How To Change Your Life After 50 – Help Is At Hand

Updated on
Written by Brian Sweet

Just when the caterpillar thought the world was ending he turned into a butterfly — Chuang Tzu

Aging doesn’t define what you are nor what you can do. Success has no limits and life can be enjoyed at any age. You may have slowed down a little bit, but you didn’t stop. You still have a great life ahead.

With a bit more time in your hands now, you find yourself often wondering what else could you do to add more value to your life.

Lend us your hand and let us help walk you through how to change your life after 50.

Changing Your Life After 50 For The Better

At 50 years old, you may or may not have retired from your job or you may have hit a turning point. You could still be responsible for children or they may have already left the house to start their lives.

One thing is for sure, you should have more free time now than you had 15 years ago. If you manage to utilize that free time, then you can kickstart your life all over again.

On the other hand, if you shut the doors and think that you’re too old for life to be enjoyable anymore, then we have some good news for you; it’s never too late!

If you want to know whether you can change your life at 50 then I’m guessing you want to get ideas on how to reinvent yourself.

That means that the current situation is not one that is fulfilling enough.

Typically the stage of middle age for men or women is a crossroads, a choice on whether to take the same much-traveled path or to start the next chapter on life’s journey. Excuse my mixed metaphor and cliched turn of phrase.

What to do

Taking Stock Of Emotional Well-Being

A lot of mixed emotions could attack you after 50. It’s the dreaded “Midlife Crisis”. You need to filter out as many of the negative emotions while focusing on improving or embracing new and positive ones.

I remember exiting my 40s, I thought to myself my overall well-being was good. My mental health was okay.

There was less stress or anxiety in my life at 50. When I think of some of the stressful positions I was put in in the corporate world, I physically flinch.

And I had enough money so why didn’t I feel that I was living the best life I could. I wasn’t depressed but I selfishly thought I deserved a better life at 50.

Feeling dissatisfied, irritable and bored with the status quo seems to be “normal” for life at 50.

I also found myself harking back to “better times”, a nostalgic reaction to lost touch friends maybe but certainly a distinct reduction in my athletic prowess.

Not that I was ever an elite athlete in or out of the sack. But we’ll come back to that later.

Taking Stock Of Physical Well-Being

You may or may not have treated your body like the Temple it is but your body has taken care of you for 50 years. It’s getting less reliable now and it’s time to give it some luuurve back.

Let’s not slip into the couch potato comfort zone.

If you have been fairly active when younger and worked out or ran regularly, kudos. But I’m sure you would have at least seen your performance decline, health issues increase and the time between sessions become greater.

As you get older it’s easier to find excuses to put that exercise off. Aches and pains in middle age are here to stay I’m sorry to admit. But it just needs some common sense to manage these inconveniences.

We’ll return to managing the niggles.

Look After Your Health

“Aging is just another word for living” — Cindy Joseph

As you get older, your body starts to become needier and more demanding. What could have been previously a mild inconvenience could become a cause for concern now.

Look after your health, it’s really the biggest treasure you have and life has forced you to exhaust your health over the past years. Don’t wait for your body to complain. Get yourself checked every few months even if you’re one of those people that doesn’t want to make a fuss.

Not only will you discover any physical issues before they get more serious, but you’ll also sleep better knowing that your health is in a good state.

You may have fewer responsibilities right now, but you still have people who love you and want you to live forever. Don’t let them down.


Physical exercise is ageless and you can never go wrong trying to keep your body as fit as it can be.

After 50, the ability to exercise reduces depending on personal circumstances. The first day you pick up that exercise schedule back could ache every bone in your body. Before you drop it, ask yourself: Did it hurt any less when you were 20?

Beginning exercise after a period of long rest is difficult at any age. It might be a little extra difficult after 50 but your body will prove to be much stronger than you think. 

More on getting fit at 50.

On a side note, seeing those physically fit 50+ years old people is common but it’s not the norm. You don’t have to be extremely fit at that age to be considered healthy. In fact, you can opt for simple, equipment-free home exercises to keep your fitness and health levels as good as it can be.

And let us not forget although it is not a muscle, the brain still needs exercising to keep it functioning to it’s full potential.

Eat Healthily

Rush hours and tight work schedules throughout our lives have forced us to settle for low-quality fast food so many times. It’s a guilty pleasure that none of us is innocent from.

Now that we have more control over our lives, it’s time to give our bodies the treatment they deserve. 

