Turning 50? Read This!

Who said 50 is old? Probably some 18-year-old who has little idea of how fulfilling, peaceful and wonderful life can be after all the turmoil of younger age is over.  Below are some points to ponder if you have been thinking about your big birthday coming up. Turning 50 can be fun!

Life expectancy rise in Canada

In Canada, life expectancy has moved up by 24.6 years in 1921 to 81.7 years in 2011. Most of this move occurred before 1951 and is due to reduced death rates of ages-0-4 (the improvements in infant care and vaccinations). However, the second group that gained the most was ages 5-74 and is due to reductions in deaths from circulatory system diseases, such as heart disease.  If we look at the life expectancy in 1980 it was 75.4 years and in 2013 it was 81.9 years.  That is 5 years more to see the sunrise and hang out with the grandkids.

Switching Jobs and Turning 50?

Yes, it is happening! According to a University of Michigan Study “about 40% of Americans who were still working when they turned 62 had moved to a new occupation sometime after age 55. There are lower earnings associated with the switch.  Yet according to the researchers it “may reflect strategic decisions on the part of workers who may be willing to trade earnings for work hours flexibility or part-time work.” In other words, it may be the “work less and enjoy life more” attitude that drives people over 50 to have a real work-life balance!

In Canada, a 2012 TD Economics Observation reports that since the jobs recovery began in mid-2009, individuals aged 60 and over have accounted for about one-third of all net new job gains — a striking figure considering they represented just 8% of the workforce.

In fact, the TD study shows that this trend applies not only to people in the 60-65 age range but also to those over 70. Employment for these individuals has surged by 37% in the same period.

Starting your own business?

Many boomers are also leveraging their skills and experience to start their own businesses. A 2012 CIBC study found that individuals 50+ made up the fastest growing age group for start-ups in Canada, accounting for approximately 30% of the total number of start-ups in the country. Since 1990, the rate of entrepreneurs 50+ more than doubled, and the trend continues to rise.

For the USA, The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation reports that people ages 55 to 64 now represent 29% of America’s entrepreneurs.

Shifting attitudes towards age

Many people, especially women, are changing their attitude towards aging. What was considered middle age 20 years ago no longer feels right.  Women have children at and after age 40, and the idea of keeping youthful attitudes sticks. Women over 50 feel younger and often times share the same taste in clothes as teenagers. Tight jeans and converse sneakers are to name just a couple of multigenerational pieces. Julia Roberts was named the World’s Most Beautiful Woman in 2017 by People’s magazine, 26 years after she first made the list.

Gina Pell coined a term “perennial”. She defined it as “ever-blooming, curious people of ALL ages who know what’s happening in the world, stay current with technology and have friends of all ages. Perennials have always understood that age is not a limiting factor.” We all have friends that are perennials. They are energetic, always ready to lend a hand and are optimistic and enthusiastic, without fear to voice their opinions. In other words, 30, 40, 50 or 65 – it is the attitude and curiosity that make the difference. Long gone are the days of river cruises and Rotary clubs. Women over 40 today take on tasks that are engaging, challenging and exciting, much like they did when they were in their 20-ies, but with a lot more experience and relationships to lean on.

How do you view yourself in years? Let us know, we would love to hear from you.



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