Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Note: this is a long post, you may only want to read the main points!
As we’ve reached the mid point of the year, it’s time to review the results of the 2010 MidLife Lifestyle survey. So here are the headlines:
Survey Respondents’ Profile:
Male: 36%, Female: 64%
Age: 30-40: 5%, 40-50: 32%, 50-60 49%, other: 14%
Location: UK 47%, USA 42%, Europe 5%, other 6%
Q1 - Happiness with Life:
55% of respondents were either happy or very happy with their lives at the moment. A further 32% were ‘OK.’ The remainder were either unhappy or very unhappy
Q2 - How is your Relationship?
26% of respondents said that they were happy and an encouraging 32% said that they were in love. Perhaps more worryingly, 19% said that ‘they don’t do relationships’. 22% were just ‘OK’.
Comments in this section included:
‘I've been divorced for about 20 years. I don't long for a relationship. I'm so busy with kids and grands, I never think of "being alone." In fact, when folks ask if there are any singles in the group... I look around to see who they might be talking about. I'm not single. I'm not married. I'm just a very happy me!’
‘31 years of marriage both now have a PHD in marriage’
‘I feel fortunate to have a partnership that works. Not that there are not disagreements, there are. We just know how to solve them.’
‘I find it ironic that the biggest decision you make in your life happens for most in their late teens. I wish I could have been the person I am now making relationship decisions.’
‘but it's with myself!’
Q3 – Will your Pension provide for you?
A worryingly high 26% of respondents don’t have a pension, while 22% felt that their pension would cover their needs in later life. A huge 32% regretted not saving more during their earlier years. 18% had other investments, either instead of, or as well as, a pension.
Comment in this section included:
‘We are never retiring but hope to get refired!’ (love it!)
‘I saved like heck and had a wonderful retirement. The down turns in the stock market have wiped me out. Now I feel I'm starting from scratch.’
‘I do not plan to retire. I believe in being productive right up to the end.’
‘I'm hopeful that my financial situation will change. However, I know it is up to me to make it change’
‘I am still saving and investing’
‘I am working on passive income and believe it will cover expenses plus more.’
Q4- How Healthy are you?
43% said that they were OK for their age and 28% felt they were Pretty Fit. 25% were overweight, to some extent. 4% said that they could ‘Run a Marathon’.
One respondent had a problem this question, as they felt that someone who is overweight could still run a marathon. I completely accept that this is quite true and I wasn’t trying to mislead when I wrote the questions.
Q5-Is your life better or worse than your parents lives?
This question caused confusion for several people and when I rerun the survey I will reword it. Some respondents felt that there should be a distinction between the financial side of their lives and the emotional/satisfaction side of things.
Overall 87% felt that their lives were better than their parents’ lives.
Comments in this section included:
‘There should be "about the same" choice here. My parents had a nice life, and mine is nice too. Not really better or worse. I did not have children, and they raised myself and my siblings - so their young life might have been worse than mine.’
‘My dad made enough for my mom to stay home w/the 2 kids, but they went without a lot of stuff. Both my husband and I work (I'm in my own business, coming up on year 2) so the money's not always there, and that adds a lot of stress to him.’
‘My dad was a happy person and my mother was very unhappy. It was a big division they could never figure out.’
‘Much more emotionally healthy but not better financially yet.’
‘That's a tough question...I don't see it as worse, I see it as different. I chose worse because of financial situations.’
‘My parents never led spiritual lives. As a result, they never really experienced the joy that they could have, and wanted to have, yet they wonder why everything turned out the way it did. It was all due to their personal choices. I meant my life would be different and that I would break that cycle, or curse that tried to be injected into my thinking. I did so by searching for the real meaning of happiness and disregarding all of the negative circumstances that I lived in, and learned that many things I was taught while growing up wasn't my truth. I knew life was not supposed to be lived that way at a very early age. Now I feel as though God set me apart from my family as I have yet to see those changes take place within them. The sad thing about it...I cannot impart that to them. It's too late. I worry about their salvation because of this.’
‘ think I'm happier, but they are wealthier’
Q6- How do you feel about your Life in General?
An encouraging 63% are looking forward to the rest of their lives and 28% feel that ‘the best is yet to come’ (many of these will be the same people). 7% wish they’d studied harder when they were young and 18% are worried about the rest of their lives. A strong theme was a worry about the world that their children will live in with 19% indicating this (see comments below).
Comments in this section included:
‘I can't keep worrying about "what had happened", because it's in the past - so it can't be changed. It can be learned from, however, so hopefully I'll continue to grow as I ripen with age. I do worry about the world my kids are inheriting, but hopefully we'll give them the tools they'll need to make a difference :)’
‘I am concerned about the problems my kids and grand kids run up against, but I am not worried. I actively work to make it better.’
‘But I do worry about the world my children live in to some extent. Healing the planet in an emotional, spiritual sense, as well as ecologically, is important to me.’
‘Overall, pretty good.’
‘Counting my Blessings!’
So what do we conclude from this survey? Overall, there was a broad spectrum of responses with the majority of midlifers feeling that their lives are going 'OK to Well' but a worrying number feel that there financial provision could be better. Given the state of the world economy, that’s not a huge surprise.
Relationships are a very mixed bag, probably reflecting the fact that many midlifers will have ended a long term relationship (either willingly or unwillingly). I was surprised to see that almost a fifth of respondents ‘don’t do relationships’. It would be interesting to probe deeper into those responses.
It’s encouraging that the majority of midlifers are looking forward to the rest of their lives. Equally encouraging is the concern over the world that our children and grandchildren will live in and the hope is that some of us will actively try to make this better.
It will be interesting to see how the 2011 MidLife Lifestyle Survey compares. If you have any questions that you would like me to include in the next survey, please let me know.
The Mid Life Opportunity (www.MidLifeOp.com) is a community for Mid Lifers. Advice and Guidance will soon be available from The Mid Life Coaching Panel. It’s free to join so what are you waiting for? Complete the form on the right hand side of this post…Tx