The big 5-0 can be a scary milestone. However, it should instead be seen as an opportunity to re-invest in yourself as you begin the second half of life.
Unfortunately, many people let the milestone pass repeating the mistakes of generations before them.
Here are the 6 most critical mistakes people make in their 50s:
1. Not realizing what you have.
It’s easy to take for granted what we have – family, wealth, health. I’ve seen many people break up a solid 20+ year marriage and family for the exciting false promise of a romantic fling, only for it to fizzle within a year. Most who go down this path end up alone, resented by their kids and 50% less wealthy. This is one extreme, but there are many other examples of people hitting a “mid-life crisis” and making damaging decisions. Don’t let dopamine and a mid-life crisis send you down a destructive path.
2. Neglecting your health.
It starts insidiously. An ache here. A few extra pounds there. Next thing you know you’re in your 50s and climbing a flight of stairs is a feat. Unless you prioritize your health it only gets worse from here. If it isn’t already, be sure your health is at the top of your to-do list.
3. Treating your body like it’s 25 years old.
You’re not as flexible and your tendons have taken a beating. Old injuries resurface with the slightest irregular twist. Keep moving, but respect the age of your body.
4. Putting off tough conversations with your parents.
They’re getting old so its important to talk about their end of life wishes, power of attorney, wills, living wills, DNRs, etc. These are tough conversations to have. But not having these conversations is even tougher. While you’re at it, do you have your own estate plans in place?
5. Forgetting you have another 20, 30, 40 years ahead of you.
Your 50s is a great time to take stock of your life and determine if you’re on track for retirement and revisit your career plans for the decades ahead. Do you need to double-down on saving or can you ease up? Moreover, if you put work over life during your first half-century, it’s an opportunity to re-prioritize what’s important to you. Time flies – how do you want to spend the rest of your life?
6. Ignoring your own needs.
While it’s natural to support your kids, as they age it’s important to step back and allow them to make mistakes. There comes a point where support becomes enablement. As children become adults and you reach middle-age, it’s time to re-invest in yourself and rediscover life beyond parenthood.