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Being healthy and having money ‘keys to a happy life’

Retirees are the most satisfied with life

Having money to spend, being healthy and getting married are the keys to a happy life, statistics show.

A report from the Office for National Statistics reveals self-reported health has the largest effect on life satisfaction.

Middle-aged people tend to be less satisfied than their younger and older counterparts, while retirees are most satisfied with their life.

Home ownership remains a key life ambition for most Brits – those who achieve it tend to be happier than those who don’t, the figures show.

Rachael Griffin, tax and financial planning expert at Quilter, said personal and economic growth are often seen to be directly correlated, but the figures show this is far from that simple.

“It’s statistical evidence of old adages that health is wealth and money can’t buy you happiness,” she stated.  

The figures from the ONS also show someone is more likely to report higher life satisfaction if they have higher household spending, and spending appears to matter more than household income to people’s life satisfaction.

“So for someone with twice the level of household spending, their odds of reporting higher life satisfaction are 1.22 times greater,” explained Griffin. 

“It’s important to be careful about what this is showing. It’s satisfaction at a point in time and says immediate satisfaction comes from spending money on hotels and restaurants or household furnishing (spending that leads to the highest satisfaction). What it’s not revealing is how that day to day spending, instead of saving, impacts your later life satisfaction,” she added.