Life Begins at Forty is a 1932 American self-help book by Walter B. Written during a time of rapid increase in life expectancy (at the time of its publication American life expectancy at birth was around 60 and climbing fast, from being only at age 40 fifty years before), such that after 1932 it became an American catchphrase for the remainder of the twentieth century and into the twenty-first (it is the title of a 1935 Will Rogers movie, a 1937 song sung by Sophie Tucker, a 1980 John Lennon song, two television series (in 1978 in Britain and 2003 in Hong Kong), and several novels and other books).
More an extended essay and exhortation than a detailed self-help book in the modern sense, the general thrust of the book is that, given the current conditions of the world, one could look forward to many years of fulfilling and happy existence after age 40, provided that one maintained the proper positive attitude.
They also tend to have fewer worries than during their 20s or 30s, either about work or children, so they can properly relax in the bedroom.
Whether you're single, attached, married, in a common law relationship, separated, divorced, widowed, new in town or just passing through, this group has been designed specifically for EVERYONE 40 and also for the more mature 35 crowd.For those of you that are finding it difficult to meet friends in your age range with the same Positive Outlook on Life, this group could be your answer.Here you can make new friends and hang out with some old friends.We are a Social Group, NOT a strictly Singles Group, although some people have met at our events.It is a claim which has long offered solace to those facing the onset of middle age but new research suggests those pinning their hopes on the promise that life begins at 40 might have to wait at least another five years.
Those over 45 emerged happier overall with 61 per cent rating themselves as content with life, compared with only 56 per cent of those under 45.
This was propelled further into the American consciousness in 1937 via a recording of the song 'Life begins at Forty', written by Yellen and Shapiro and sung by Sophie Tucker.
However, we need to go back a way to find the origin of the phrase.
By the 1930s many, in western societies at least, could expect a decent spell of reasonably affluent retirement, free from work and the responsibilities of childcare.
Household gadgets like washing machines and vacuum cleaners were becoming more widely used and had begun to relieve women's drudgery and offer them increasing amounts of leisure time as compared to their Victorian mothers.
The notion that 'life begins at forty' is a 20th century one; prior to that it was more accurate to say 'death begins at forty' as most people didn't live much beyond that age.