Congratulations — you’ve made it to the other side of the hill! Reaching the age of 50 is an impressive accomplishment, so give yourself a pat on the back. And despite what others have said, the old adage “it’s all downhill from here” doesn’t actually apply unless “downhill” means easier and better. The fact is, you have a lot to look forward to during the later years of your life. Sure, you’re not 25 anymore — but that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Think of this as your evolved form, and you just continue to change for the better. Here are 10 good reasons it rocks to be over 50.
1. You’re almost on the other side of the “U-shaped happiness curve.”
Award-winning writer Jonathan Rauch describes how there’s a “U-shaped happiness curve” in which our youth and old age are the greatest times of happiness. That means that during our late 40s and early 50s, there’s a big drop-off of general happiness before the 50+ age range brings us back around to bliss! So instead of dwelling on the whole midlife crisis stigma, remind yourself going into your golden years that it’s about to get better right after this initial slump.
2. You’re less focused on checking off boxes and accomplishments.
Hitting 50 is kind of nice because it’s like reaching the end of a race. At this point, all those stressful and competitive career moves are probably coming to a satisfying end. And although you’re allowed to still be ambitious about things, now it can be less about climbing ladders and more about other constructive things like hobbies or skill-building. Scrapbooking can take the throne from that next promotion or title change.
3. You can focus on deepening relationships.
Balancing life with work, family, friends, passions, pets and everything else can be hard. That’s why it’s kind of amazing once things start to slow down — you can put more focus on certain aspects of your life. You’ll have the time and energy to grow and enrich the existing relationships in your life. Whether it’s children, family friends or the neighbors down the road, now’s the best time to get even closer with the people in your inner circle. Share a few more secrets. Get a little more vulnerable.
4. You’re at the peak of your compassion and empathy.
At this point in life, you’ve gone through enough to know that we’re all flawed human beings. You’ve made your fair share of mistakes and blunders, and our fellow man is no different. It may have taken a handful of decades, but you’ve come to realize that just because someone does something bad, it doesn’t make them a bad person. This doesn’t mean you allow yourself to get walked all over or used, but you have some more leeway for those who need it.
5. You’re more likely to be financially stable with expendable income.
All those years of hard work have (hopefully) paid off, and now it’s time to spend your well-earned money on the things you like. Maybe it’s a new canine companion that can help you explore the great outdoors. Perhaps it’s renting an RV and roaming beautiful country landscapes for months at a time. If you’re a foodie, it seems like there’s no shortage of delicious new restaurants popping up every week. Whatever it is that strikes your fancy, now is the time to strike — the iron is hot!
6. You’ve accumulated more humility and less embarrassment.
The older you get, the less you care about what others think. That’s one of the best parts about aging! It goes without saying that you’ll continue to conduct yourself with style and grace, but it takes a lot more to embarrass you. You’ve gone through enough hoops to know what humility is, but don’t feel the societal pressure to walk on eggshells. If you spill a drink or commit any other public faux pas, you can easily shrug it off. Become one with the term “meh.”
7. Your emotions are more even-keeled these days.
One study has found that “average levels of neuroticism generally decline with age,” which is great news for those of us who sometimes let our emotions get the best of us. We can expect a more controlled fear response and a generally more mellow mood! It brings to mind the catchphrase of Alfred E. Neuman: “What, me worry?” This doesn’t mean that you won’t remain a passionate person with desires and dreams, you just don't sweat the small stuff as much. And who doesn’t want that?
8. Your kids are gone, and the empty nest is all yours!
Woohoo! Your babies have all grown up and flown the coop. Although it may seem lonely at first, you’ll learn to adjust to your newfound freedom. Now their rooms can become workout zones, art studios, movie rooms or whatever else you deem appropriate. Cook those meals they never liked, play that music they never appreciated and live it up! Obviously they’re still welcome to visit whenever, but the kingdom is yours once more.
9. A whole new world of discounts has opened up.
Senior discounts vary business to business, but let’s face it: After 50, you’re likely to be eligible for some sweet new savings. From the movie theater to bigger events like concerts, things become cheaper once you’ve reached a certain age. Especially if you’re moving toward a fixed income, there’s no reason not to take advantage of the savings that come with getting older. Live it up!
10. You’ve gotten to know yourself well enough to make better decisions.
You’ve known yourself for at least 50 years now, so you probably have a good idea of what’s best for you. Things like hangovers probably won’t happen as much because you learned when to stop drinking a long time ago. But even other things like food choices, exercise and personal relationships will probably become a whole lot easier now that you’ve gotten to know yourself. Chances are there’s still a lot of exploring to do, but now you’ve got a good idea of who you are.
So get excited — the best is yet to come! Live life to its fullest and don’t let anything stop you from enjoying the glory of your golden years! What other things have you learned as you’ve gotten older? Share it with us in the comment section!