When I’m 64

Birthday cake and candlesHappy birthday for March! We hope you like this year’s birthday card and booklet which we’re sending you this month.

Many of you will have instantly recognised the song that has inspired this year’s birthday card design. Paul McCartney wrote this song when he was only a teenager. In the lyrics he imagines what his life might be like in 50 years’ time.

In 1969, for the Age 11 Survey, we asked you to write about the life you thought you would be leading in the future, when you were 25 – your work, home life and interests. Your handwritten essays have been transcribed and provide an amazing resource for research. Using innovative techniques, researchers can analyse your essays to see to what extent the language used and subjects people wrote about as children can provide clues to how life will unfold.

Some 40 years later, for the Age 50 Survey, we asked you to do a similar exercise, but looking just ten years head this time. Recent research has explored how your hopes and dreams differ by gender, occupation and education. You can read about this here.

You’ll notice that this year’s booklet is a little different compared to previous ones we’ve sent you. We’d love to know what you think of the changes, so if you have a spare minute, please fill out a quick online feedback form.

If you’d like to find out more about the information in the booklet, including the research we’ve featured, please click on the links below:

You can download a PDF version of the booklet from our Resources section.

Last (but not least!), we would love to feature participant stories on our website and future birthday mailings, as some of you have said you enjoy reading these. If you’d like to share your story with other participants, please fill out this form.

Thank you for being part of this important study, and we hope you have a lovely birthday!