For more than four decades he has been the caretaker of one of the most fascinating studies on aging ever undertaken. In 1937, the Grant Study chose 260 students from Harvard and has studied every aspect of their lives ever since. One of the students is reported to be John F. Kennedy.
The study has given Dr. Vaillant, who is now in his mid-70s, a unique perspective of what factors lead to a satisfying life. He believes that happiness comes from a mix of passion, exercise, diet and spirituality.
He cautions that retirement income does not correlate to retirement happiness. He believes the vacations that we take before retirement make a great difference in our lives and that time spent on our marriages should take priority on time spent on work.
As the surviving members of the Grant Study are now well into their 80s, Vaillant says the scope of their life long research is now coming to a fascinating fruition.