The reality is that I AM in my 50's, as are many of my friends. I am noticing a trend and some of us are actually having more fun than ever:
- The Manufacturing Company Owner who sold the company, sort-of still works on commission, but on her own schedule and is basically retired. She doesn't want to "do" anything - is happy to keep the house, visit with friends and pursue hobbies.
- The Charter School owner who has also sold the company, kept some real estate interests but is avidly involved in Spiritual pursuits, writing a book with her husband and a lot of other stuff I don't really understand - but she's enjoying life!
- The Banker who spent 30+ years in Commercial Lending who can now work part-time as a VP for a much smaller bank, and has time to spend on non-profit boards to share some of what she's learned, take care of aging parents (not so much fun), and spend time with grandchildren (FUN!).
- The ex-Automotive Company Employee who jumped out of the cubicle and into the massage/health/wellness business, trying a lot of different things until she decides on a clear direction.
- And then there's me: sold the promotional marketing company so I'm no longer calling on major corporations. Now I can finally spent time writing (blog posts, social media posts, website copy, eNewsletters for myself and others, etc.). I'm in a position to help small-medium-size businesses, take projects that I like, work with people that I like, and still get my "business challenge" fix serving on non-profit boards.
The common denominator is not just that we're old, that our kids are off the payroll or that we've got a lot of room in our homes for offices: the key is MONEY. You need to save your money while you're making it (or sell your company for a lot more than I did...or send your kids to Community College instead of expensive private schools...but I digress). Only when you've got money in the bank or are willing to drastically simplify your lifestyle (or had the forethought to earn passive income from other investments) can you afford to do something that you love that may not pay as well. If you are lucky enough to do something you love in your next career that DOES make a ton of money - bravo for you!
There's another phenomenon among 50-something women: higher divorce rates. As kids are grown and living elsewhere, women are re-examining their lives and in increasing numbers, shedding those guys that won't get off the couch (you know who you are!) The divorce rate is also rising as the economy improves and people can afford divorce again (one more reason to save your money, perhaps in a secret bank account somewhere....)
I'm tired of the Reinvention word, but that's exactly what it is. This is a time where we can look at our lives, evaluate what we have (or haven't) accomplished and set new goals while we still have productive years left.
Finally: eat better and reduce stress where ever you can so that you don't have to spend all that money you saved on health care or nursing homes. Have more fun!