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Is it too late to start over at 50?

What was your life 20 years ago?

You just probably married the love of your life, enjoying a thriving career, and living in a great, spacious apartment.

During these moments, you may have thought you had your life together. And for the next couple of years, you thought it will remain as such.

After all, how could life go wrong if you already have everything that you could ever dream of — career, money, and a life-long partner?

Little did you know, you were slowly walking towards your life’s greatest downfall.

If you’re reading this article, chances are you are 50-something who has lost a loving relationship, his money in the bank, his career, or worse, all of it.

Now, you may feel lost in the world that once felt home to you. Hitting 50’s is more of a wake-up call than a milestone — a reminder that you haven’t really found what’s in it for you in this crazy, roller-coaster ride called life.

In this article, we will introduce ways to reinvent your life.

We’ll help you transform from a 50-something lost adult who has been ripped off of a secure job, financial stability, multiple streams of income, or a healthy relationship to a thriving individual.

We will also share some tips on how you could pull yourself up if you ever find yourself stuck in a major midlife crisis.

Midlife can be the most depressing time in a person’s life

Is it terrifying to start over at 50? Yes. Will you doubt your ability to pull it off? Definitely.

But will you ever give up figuring out how to start over at 50 without money, career, family, or a loving partner? We’re here to tell you that you shouldn’t.

The moment you lost your job, business, money in the bank, or family probably made you wonder what the heck are you supposed to do now.

Going back to square one is frustrating in itself.

What’s even worse is that a new beginning should go hand-in-hand with a midlife crisis. And experiencing a terrible midlife crisis while you’re dealing with reinventing your life on the side may prompt you to rethink your life choices.

When we were kids, our parents and teachers taught us to go through grade and middle schools, then finish our college degrees, because the years in the school system would equip us with the right tools to land us at high-paying jobs.

Graduating from college, you were full of hope, dreams, and possibilities. You worked in a good company for years and worked on your way up to the corporate ladder while setting aside funds for your future life choices — a lovely house, fancy car, family insurance, and so much more.

After all, isn’t it what our parents taught us — that success is all about achieving these lavish, tangible things?

The world was your oyster until everything slowly fell apart. Whether you lost all of your savings to a chronic illness or a futile investment, left an abusive partner, quitted a tedious 9 to 5 corporate job, or succumbed to bankruptcy, life was never the same as before.

Now, you look around and notice many of your colleagues and relatives of your age who are doing so well in life. While here you are, starting over with nothing — no job, no money, or no partner to lift your spirits.

You may see yourself as a loser, but what you don’t realize is that even losers cling to hope and faith during desperate times.

But it can be someone’s biggest turning point

While we have no idea about your exact situation, we believe that starting over at 50 was not in your plan. Unfortunately, the reality is that your plans will not always play out.

But the good thing is, there are no guidelines for the easiest way to navigate life. This only means that anyone can start over many times in life, no matter what age.

You’re probably freaking out now that you are battling your life’s greatest challenge. Thinking about it is tiresome enough.

But reinventing life when you’re over 50 — at a certain point in life wherein you are expected to be successful and stable in life? That’s on a whole new level of frustration.

The bottom line is that midlife is not always about the good, grand stuff — the financial stability, great career, thriving investments, and lavish cars successful people usually talk about.

Sometimes life doesn’t go well as planned but what makes midlife unique is that you are wise enough to make sound decisions.

Whether you’re dealing with bankruptcy, a heartbreaking divorce, emotional trauma, a lost job, or any major life inconvenience, it’s never too late to reinvent your life the way you want it to be.

Let this glimmer of hope be enough to propel you forward.

How do you start over at 50?

Most people won’t have a clue where and how to start over in life, but only a few know they have to start somewhere.

Now, you are in a state where questions continuously flood your mind the moment you wake up in the morning and before you shut your eyes to sleep. You can’t eat, sleep, or even think properly.

At this moment, you are paralyzed. But if you want change, there’s no one that can do it for you except yourself. The harsh truth is, it is up to you how to move on from the misery that you are living in for the past few years.

Here’s a little pep talk you can do to motivate yourself: As soon as you wake up in the morning, stand in front of the mirror and swore to turn that reflection’s life around and make his life worth living.

Along with that promise, vow to yourself to never let your age hinder your life goals.

As we all know, many people use their age as an excuse to talk themselves out of pursuing their goals. But who said that we stop living in our 50’s?

It’s never an issue of age. Who cares if you’re old? You’ve got the wisdom, experience, and life lessons that most young people don’t have. Wield your experiences to your advantage.