A healthy, highly-nutritious balanced diet will give your body more benefits than you can count. Now is the time to get your 5 a day and eat more fruits, vegetables, and vitamin-rich foods. Your body will thank you for it. 

Career and Money

Reaching 50 years doesn’t mean that your career is over. If you prefer not to settle with your pension and still want to keep on with your career, who is there to stop you?

In fact, I find the most content people in their middle age years and beyond are those that have taken the word Retirement out of their vocabulary.

Let’s face calling yourself a “retired civil servant” defines you and your ambitions, which are limited.

I have a friend who when asked what he does, replies, “Salesman”.
“Oh! and what do you sell”
“What do you want?”

Job Options

Changing your life at 50 may involve a change in you what you do as a job. The work we do is said to define us. So many people feel trapped in their jobs and around 50 seems to be the time the frustrations peak.

Or we may be happy with what defines us as people and it’s life from outside work that is causing the frustration – that we’ll hit head on later.

To Continue In The career

Did you know that Phillip Knight, the founder of the famous NikeTM company, is still active in the company at over 80 years old? (At time of writing)

Phil decided that he wanted to keep on doing what he does until he feels like it and today, he’s worth over $40 billion!

We’re not saying a tenth or even one-hundredth of that number is the benchmark for success at that age, we’re saying that if you want to go on with your career, you have every right to.

To Change Jobs & Who We Are

Colonel Harland Sanders, the founder of KFC, decided that he wanted to open his own restaurant chain at the age of 62.

He sold it 12 years later for $12m – a healthy return for his efforts have had several jobs before like a country lawyer and railroad worker.

He started with his $105 monthly social security check and now KFC has over 15,000 restaurants in the world.

Professional reinvention isn’t just for young people. How can you decide to spend years learning something new at your age? Reinventing what defines you is different later in your career. But not impossible.

Don’t let anyone gauge your success. It’s your life and you decide how to make it better for yourself. If an idea appears, go for it!

Build Something New

Did you just get a brilliant idea that somehow never showed up in the past 50 years? Do you have an idea in the oven that needs a little polishing to shine? Why not start now? Sorry, what was that? You’re too late? Don’t worry. You never are.

But not the fast food restaurant idea. There are too many and fast food isn’t good for the health of young people or us older ones. There are plenty of studies that show the damage such food does.

Have you got a passion? Or just something dear to you that you would like to share. A hobby that you’re knowledgeable about can be turned into a money-churning venture.

These days you don’t need special skills; it’s easier and easier to build your own website and fill it with information and images on the subject you love. You can get started here!

Invest and Relax

If you’ve managed to save up a decent amount of money throughout the years and aren’t intending to work as hard anymore, you can still do that with no regrets.

Find a person that you trust and who can invest your hard-earned money. You can then have more spare time for your needs while still having a decent amount of stable income.

How you shape your financial situation after 50 is completely up to you. Whether you choose to keep working, start a new business, or invest your money, you’re still adding more value to your life.

If you have enough time and money with little responsibility changing your life after 50 sounds like it should be easy. But there are existential pitfalls.

How To Become A Conspiracy Theorist!

Yes! With the luxury of having no financial worries and no family members to worry over, life is in the comfort zone.

Protest march with banner "the earth is flat"

So what is the cause of the midlife malaise?

It could be the very fact that the entire life has, so far, had all sorts of cortisol-inducing events which at the time had meaning.

So life had meaning and was made up of these little chapters of the story and now we’re coming to the end of the book and we know how it ends.

Where can I find that meaning again, or any meaning? What is/was my purpose?

To illustrate, I had a friend, in fact, she was one of a number of school friends with whom I had lost contact. Let’s call her Irene (I don’t know why).

Anyway, we had again become reacquainted.

I knew from the family legacy that Irene was richy rich and had many years previous been married (to a wealthy oilman). Now divorced – I mean completely divorced and no kids.

Her parents had passed away at a “good” age and she had no siblings (to share the inheritance – no! stop it).

There was a gap of 2 years between our meeting and Irene went, from what most people would call, normal, albeit “loaded”, to what I would call a “fruitcake”. I don’t know if that’s politically correct these days so I’ll apologize in advance to anyone with mental health problems reading this.

You get my meaning.

I believe, with very few points of stress (that a family might bring) and little interest in anything much, Irene had stumbled up a Cabal-load of weird stuff that could only be explained by diving into a Rabbit Hole full of more weird stuff.

And we all know what it’s like to extricate oneself from a rabbit hole. I don’t see Irene much now.

