• Job satisfaction is the most common reason for age choice.
• Women feel younger than men.
• London is the most youthful-feeling region.
Most people have a particular time in their life that they look back on fondly. Research from AA Life Insurance reveals that the UK's favourite age is 34 – but not for the reasons you would expect.
It's at their 'favourite age' that respondents were most likely to be satisfied with their job and social life, both cited by 44% of an average of all respondents in a poll by Populus for AA Life Insurance.1 Other reasons for favourite age choice include being generally happier (43%), while looking their best and being financially secure came joint fourth (both 33%).
But there were gender differences: 48% of men said that job satisfaction was the defining feature of their favourite age (38% of women), followed by 'social life' (46%, 41% for women). For women the top characteristic was being 'generally happier' (44%, 42% for men). 'I looked at my best' was chosen by two-fifths (39%) of women, while only a quarter of men (27%) said the same.
Only 16% of men and 17% of women chose the age they met their partner, and just 8% of men and 9% of women said the age they had their first child was their favourite.
The study into age preferences revealed that the 30s are the most popular overall. The oldest favourite age was chosen by over 65s, who opted for 39. Unsurprisingly, the youngest favourite age was chosen by under 35s who preferred 23.
Mark Huggins, managing director of AA Life Insurance, said: "It's not uncommon for people to dislike getting older, so we may expect favourite ages to be on the younger side.
"Perhaps the awkward teen years, terrible haircuts and the fashion faux pas of youth still haunt those who prefer their 30s.
"We may assume people really enjoyed their 30s because they've achieved certain 'life goals', such as getting married and having children, and being financially secure too. But our research shows they aren't always so – career and social life were high on the happiness list, particularly for men."
Londoners chose the youngest favourite age, which was 30. People in the north-east, meanwhile, chose the oldest at 37.
Other reasons for particular age choices include having no responsibilities (19%), settling down (14%) and buying a house (11%), followed by the holiday of a lifetime (10%), living on their own for the first time (6%), and ending a relationship (5%).
The younger you are when you take out a life insurance policy, the more cover you could get
Mark Huggins, AA Life Insurance
At any age, taking out a life insurance policy is worth doing to protect financially your loved ones should you pass away. Yet it is worth remembering that the younger you are when you take out a life insurance policy, the more cover you could get. AA figures suggest that a person who applies for life insurance aged 30 could expect 25% more cover than somebody aged 35, and around 50% more than somebody who is 40 and pays the same premium.2
Recent reports show that the average household could only survive financially for 29 days once the main breadwinner's income is lost.3 Yet only 23% of UK adults have life insurance.4
Huggins comments: "When you're younger, planning for when you're no longer around probably isn't at the top of your to-do list, but having a life insurance policy in place can be invaluable should the worst happen."
1 Research carried out by Populus among 913 adults aged 18+, 11–22 July 2014.
2 Example quotes are based on date of birth 30 years and 0 months, 35 years and 0 months, and 40 years and 0 months. Rates are correct at 5 November 2014. The actual premium may differ when based on your individual circumstances. This is not a savings or investment product, and has no cash value unless a valid claim is made.
3 Deadline to the Breadline report, Legal & General, November 2014.
4 Mintel report on Term Life Assurance, July 2014.
8 December 2014