Study reveals the average Californian experiences peak life satisfaction at age 44

Are we ever truly satisfied in life? Judging by the way many of us go about it, you might have a hard time believing that to be true. We are continuously searching for more – more money, a better job, the ideal partner, the perfect house, a new wardrobe, vacations … But the truth is, we can actually find satisfaction in life and it happens to peak at different times for different people.

So, when do people find satisfaction? Mixbook, a technology platform that powers storytelling with photo books, took a deeper look to understand better when the average American believed they had attained peak life satisfaction — happiness with the trajectory of their lives, jobs, friends, family, and relationships.

They surveyed 3,442 respondents aged 65 and over, discovering that the average Californian finds their peak life satisfaction at the age of 44. This is compared to a national average of age 44. Traditionally, by that time, many have a family, an established career, a stable home and hopefully, a decent income which they can spend on little luxuries such as vacations, a car, dining out, etc.

The survey did reveal that there were some interesting variations between states. Lucky Marylanders reached this point at the relatively young age of 37 (though that does seem to suggest that it’s a bit downhill from there). And comparatively, Vermonters seem to wait a bit longer to feel content with their lot — on average, that isn’t until they reach 63. Worth the wait though, hopefully.

The survey also found that a significant three-in-four respondents stated that they would choose love over wealth if given the choice between the two. A large number (79 percent) also acknowledged being happy with their career thus far, showing a high level of job satisfaction. And 58 percent of those surveyed say they are happy with the personal relationships they’ve formed in their lives and are not looking for any more. And, perhaps most unexpectedly, more than half (52 percent) stated that the pandemic increased their satisfaction with life. Perhaps a result of us taking stock of what’s important, spending more quality time with loved ones and appreciating what we have.

When asked respondents what aspect of their lives they were the happiest with, the majority (34 percent) said their relationships — the wonderful friends they had made throughout their lives. Eighteen percent indicated they were most satisfied with their health; 15 percent said they are happiest with their romantic partner; 14 percent said their career; and 11 percent were most proud of their homes.

“While what drives our satisfaction may vary, our relationships with friends and family, and our time together, are at the core of human happiness,” said Leslie Albertson, Director of Marketing at Mixbook. “Deepening our relationships is about celebrating memories and connecting through shared stories together — from childhood memories to love stories — photo books tell a story and demonstrate the love and care you have for the people and moments that matter most.”