Press release


Tuesday 20 November 2012

• People in their 50s feeling less positive than those recently retired
• Happiness begins to decline from mid-seventies
• Saga’s SMILE Index confirms ONS Wellbeing data results


The Government has today published more results from its survey work analysing the wellbeing of the nation.  Saga’s Quarterly Reports have been tracking both quantitative and qualitative measures of the lives of the over 50s for the past 7 quarters and is therefore already working on the issues that the ONS has been measuring.

The ONS asked six questions about people’s lives, to construct a measure of how they are feeling.  Saga’s own Survey work has asked those same six questions for the past three quarters to a panel of over 10,000 over 50s, which have been compiled into the Saga SMILE index (Saga’s Measure of Life Enjoyment!). Its findings show that wellbeing is worst for those in their fifties, then improves to reach a peak in the age range 65-69 and gradually deteriorates  after their mid-seventies.

Paul Green, Director of Communications for Saga said:

“Those coming up to traditional retirement age are more worried and less satisfied with their lives than those in their fifties and early sixties.  This might be because it starts to dawn on them that their pensions have not worked out as well as they had expected and are unsure what the future has in store.  However, once they are retired, they actually become much more cheerful and content.  Those in their late sixties today are usually in good health and still able to enjoy life and have more time to indulge their passions.

“The Saga SMILE Index saw a jump in happiness and wellbeing during Britain’s golden summer months as we bathed in the glory that was the London Olympics and other sporting successes - which provided an antidote to stories about economic gloom and doom. We hope that this sense of national pride and satisfaction will continue well into 2013.”


Notes for Editors:
*Saga SMILE Index compiled by Centre of Economics Research (CEBR) on behalf of Saga