Many people fear aging, and if you look at the way seniors are portrayed in the media (grumpy, obnoxious, confused) it’s no surprise why. But there’s a reason old age is called the golden years—it can be the best time of your life.

Here are 5 common myths about aging, and why you don’t need to fear them.

 Myth 1: You’ll No Longer Control Your Destiny

Some people think that as they get older, their health is no longer in their hands. But researchers have shown that aging well depends largely on seven factors within your control—alcohol use, smoking, exercise, body mass index, marital stability, coping mechanisms, and education. Remember, it’s never too late to develop better habits, strengthen relationships, and learn.

 Myth 2: You’ll Suffer Empty Nest Syndrome

Studies have shown that an empty nest increases marital satisfaction. Instead of worrying about and taking care of the kids, you can enjoy uninterrupted quality time with your partner. Plus, you have more free time and time with your friends.

 Myth 3: You’ll Become Isolated

Although this can be an issue among the housebound, as long as you get out there and stay active these can be the best social years of your life. As we age, our social IQ increases and “we get better at… understanding how relationships work—and at not getting into an argument unless we mean to.”

 Myth 4: You’ll Stop Having Sex

As Judith Horstman points out in her book The Scientific American Healthy Aging Brain, “Studies… show the brains of those well over 60 years old want and enjoy sex.” In fact, a national survey showed that about 75% of men and 50% of women between 75 and 85 were still sexually active.

 Myth 5: You’ll Be Less Happy

Several surveys have shown that after one’s 40s, happiness begins to increase with one’s 60s and 70s being the happiest time of their life. So don’t worry about getting older; enjoy it!