Do you want to become a lawyer because you enjoy reading case studies? Then get your law degree. If you want to be a full-time artist because people love your art, go ahead and grab your materials.

Age is anything but an anchor in life.

If you’re still not convinced, try acknowledging the anxiety that comes with starting over in life. It is only when you validate your feelings that you’ll be able to move forward — trust us on this.

Questions to ask yourself when you are reinventing life at 50

After acknowledging your worries and anxieties, it’s time to reframe your mindset.

You have to pause and ask yourself a couple of self-discovery questions to find out exactly how to make life worthwhile. Here are some guide questions:

  • What’s going to make you happy? – What is something that will make you giddy and excited to wake up in the morning? What fills your heart and mind with immense joy every time you think about it?
  • What do you not love doing? – It will be uncomfortable to ask this question at first, but at the end of the day, deep inside, you know you have to confront it. After all, if you hate doing a few things, why bother spending so much time and effort doing it?
  • What will give you the most incredible amount of freedom? – What is something that makes you free, boundless, and limitless? What brings your heart to a state of harmony, calmness, and balance?
  • What are you really good at? – You need to reflect on this because following what makes you happy doesn’t always translate to a stable job. Figure out what career path resonates with your passion to ensure you get to a job that doesn’t feel like work.
  • What’s your advocacy? – Is there anything that you can do to help others in need, even when you are struggling? Is there anything or anyone you can willingly lend your helping hand to?
  • Can I commit to my reinvention? – Like anything, starting over requires commitment, effort, and time, unless you want to see your efforts go down the drain. That nagging, anxious voice can always be in your head, but so is your determination that you have to turn your life around.
  • How do you envision your life in a few years? – The world is unpredictable, but at least you can still control your goals and the steps to achieve them. Imagining your goals in life allows you to begin with the end in mind.

When you take some time to reflect and answer these questions, you will be surprised to see how things will unfold before your very eyes.

Bouncing back from bankruptcy at 50

It’s not going to be a walk in a park to start over at 50 with little to no money on your bank account. It’s terrifying but trust in yourself that you can get back on your feet!

From 1991 and 2016, the percentage of people aged 65 to 74 who filed bankruptcy ballooned by 204%. This is a dramatic increase and only shows the severity of the problem in older Americans.

Consequently, single adults aged 55 to 64 have approximately $6,800 in their bank accounts, whereas single parents with children have about $6,900. Couples of the same age usually have a bit more than the doubled amount, around $16,000.

A study from the Consumer Bankruptcy Project pens that older people whose financial situations are in peril have a few moves to make. The study writes:

“When the costs of aging are off-loaded onto a population that simply does not have access to adequate resources, something has to give, and older Americans turn to what little is left of the social safety net — bankruptcy court.”

The information above only goes to show that you are not the only one experiencing this misery.

How you can manage money today

Are you running on an empty wallet?

It’s easy to be anxious and overwhelmed knowing that you have got no dime in your name. However, there are a few ways to help you regain control of your financial situation.

Ideally, it’s important that you get, and eventually, keep a job as quick as possible if you don’t have one yet. Your next priority should be rebuilding your flawed credit history. Use it wisely to show lenders that you spend and manage your finances properly.

If you find yourself chalking up debt again, you should refrain from using your credit card immediately. If needed, use a debit card or a prepaid credit card to gain better purchase control.

Spend on your necessities, your wants would come in second. On top of mindful spending, you should also learn to record your expenses, cut unnecessary spending, and set aside a huge portion of your income for savings.

Bruce McClary, the vice president at the National Foundation for Credit Counseling in Washington, D.C., suggested for people to increase their savings. Through Forbes, he said:

“At the very minimum, the goal should be having at least three months of net income set aside.”

It’s no secret that we need an emergency fund to be ready in the event of an unprecedented financial emergency. But not all adults are familiar with rainy day fund, which should be a prudent life goal.

It is the money set aside for small expenditures outside regular living expenses.

Ideally, experts suggest $1,000 as a starting step to cover unexpected bills or costs. Practicing this concept has helped a lot of people acquire wealth again — slowly but surely.

Changing careers at 50

Before shifting careers, list down the pros and cons of staying in your niche and shifting careers. If you have an excellent reputation in your industry or an extensive network, maybe there’s no need to change careers.

However, if you think your job has run its course, it may be the perfect time to seek growth in another field. Take note of your transferable skills that can be applied to your career of choice.

Consequently, if you are looking for ways to make money online, the possibilities are endless.

