How old is old? It's good news according to a recent study

23 September 2014

A couple enjoying Later Life

Good news… you’re not over the hill just yet! According to a recent study, 1 in 5 Brits believe you’re not ‘old’ until you’re at least 90. The study, commissioned by, asked 2,000 over-40-year-olds what they believed ‘old age’ meant. It’s long been thought that as soon as you hit 60 and retirement age, that you were officially classed as old. However, now that we’re living longer and healthier lives than ever before, it seems the age bar has been raised considerably.

The study showed that 85% of participants believed this shift in perception was due to the fact that people are living longer, while two thirds think it’s because pensioners are leading more active lifestyles.

“Perceptions of old age have changed a lot over the years. There was a time when you were considered old or past it as soon as you retired, but now this age has now got much later as we are leading healthier and more active lives well into our 70s,” said a spokesperson.

“Pensioners are no longer seen as people who spend their days sat in their armchair knitting or watching black and white films in the afternoon before a little nap. For many, retirement is the start of a whole new chapter.”

Once you’ve finished work, it by no means your quality of life deteriorates. In fact, pensioners are now have the time, money and freedom to be able to enjoy the fruits of their labour – taking more holidays, picking up a new hobby, starting a fitness and exercise regime, or even downsizing from your old family home to a new luxury villa.

Younger people once saw pensioners as people that needed constant attention and help. However, these days the so-called ‘elderly’ are more than capable enough of looking after themselves – and in fact can start to resent these social stereotypes. Facilities such as retirement living can help to maintain independence and control in the later years, as well as ease their relatives’ concern.

And if you’re feeling a bit past your prime, look to the stars – 20% of Brits credit elderly celebrities such as Queen Elizabeth and Bruce Forsyth as their inspiration, both of whom are still working well into their 80s.

So keep reminding yourself that you’re only as old as you feel and if you’re still able to get out and about and enjoy yourself, then there’s no (age) limit to what you can do!

Read our Colour Report and discover more about the perceptions of age.

How old would you be if you didn't know your age? Add your number to the comments section below. 

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