Dig up That Bucket List 

How many times have you come across something that you may have done if you had the time? Well, now is the time. Find that old bucket list. Start crossing off goals that you never had time to do.

Don’t have a bucket list? Make one! List the skills you may have or passions and extrapolate from that to build up a wish list. We’ll be helping you with some ideas shortly. Some are Cra-azy.

This website allows you to create a bucket list, set deadlines, receive reminders about those deadlines, and even get help from other members to achieve your goals.

Don’t underestimate how satisfying achieving a goal can be, especially if it was shelved for so many years. It can be as silly as trying a particular ice cream flavor, but it still feels like an achievement you’ve waited many years to do.

Travel Broadens The Mind

If you haven’t had the time to see how beautiful the planet really is, now is a perfect time. Traveling at a young age is great and unlike what most people think, it feels even better after 50.

You’ve done your part, you’ve taken responsibility, and you’ve worked hard to bring up a family or secure your own future. Now is the time to gather the fruits of your good deeds.

Give yourself a taste of what it feels like to go somewhere else, to see a new culture, and breathe new air. The experience is amazing and it just needs you to grab it.

Try a road less traveled. Being older and wiser gives you the ability to appreciate those places off the beaten track.

If possible, grab a family member or a friend with you. It’s never too late for all of you to enjoy the beauty of the world, right?

Meet New People 

You’d be surprised how meeting new people can reshape your life. You get to rest from the race of life for a bit and see everything from new sets of eyes; other people’s eyes.

Talk to people from different walks of life and get inspired.

When you don’t have countless responsibilities in your head, your perception of things starts to improve. You’ll find yourself engaging more in conversations and interested in topics that may have never seemed interesting before.

Also, how about reaching out to some old friends for good measure? Remember that college friend whom you stopped talking to because of all the “other stuff” in your life? They probably have some free time on their hands by now. Why not rekindle the relationship?

18 Specific Ways To Help Reinvent Your Over 50 Life

Any one of these random well thought out suggestions could easily have profound and positive effects on your life reinvention after 50.

Either way, they are a bit of fun and we hope you enjoy them as much as we enjoyed putting them together – from years of experience I might add.

You wonder as we did what is middle age and when does it begin and end.

Go Out of Your Comfort Zone

I think this suggestion may be a bit of a cliche but never mind let’s go wild with a few examples. Naturally, this may be dependent on gender. Learning belly dancing may be a bit too far out of the comfort for a man-type person.

Over 50s woman about to do a tandem sky dive

Make a list of the things you don’t find easy. Public speaking is a good one as is arachnophobia. And plan to overcome or probe into the zone of discomfort of each one.

A Style Change

Is it time to spruce yourself up and feel rewarded from that glimpse in the mirror? Maybe a change of hairstyle will do the trick.

A new you could be the start of a new relationship if that is something that is missing.

Talking of which there are relationship sites out there specifically for the over 50s.

Learn To Relax

Try regularly to tune out. Whether it’s through meditation, yoga, Wim Hoff breathing or just sitting quietly relaxing a few minutes a day will add a surprising calm to your life.

Photo by Kelly Newton on Unsplash

Establish a Website

A passion or a skill can be translated into a website. It’s a lot easier than you think if you haven’t delved into the world of online publishing. And it can be rewarding.

Photography, most crafts, cookery and style easily translate to an online presence. And if you don’t feel comfortable with those categories why not just grab your name as a website.

You might find a latent talent in writing or media design.

Another outline for creativity is videos. Everyone has heard about simple Youtube videos that go viral. And again money to be made!

Learn a Language

As we said before travel broadens the mind and knowing even a smattering of the local lingo can realize many extra benefits.

It can also help you discover more unusual sites and people of your favorite destination.

Start a Book (Autobiography)

Or should I say finish a book and I mean writing one not reading one.

A friend of mine has just written the second half of his life story and on completing the first half I asked him how he could possibly remember and put into chronological context all the stuff from his, rather full life.

Keep a Diary

And sure enough, he told me that, no matter what, he would write in his diary every day. One tip I have never been able to consistently achieve is to keep a diary.

Trace Your Ancestry

A lot of people get passionate about their roots and get a lot of pleasure from finding purpose through their ancestry. It seems to be a human trait to be fascinated by a discovery that someone is related to a King of Prussia.

It’s not for me but Tracing Geneology has meaning for many.

