People over 50's cherish friendship more than younger gen
London, Mar 15 : Those in their twilight years are actually happier than younger people because they have learnt the value of a true friend, a new study has claimed.
According to the Office for National Statistics, people who value their friendships report having happier lives, and the older we get the more we value our friends, the Telegraph reported.
Overall, just three in five people aged over 16 said that they valued having friends, but this rose continually for the over 50s to more than four in five among the over-70s, the ONS survey of happiness found.
Four in five of those aged 50 or over who felt they were part of their community were also happy with their lives, compared with just half of those who did not.
Paul Green, of Saga, said as people enter old age they no longer cherish material possesions so much and instead focus on what really matters.
"Life experience tells you that friends are more important and necessary than mere possessions," he said.
"Rather than valuing that new car and the other trinkets and baubles you build up the things that are important are the friends," he added.
The ONS study said that friends are part of a person's support system and, unlike family, are chosen by the individual.
Feeling a part of a local community was also key to happiness, the official report on national well-being in older people's neighbourhoods found.
Some seven in 10 people aged 50 to 54 felt they were part of their local community, but this rose to more than four in five among those aged 70 or over.