IT is often joked that at 40 you were over the hill.
But in reality these days, you’ve barely begun the ascent – old age doesn’t start until we’re nearing 70, a survey suggests.
Right up until the age of 68 many still enjoy major life events such as a new relationship or career.
The change in attitudes has been revealed in a study of 2,000 who said old age does not kick in until 68.01 years, the Mirror reports.
It shows we have come a long way since the days when people as young as 60 were regarded as OAPs.
Over the past eight decades life expectancy has dramatically risen – from 60 to 81 – and advances in medicine and approaches to living have allowed for a healthier old age too.
Paul Flatters, chief executive of the Trajectory Partnership who wrote the report, said: ‘The point at which people consider themselves to be old is extending further into the late 60s as people recognise that they have decades of active life ahead.’
Those under the age of 35 regard anyone aged 61 or over as old, according to the report commissioned by Cigna Insurance Services..
But, perhaps wishing to cling on to middle-age a touch longer, whose in the 60s said they feel old age begins at 77, just four years short of average life expectancy, the Mirror reports.
The report also found that, rather than easing towards retirement, those aged over 50 anticipate at least five more significant life events to happen to them, be it divorce, moving house, going back to university education or starting a new business.
More than six in 10 over-65s say they have actually enjoyed their life more since turning 50..
Mr Flatters added: 'People aged over 50 represent a third of the population and are set to grow by 25% in the next 20 years.
'They are an enormously diverse group and by lumping them together as a single category, many businesses are closing down opportunities to target them.
He added: 'There is no longer an assumption that advanced years are a time to wind down and switch off a world of opportunity is open to Britain’s modern day mature generation.’
Picture courtesy of Rex Features