Go For A Big Year – Spotting Bird Species

This one might seem a bit out there but if you’re a bird lover like me then it would be a joyous challenge.

A big year is a competition among birders who try to identify as many species of birds as possible by sight or sound, within a single calendar year. The competition takes place within a predefined geographical area or if you have time and money it can be worldwide.

It was popularized by the movie The Big Year (2011 Jack Black, Steve Marting Owen Wilson).

In a lifetime it is theoretically possible to spot or hear every species of bird as there is a (surprisingly) small number of around 10,000. I thought someone had done it although the figure changes as sub-species turn into species and visa versa.

Only 19 people in the world have a life list of birds spotted over 9000.

Train For a Marathon (or Park Run)

Training for a marathon might be a little ambitious if running has never been your thing but aiming for an event, even if it’s a local Park Run might just awaken the athlete and encourage a regular habit of exercise…

Me at the Sydney Marathon

Workout Each Day

However long your workout session is, doing it in the morning can really set you up for the day.

I never used to enjoy training in the mornings but now I feel the benefits and never have breakfast until I’ve worked out.

The point is that you can foster good habits by giving yourself small rewards. For me, it’s a yummy breakfast.

Read more on cardio for the over 50s and probably even more important are the benefits of strength training for those of us over 50. And I mean both women and men.

Don’t forget to have rest days.

Learn To Cook a Culinary Style

I’m assuming we have got to 50 and know how to boil an egg. We all know the basics of cooking or at least some think they do after the host of cookery shows available. Is there a format that has not been covered?

But wouldn’t it be nice to get expert in one field of cooking or maybe baking? Into spices? Spend time honing your curry cooking.

Drink More Appreciate Wine

Wine is the inevitable tipple for the wise. So it’s nice to find out about grape varieties and where wine comes from – perhaps plan tours around wine-growing regions.

Developing a palate and an understanding of wine can be impressive during an impromptu gathering. Hey, we all like to show off our newly acquired skills.

Get Proficient in a Dance Style

It’s something I’ve had on my list of things to do for many years. I’m in awe of those who can turn on the dance moves at the drop of a hat.

It was the only passion of Irene’s (see earlier) and I think it was the closing down of her dance school during the Big P(andemic) that caused her, how can I put it, mental illness.

Appreciate Your Partner

In a loving relationship?

Middle age black couple shoeing each other affection
A little cheesy but…

…don’t forget about him or her during this midlife period of angst. I have often read from “happiness gurus” that it benefits the individual more by giving following the old mantra “it’s better to give than to receive”.

Many studies including one by Professor Michael Norton published in the journal Science (March 2008) from the Business School at Harvard found that whatever the individual’s income level, those that spent money on others said they were happier than those who spent more on themselves.

Appreciating your partner goes further than bestowing gifts on him/her. Make sure to show positive emotion. Be more touchy even when with others, especially when with others. Have more sex – it’s great exercise and releases a ton of endorphins, the good stuff.

Find Old Friends

Social media allows us to easily get in touch and keep connected. Use the platforms for good. If you’ve been left behind in terms of social media, get up to speed.

It’s more and more a requirement in work and in play these days and it won’t be changing much soon.

Learn To See The Positive

Learning to be positive has a knock-on effect not only on your own outlook but also on the people around you.

Communicate More With Friends

Keeping in touch with friends gives you ongoing feedback on other people’s lives which stimulates your own. Don’t forget to avoid those toxic people who have little to offer in terms of positivity.

Conversely, make a real effort with those who show compassion and humility.

Be open to people from all backgrounds and especially younger people.

And Finally…

We’re not telling you how to change your life after 50. That decision is yours. We’re just trying to help you do so.

So, unless you’re still invested in a time-consuming career, you should be a bit more relaxed by now. This is the perfect time for you to start focusing more on today and less on tomorrow.

You’ve spent the last 30 years doing everything you can to provide. Now is the time to enjoy your moments. Eat slower and enjoy the taste, drink while closing your eyes to enjoy every sip, find things that make you happy and actively seek them.

Most people think that aging makes life lonely and miserable. However, if you adjust your mindset correctly, you’re essentially starting a new life. 

You’ve provided for others. Now is the time to live for you. So, go ahead and live. It’s worth it. More fun stuff on Life After 50 here.

Photo of author
Mad keen runner of old. Now just mostly mad. But mad keen on researching the best and latest fitness-related information and products for a healthier and fitter midlife. Over 50 - most definitely. Qualified in Australia as a PT in Sports & Recreation.

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