33 years is the happiest age

“We may think that our childhood or university years are the happiest of our lives, but Friends Reunited’s research of the UK population, aged over 40, has revealed that seven out of ten of us (70 per cent) are not truly happy until we hit the age of 33. By comparison only six per cent of people said they were happiest at university, and only 16 per cent during their childhood years.”


The survey does not sound very scientific, but the result is at least plausible. So for you people who are younger than 33, don’t worry - you will find happiness in the future. If you’re already 33… well, I guess it’s downhill from here…

I once read that a man is sexiest at 38 (settled in good job, mature, confident, etc.).

Most women in their late 20s tell me that they find men in their 30s sexy.

I just turned 30 and I have never felt more comfortable in my skin. I was insecure and shy back in university.

38 is somewhat passed the prime. I’d say late 20’s early 30’s is probably best for guys, maturity and career have started to get along then

I wonder if the distribution of happiness changes if we didnt hold constant the assumption of maturity and career have started to get along then. Surely someone in this age range who failed on both terms will feel distanced enough from his peers to give an opposite opinion on the peak of the distribution

just riffing…


i tend to agree…though university was good too…but the major difference is more independence and money…

One of the major flaws of the study is that they only considered responses from people who were about 40 years old. Within this range, early 30s sounds reasonable. However, it might be that the happiest age is 50, when you have peak earnings, or 60 when you are at or near retirement. These possibilities are not captured by the survey.

Also, there might be some time period bias. Positive or negative events might be remembered differently depending on how long ago they happened. Maybe 33 years was favored over 20-something because 33 was closer to the age of the participants. The opposite effect might also be true. Maybe recent events are remembered unfavorably. So, 33 years would be favored over say, 38 years.

Of course, maybe recollection of events is more important than the actual experience. For instance, let’s say you take a vacation today. Which is more important: 1) How much fun you have today, or 2) How you remember the vacation 1 year from now? Maybe actual joy experienced at a certain age is not as important as how you will remember the experiences as you get older.

Well I sure as hell hope my happier days are ahead of me. I can’t wait to be done with these exams, rotate through multiple HCBs, become a 1%er, drive an M5, and spend my leisure years playing golf and drinking whisky all day.

I think my dreams of that will power me through today as I leave on another work trip.

I did that in reverse, now I think I’m heading towards the hard miserable part of my life.

if i am honest my happiest days were in kindergarten…ignorance is bliss

Well, I can definitely say that life quality has improved since I finished the CFA exams. It’s one less thing to worry about.

I seem to recall an article in the Economist saying that 47 or 48 is the peak unhappiness year… after that, “it gets better” (gay or not).

i agree

I only have a few strong memories of kindergarden years. One memory is when some girl randomly bit me while we were playing in the sand. If that happened to me today, I might be happy or upset, depending on the girl. At the time, however, I was like “wtf?”. I guess back then, I didn’t know any bad words, so it would probably be “what the… cookie” or something.

Everything you said here confirms you have indeed gone through level 3… Flashbacks…

That’s funny, I didn’t know any bad words in Kindergarten either. I don’t rememeber any specific events, but I do remember not knowing how to say anything that expressed my anger…

…maybe [boy] kids cry because they can’t swear? Once they learn to swear, they stop crying.


As a man, I can only recall crying or shedding tears in a few circumstances:

  1. a year after my father’s death, when it finally registered that he was gone (probably the only time in my adult life where I ever truly “sobbed”).

  2. when a woman seems to require it to demonstrate sincerity. Contrary to how it sounds, those tears were not faked, but I did choose not to fight them back.

  3. when Brazil was knocked out of the World Cup in 2010.

  4. a few moments in life as a response to sublime beauty or an extremely positive emotion.

Damn it, bchad. Stop being so emotionally healthy. Why can’t you be repressed like the rest of us, and then one day have an emotional crisis and buy a Porsche 911. Maybe Mazda Miata, if financial situation is not so good.

I have my issues, I am still not so good at expressing anger (though I’m better than I used to be, dammit!).

By the way, I almost killed Mike Wallace about 15 years ago… not on purpose, but I nearly ran him over on my bike as he was crossing Central Park Drive near Columbus Circle. He was walking and stopped, I was trying to pick up speed and wasn’t expecting it… he looked up at me in sheer terror, and I suddenly imagined my photo splayed over the next edition of “60 Minutes.” Fortunately I made it around him.

Good to see he survived another 15 years, and although it’s sad to see him gone, I’m very happy that the cause-of-death was not, “me.”

being a kid is not cool…someone always tells you what to do and you have to worry about the bigger kids taking your lunch money…

Yeah… High school sucked too. The only way HS would be the happiest point of my life is if I had been the kid who F***ed that bengals cheerleader.

HS was horrible…i was kicked out for skipping way too much…only good thing or two about HS was the friends I had…but overall, it was terrible…didn’t learn anything…didn’t get any HCBs…