A recent survey has found that family, good health and loving relationships are considered the key to living a contented life by people aged 50 and above in the UK. The same research also saw seniors warn against pursuing material possessions and consumerism.
Commissioned by Ecclesiastical Planning Services, one of the UK’s leading funeral plan providers, the survey asked 474 people aged 50 and above for the one thing they consider essential to leading a contented life1. Pre-determined responses to the question were not provided in order to encourage independent answers.
‘Being surrounded by good family and friends’ was among the most popular answers. One person responded “being content with your own lot and making the most of time with family and friends [is important for living a contented life]”. Another common theme from the research is that being satisfied with what you have and refraining from yearning for bigger and better things is the key to happiness, whilst others recognised the need for financial stability and security.
Another popular answer to living a contented life was being in ‘good health’. Some respondents elaborated on the point, offering ideas for maintaining health in later life such as having “a good diet and plenty of sleep” and “eating healthily and getting lots of exercise.” A study by Age UK has shown that independence and quality of life can be drastically improved by staying active in later life2.
Having ‘love’ and a ‘happy relationship’ were also considered most important for leading a contented life. One person summed this up by saying “love may not pay the bills, but life is empty when you haven’t got love in it”.
Being kind and considerate to others was also cited by a number of respondents as key to living a contented life, as well as having a positive attitude, religious faith and being honest and authentic.
Steven Barrett from R.W. Barrett & Son, a local funeral director based in Newcastle upon Tyne said “It was really moving to read these responses and to see just how many people value family and friends and personal relationships. Of course, we must not forget those who, for different reasons, may not be fortunate enough to be in this position.”