16 Reasons to Avoid Major Life Shifts in Your 50s

Reaching your 50s often means you’re settled and enjoying the life you’ve worked hard to create. Although every single person is entitled to change up their life as they see fit, you really need to consider whether you want to turn everything on its head with big changes. Here, we’ll explore 16 solid reasons to keep things steady and make the most of the good stuff you’ve got going.

Embrace the Stability You’ve Built

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By the time you’re in your 50s, you’ve probably found a nice groove in life. Things tend to level out, and it’s really the time to enjoy the results of all the hard work you’ve put into building your life. Jumping into big, life-changing decisions can shake up the stability you’ve earned. This is the decade for small adjustments that make good things even better, not for big moves that might start everything over.

Draw on Decades of Wisdom

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After a few decades, you’ve learned what works and what doesn’t. As you age, you become less impulsive and more thoughtful in your decision-making, leading to more deliberate and considered choices. Your 50s are the perfect time to use this knowledge to tweak and adjust, not to overhaul your whole life. It’s like perfecting a recipe rather than trying out a whole new dish that might not turn out right.

Secure Your Financial Future

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This is the stretch before retirement where it’s all about making sure you’re set up for a comfortable future. It’s not the best time to roll the dice on a new business or a big investment that could throw off your plans for a laid-back retirement. However, if you’re looking for a career change, then of course, go for it. Everyone’s entitled to change their lives whenever they want, but make sure you can afford to do so.

Assess Your Appetite for Risk

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Insights from Texas A&M University and the University of Texas at Austin show that older adults use their lifetime experience in decision-making to determine the long-term utility of choices, rather than just the immediate benefits. This contrasts with the tendency of younger adults to focus on instant gratification. In your 50s, risks can feel a bit more daunting so think twice before you make any big decisions.

Cultivate Your Peace of Mind

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There’s something to be said for a calm and steady life, especially in your 50s. The National Institute on Aging notes that long-term stress can contribute to a range of health problems, including digestive disorders and sleep disorders. Finding ways to lower stress supports not just physical health, but mental well-being too, which is essential for maintaining peace of mind during one’s 50s​​.

Prioritize Your Health

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Staying healthy is super important now, and big changes can be stressful and throw you off track. Stick with what’s been keeping you feeling good, whether that’s regular walks, eating right, or just laughing a lot with friends and family.

Honor Your Life’s Patterns

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You’ve probably got a good thing going by now, a way of life that fits you just right. Before you think about turning everything upside down, remember that there’s a lot of value in the life you’ve already made for yourself. Weigh up the pros and cons of any big life decisions you’re considering before jumping into it.

Savor the Present Moments

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Your 50s are for living in the now and enjoying what you have and if you don’t believe me, here’s a startling fact. According to research by Matthew A. Killingsworth and Harvard psychologist Daniel T. Gilbert, most people spend almost 47% of their time thinking about something else than what they’re doing right now. That’s worrying! So remember to savor the life you have instead of focusing on what’s to come.

Value Your Established Networks

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By your 50s, you’ve made some great connections—friends, family, maybe colleagues. These people are your support system. Big changes can strain these ties, so it’s time to invest in these relationships and enjoy the community you’ve built.

Reflect on Your Legacy

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Now’s when you start to really think about the footprint you’ll leave behind. It’s about making sure that the things you do every day add up to something meaningful. Big, risky moves could take away from the legacy you’re building.

Watch Investments Grow

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If you’ve been investing, your 50s are when you start to see the payoff. According to US News, “A 50-year-old born in 1966 can expect to live an additional 30-plus years,” [so] after age 50, you should still be investing your retirement assets to grow and last for several decades.

Your 50s are not the best time to be jumping into new investments that could risk all that progress. Let your current investments do their thing and watch your nest egg grow.

Appreciate the Power of Routine

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In your 50s, the value of daily routines cannot be overstated. These routines, honed over years of experience, are not just about maintaining order; they are the rhythms that make life smoother and more efficient. Sticking with these established routines is particularly advantageous at this stage of life, as it keeps life moving along in a harmonious and familiar pattern.

Relish Your Hard-Earned Leisure

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You’ve put in the work, and now it’s time to enjoy it. Your 50s should be about enjoying hobbies, relaxing, and spending time with loved ones, not worrying about the fallout from a big life change.

Make Dependents a Priority

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If you’ve got kids or others counting on you, your 50s are about keeping life stable for them, too. Big decisions can affect everyone, so it’s important to think about how your choices will impact your family’s stability.

Use Hindsight as a Guide

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In your 50s, reflecting on past experiences becomes a crucial tool for personal growth and decision-making. This period of life is less about drastic transformations and more about using the wisdom gained from years of experiences to make incremental improvements. It’s a time to look back and assess what strategies and decisions have worked well for you and which ones haven’t.

Cherish the Contentment You’ve Found

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In your 50s, finding contentment in the life you’ve built becomes a central theme. This stage of life is about appreciating what you already have rather than seeking new ventures or changes that could disrupt the equilibrium you’ve established. This period is marked by a shift in focus toward cherishing the fruits of your efforts, and embracing the stability and security that you’ve worked hard to achieve.

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