Millions of people are doing it every day — from freelancers to rising entrepreneurs. You can be anything you want with just a laptop and a stable internet connection.

Here’s are two reasons why starting a brand new career at 50 is an excellent idea:

1) You have a clearer idea of what you want from a job

Older people often have the self-awareness to know what they seek from a career. According to Cynthia Corsetti, a career transition expert:

“In our society, we make our first career choice when we are 19 or 20 and choose our college major. Many people work in that career for 30 years, but they never feel fulfilled or energized.”

She adds:

“Such people don’t feel as if their life has a purpose. Changing careers once you’re 50 is a different game altogether. You know what you want to leave as your legacy, you know what you want to give back to the world.”

2) You can take advantage of your network

One of the many advantages of working in the corporate world for decades is that you’ve had the opportunity to build a strong network of professionals. You can reach out to them for help, advice, and even job opportunities.

We suggest you write a brief description of the job you’re looking for then share it with family, relatives, friends, and professional contacts to increase your likelihood of being hired.

Try seeing yourself in a happy, healthy working environment. Sure, money is essential, but the lack of it should not stop you from achieving career and financial stability in the coming years.

Tips that can help you start over after 50

Sometimes, life situations happen and kick us in the butt.

Some people are trying to get over a toxic job, while some are filing their bankruptcy. Regardless of your life circumstances, trust in yourself that you can change your life.

Here are some tips that can propel you to move forward:

1) Tame your mind

Whether it’s worrying if you can make a new business work or how you can find a fulfilling job at 50, doubts and anxiety will constantly bring you to your knees.

There’s no shame in feeling defeated but how you’ll deal with it is entirely up to you!

For starters, you can shut that nagging voice in your head by meditating. There are lots of meditation applications: some promote better sleep, while others encourage better health. Make use of these applications to help you center yourself amidst an ocean of doubts.

2) Age is just a number

Starting over at 50 may be apprehensive, and the adage “age is just a number” sounds too simplistic, but reinventing your life at 50 provides an opportunity young adults will never have.

As John Lennon said, “Count your age by friends, not years. Count your life by smiles, not tears.” This quote reminds us that life is a matter of perspective.

Either you complain because you’re too old to start anew or rejoice because you’re wise enough to make better life decisions.

3) Let others help you

Do not refuse help even if you are extraordinarily independent. Sure, being able to handle things on your own is impressive and sexy, but it casts a sinister shadow—the fear of being needy and asking for help only to be rejected.

Sometimes, asking for help is rarely a sign of weakness. Let your friends and relatives help you with a lending hand. Sometimes it’s all you need to get a jumpstart on your journey.

4) Seek what you are passionate about

Let’s face it — we’re more than halfway through our lives, and we can’t always control time to our advantage. If you could do one thing to reinvent your life, we highly recommend focusing on your passion.

Let’s face it — we’re more than halfway through our lives, and we can’t always control time to our advantage. If you could do one thing to reinvent your life, We would highly recommend focusing on your passion.

Find yourself a job that makes you excited to go to work. Start honing your hobbies. Figure out the things you love to talk and learn about.

Once you find your craft, hone it. If it’s really something you love, practicing should be fulfilling and enjoyable.

5) Stay committed, brave, and patient

You don’t want to leave this world with regret, do you?

Reinventing your life is not for the faint of heart. It’s an evolving state that takes a lot of hard work and dedication.

It also doesn’t happen overnight, but recognizing this as a vital part of the process will help minimize the stress and anxiety you’re going through.

Getting to the finish line

Some people have already hit it big at 30 years old.

Some are still struggling at 40 years old.

While some are losing everything at 50.

When you feel like you’re lagging behind the world, keep in mind that everyone moves at their own pace.

Starting over at 50 will probably be the riskiest thing you can do in your entire life. You can be left with nothing except hope and five decades’ worth of life experience.

But it gives you the luxury to set the pace for yourself — set your goals, motivations, and actions you’ll take to get there. It doesn’t matter if you are moving slow. As long as you’re not losing your focus, regardless of your speed, you’ll certainly get there.

With the proper mindset, the guidance of the people who love you, and adequate knowledge, midlife restart can be the greatest thing that you can accomplish in life.

We hope you have found our tips to be helpful or thought-provoking, at the very least.

Keep in mind that you only have one life. If you’re tired of it, then face your demons, muster your strength, visualize your end goal, and manifest it into your reality.

Then make it happen.

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Written by Tina Fey

I've ridden the rails, gone off track and lost my train of thought. I'm writing for Ideapod to try and find it again. Hope you enjoy the journey with me.

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