
Martin Jones added: “We agree with the country’s over 65s that age really is just a number, and – assuming the Coronavirus outbreak is fully under control – look forward to helping people safely enjoy later life in whatever way they please.”
THE TOP 30 BEST THINGS ABOUT BEING OLDER
1. Having more free time
2. Spending time with family/friends
3. Not feeling pressure to do anything you don’t want to
4. Having grandchildren
5. Finding pleasure in simple things
6. Realising there is more to life than work
7. Enjoying going out for a casual walk
8. More time to travel
9. Wearing clothes for comfort not style
10. Not rushing through life/taking things slowly
11. No longer caring what others think
12. Having a clear idea of what’s important in life
13. Feeling less stressed
14. Knowing who your true friends are
15. Not feeling ‘tied down’
16. Getting reduced rates for things like rails fares or days out
17. Knowing your likes and dislikes
18. Being able to spend your money on yourself
19. Feeling free to speak your mind
20. Knowing how far your money can go
21. Being able to make more time for others
22. Being more sensible with money
23. Enjoying exercise
24. Being able to pass on wisdom to younger people
25. Being able to try new things
26. Not worrying about the future
27. Getting close to retirement/retiring
28. Reconnecting with people you haven’t seen for a while
29. Achieving things you’ve always wanted to achieve
30. Settling into a routine