From a USC Dornsife Magazine article by Susan Bell:
Not a Slippery Slope after all
Contrary to popular opinion, when it comes to well-being, our lives do not represent an inevitable decline from the sunny uplands of youth to the valley of death. Instead, the opposite is true — we can confidently look forward to old age as the happiest time of our lives.
More than 50 years have passed since The Who’s Pete Townshend penned these immortal lines on his 20th birthday, resulting in the band’s iconic ode to rebellious youth, “My Generation.” These days there is no hint that the rock star, now a spritely septuagenarian, is entertaining any regrets that his youthful wish didn’t come true.
So why do people grow happier as they age? Is it an absence of stress, or are they able to focus more on what brings them joy?
But as a young man, Townshend certainly wasn’t alone in dreading old age, and while his suggested remedy for avoiding the unavoidable may have been extreme, he also wasn’t alone in wanting to dodge what we tend to believe will be the miseries of aging.