FORGET the naughty forties, the 70s could soon be seen as the new "middle age" for Australians according to new research.
The new research, compiled from results of a survey by National Seniors Australia, found that three-quarters of Australians over 50 felt at least 10 years younger.
Research director John McCallum said responses also suggested people felt around 20 years younger than their actual age on average and women were 30 per cent more likely to feel younger compared to men.
He said findings suggested middle age should be redefined "up to the age of 75".
"Marketers realise this, but the rest of the community still tends to define ageing through negative stereotypes," he said.
"Australia's population is ageing, with one in six people now over 65 compared to one in seven in 2011."
He said findings suggested that by 2050, 22.5 per cent of the population would be over 65.
He added that while people in their mid 60s had once been defined by "grey hair, conservative clothes and retirement", many in that age bracket today were still working, fit and socially active.
"The community needs to realise this and not be surprised or embarrassed about older people wanting to stay active and involved- in other words, 'acting young'," he said.
"Because subjective age studies over the past two decades have consistently shown that self-perception of age is a powerful predictor of a person's wellbeing, and longer life, there are sound reasons for governments and the community to take a fresh look at how they treat older people."