TODAY   |  July 25, 2013

Study: People are happiest at ages 23 and 69

TODAY’s Willie Geist and Al Roker, along with guest anchor Mel B., chat about the hot topics of the day and recall the happiest periods of their lives in response to a new study that shows most people are their happiest at ages 23 and 69.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

i would take this in my apartment. it's a handsome table.

>> i think your wife would have something to say. you know what i want to do, come to a table in our living room that says "today."

>> that eats up half of my apartment. it's a fine table, though.

>> it is. i like it a lot.

>> it's lovely and very well crafted.

>> it is.

>> i had a good friend of mine, a dear friend of mine named adriana trigiani , who's a great novelist.

>> sure.

>> she loves the show, watches the show, and she says, i love watching your hour, but it looks like you're waiting for a bus, sitting up there on the bench all that time.

>> some days, that's the way i feel.

>> this feels very proper.

>> this is the right way to do it.

>> this is good, nice.

>> i'm willie geist .

>> i feel like we're going to need a lot of windex, though.

>> this is a big job. look who's back with us, mel b. , " america 's got talent" judge, fresh off another live show. how did you do live at radio city ?

>> last night was definitely very nerve-racking for everybody up on stage and for us as judges because you don't know who the public have voted on or off until that very, very moment that nick announces it. the first two times, three people were booted off and then another three were booted off. that's shocking.

>> wow.

>> so it left me kind of thinking, well, what does america like? but i think the four people that went through, they made the right decision. they definitely did.

>> at the end of the day , america chose wisely.

>> i think so.

>> is this the biggest stretch of live tv that you've done, our hour and then live stuff at night?

>> it is a lot, but i did hold jerry springer , like a three-hour stint.

>> i guess days in a row of live tv .

>> yes, i'm tired.

>> because you're up late.

>> you don't seem like it.

>> you and howard at the hotel bar every night.

>> you have to have a night cap and kind of relax.

>> howie.

>> howard goes to bed. he's got to do the radio.

>> howard is a bit grumpy and goes to bed early.

>> not like we do.

>> you get up at 3:15 you told me the other day.

>> i do.

>> that's insane. i just got to bed at that time.

>> we have a clip of some of the people on the show, some of the young children had an opinion about mel b. let's watch.

>> mel b. , mel talks funny.

>> oh, shiznah.

>> she says no.

>> no.

>> no.

>> no.

>> i guess i do sound a bit funny, but then again i think sometimes americans can sound a bit funny.

>> to you?

>> especially like the southern accent . i don't quite understand that sometimes.

>> it's beautiful. it's a sweet, syrupy accent.

>> how did our accents evolve from basically britain? how did that happen?

>> i don't know. you know the funny thing is, though, my kids have very strong american accents .

>> they do?

>> and they think that i do sound a bit funny. maybe i do sound a bit funny, right?

>> but you have the combination of a good husky voice, and i mean that as a compliment, with an accent that's not necessarily the one you hear in london town .

>> no, it's not a london accent.

>> it's like a sexy jack pallance .

>> i'm liking this, tell me more.

>> you don't want more.

>> i live four hours out of london . that did go over my head a bit. i live four hours out of london in the countryside. i've got a bit of a northern leeds accent, which is very sort of growly to top it off. why are we talking about my bloody accent? leave my accent alone.

>> your kids sound like they're from brooklyn. yo, mom.

>> they do. awe awesome, dude.

>> they don't have any of your accent at all?

>> no.

>> ignored you completely.

>> even my 15-year-old doesn't have an english accent .

>> later in life, that's going to come in very handy. that british accent makes you sound smarter right off the bat. it gives you another 15 points on your iq.

>> really?

>> absolutely.

>> we're simple folk.

>> maybe i do like my accent.

>> let's talk about another brit. the royal baby has been named. the new prince is george alexander louis. baby's third in line to the throne, will be known as his royal highness prince george of cambridge . all three of us get a little credit for this name.

>> we do.

>> but i can't quite remember who guessed this name on monday.

>> boom, willie geist . roll it.

>> what do you think?

>> i think it's a boy, and i hope his name is george because my son is george . king george someday.

>> i like that a lot.

>> my son is george .

>> so you got george . i got alexander right. and then you got.

>> i got little lou.

>> so between the three of us.

>> there's little george yesterday. he likes to identify his name and age on his shirt at all times.

>> that's that chasing fireflies t-shirt. i had that one for nicky.

>> every year.

>> put the crown on his head.

>> there you go.

>> that's going to go straight to his head.

>> that's hilarious.

>> trust me, he doesn't need it.

>> we all get a little bit of credit.

