In Western culture, age isn’t venerated the way it is in Eastern culture. In fact, youth is highly valued in most Western cultures. But, is being 25 that much better than being over 50? Most experts agree that the benefits of being over 50 far outweigh those you get from being younger. Let’s take a look at the top benefits you get by being over 50.
The amazing benefits of being over 50
1. More “me” time
When you’re younger, demands on your time expand to the point where there’s no “me” time. Face it, you’re juggling a hectic work schedule, kids, a husband, and other family needs leaving nothing left for you.
At work, you’re building your career, which often means overtime, working on weekends, and hectic workdays filled with stress. Cutting back on work just isn’t an option for most working professionals. Putting anything less than 100% into your career at this point dramatically impacts your trajectory and lifetime earnings, especially if you’re a woman or person of color. As a woman, you already have family factors that interfere with putting 100% into your career as women often bear the brunt of domestic activities, such as taking care of sick children and family members.
Your home life also doesn’t lend itself to much “me” time. Women with jobs still perform 22% more of the household chores than their male counterparts; an average of 4.9 hours of household work. When it comes to laundry, childcare, cleaning, and other duties traditionally seen as “women’s work” women still perform these tasks much more often than men.
After 50, you’re more stable in your career and have proven yourself, so taking more time off and cutting back on your work schedule doesn’t have the same negative impact it did when you were starting out. Your kids are now adults or at least driving, relieving you of running carpool to all their activities and staying home with them when they’re sick. Counteracting this, women in their 40s and 50s are often called the sandwich generation as they balance the remaining tasks involved in raising their kids with taking care of older parents who need care.
Thus, one of the biggest benefits of being over 50 is you have more “me” time. You have time to have a spa day or lunch with friends. Your evenings are free from childcare so you can read a book or take up a hobby.
2. More self-confidence
Gone are the days when you worried about how others would see you. In general, older folks of both genders feel freer to express their individuality and don’t try as hard to fit some mold formed by society. Otherwise, why would you see older men wearing socks with sandals? A new study shows self-confidence peaks around age 60, so that’s something to look forward to.
Increased stability in their relationships at work and at home foster increased self-confidence, as does the increased level of success achieved in significant roles, such as raising successful kids. Another of the great benefits of being over 50 is that we just become more comfortable in our own skin, more ready to laugh at ourselves.
3. Financial stability
As you approach retirement, you’re at the peak of your earnings and, thus, have a good deal of financial stability. If you own a home, you’ve built substantial equity over time and you likely have a little put away in your 401K to support you in retirement.
If you had a little bit of a financial setback, what with the recession in 2008 and the pandemic in 2020, special IRS rules allow you to catch up on planning for retirement and many businesses offer discounts on their goods and services, although you probably have to ask for them as they aren’t automatic.
The benefits of being over 50 don’t stop there. You now have a built-in excuse to avoid anything you don’t want. Forgot someone’s birthday? Blame the forgetfulness that comes with age and everyone believes you. Don’t want to go to a party or other event? Blame a doctor’s appointment or say you’re prepping for your colonoscopy. Don’t want to comment? Just pretend you can’t hear the question.
5. People leave you alone
Once you reach a certain age, folks tend to leave you alone. You don’t get carded when you buy liquor and are less likely to get pulled out of line for a manual search at airport screening. Women of a certain age also face less sexual harassment at work than younger women. If you want to just blend in at an event, folks are happy to let older folks slide while, if you want to stand out, you’re more confident wearing that outlandish outfit that assures you get attention and folks remember you.
OK, enough for today.
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