AARP Research

Reflections Survey

This research explores attitudes and behavior surrounding reflection among adults ages 40-64. It finds:

  • Most adults ages 40-64 are not planning to make a New Year’s resolution. Among those who are, health (including health, wellness, and healthy living) tops the list over finance, family, work-life balance, career, romance, and learning a new skill.
  • Many 40-64 year-olds reflect on the past, but more spend time thinking about their future goals and priorities.
  • Most adults ages 40-64 enjoy reflection, feel they have time for it, and do not view it as hard work. In addition, most do not feel resources, time, fears, or confusion about starting points are barriers to making changes in their lives.
  • Twice as many adults ages 40-64 are happiest thinking about their life now than about their life in the past or about their life in the future.
  • The majority of 40-64 year-olds are satisfied with their life overall, their health and wellness, and their personal relationships. Fewer, although still roughly half, are satisfied with their finances, work or career, and work-life balance.

Findings are based on an online survey of 1,001 adults conducted by Research Now from December 20-21, 2013. The findings were weighted using Census figures to be nationally representative of U.S. adults ages 40-64. For more information, contact Colette Thayer at

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