>> there was a king george around the time of the revolution we won't bring up. this will be a much better king george .

>> if it weren't for him, we wouldn't have left.

>> and he was clinically insane. we're hoping there's no repeat of that. that wouldn't be good.

>> why did you have to bring that up?

>> i just had to throw it out there.

>> kate, you hear about that guy willie geist ? he suggested maybe your kid was going to go nuts.

>> i was merely identifying a figure in history who had some mental problems, and we hope we don't see a repeat of that. let's talk about a happiness study.

>> did i mention how great this table looks?

>> this is a great table. just of the craftsmanship, right?

>> jerry, how many guys does it take to lift this thing?

>> six.

>> man, that is solid.

>> tell me what you think about these numbers. people are happiest at two ages. do you know them? have you looked already?

>> i have.

>> i have, but i forgot.

>> 23 and 69 are the moments in life when people are happiest. it's the study by the center for economic performance in london , the school of economics there. found people in their early 20s overestimate their future life satisfaction by an average of 10%. i have no idea what that means.

>> this is london . this is england.

>> so it has to be right.

>> it's not american.

>> it has to be right.

>> it's two different -- no.

>> i'm trying to think, at 23 i had my first baby, who's now 14. so i'd say that probablies y was the happiest time of my life .

>> the kids aren't going to like to hear that.

>> they're used to it. i always have a favorite. i'm kidding.

>> and you wonder why they've ignored you.

>> and they're american. they actually all know we're here right now.

>> they're coming to work?

>> yes, they're coming to work.

>> will they be coming on?

>> yes. one doesn't really talk because she's 1 1/2, but my 6-year-old will.

>> we'll take the 1 1/2-year-old.

>> i think 23 you're completely oblivious. you're not thinking about this mountain you have to climb in life with all the possibilities in front of you. i think actually, this is going to sound like a lame answer, right around now, kids are young, exciting, you still have a lot of life in front of you. this is a pretty good time.

>> what were you doing at 23?

>> i was working for no money in tv in atlanta, georgia, and perfectly happy with it. living with friends in an apartment, and we had a blast. we didn't know we had no money because everything was cheap.

>> how about you?

>> at 23 i actually started working weekends at wnbc.

>> 23?

>> yes.

>> wow.

>> i really think it's like peaks. you know what, the kids, having the kids. you sit there, and it's like you think life can't get any better than this because, of course, you don't know any better. you look at these little faces, and you're like oh.

>> until about six months later, and you realize you have no life and no sleep. when that kicks in, yeah.

>> it's not so bad because the next kids, you already kind of know the deal.

>> you know what you're getting yourself into.

>> you're kind of okay with it.

>> the 69 number, which is another most people cited, is a different one. you're happy with your life.

>> kids are out of the house.

>> kids are gone. re retirement.

>> how far are you away from 69?

>> i am --

>> i can't believe you're going to answer that.

>> i'm 31 years away.

>> that's not bad.

>> i'm almost there. i'm 10 years away.

>> wow.

>> ten years to happiness, al. almost there. coming around the bend.

>> i can see it on the horizon.

>> we want to show you a great photograph. maybe you've seen this. former president george h.w. bush has shaved his head. he's 89 years old, and he did it for that little boy sitting in his lap, patrick , the 2-year-old son of a member of the president's secret service detail. he's been battling leukemia. all the secret service men got together as well showing their support for the kid by going bald as well. patrick 's dad john is a member of the protective division. they also launched a website called patrick 's to help pay patrick 's medical bills.

>> that is incredible. what a lovely thing to do.

>> bush is a great man. he's always been a great american. that has been a great indication of it.

>> i've met him a number of times. he and barbara. jenna bush hager is on the phone, getting ready to go interview her granddad. jenna?

>> hi, guys, how are you?

>> we're doing great. this obviously doesn't surprise you. you know what your granddad is, don't you? is

>> this doesn't surprise me. i mean, he really is the cutest man in the entire world, and he lost a daughter to leukemia. so even at his age -- and he had great hair. the man still had brown hair , 89 years old with brown hair . but the support that he shows to everybody that he meets, i mean, the people that he works with are lucky. as his granddaughter, i feel especially lucky. so i get to go up there now, and, of course, i'm on maternity leave, but willie, you know when there's something with my grandfather, i just have to go. i just have to go.

>> please give him all of our best. we love him.

>> i will, and i will rub his bald head for good luck.

>> there you go.

>> mel b. , you too. i've never met you, but i'll rub his head for good luck too.

>> thank you, i like that.

>> give your best to your grandfather.

>> and grand mom too.

>> i will, of course.

>> all right. we should also mention patrick 's prognosis is actually very good.