Updated: Jul 15, 2020
Have you recently turned 50 and are wondering how life will change? Having reached half a century on this planet is both FASCINATING and INTIMIDATING with the thought of what lies ahead. It’s not uncommon to wonder if your thoughts, concerns and curiosities about your future align with what other women in your age group are thinking.
As women reach their fifties, they are concerned about their health, families, finances, relationships, professional success, and more. Across diverse backgrounds, we found that the main concerns are similar. But the key message here is that whatever your concerns may be, remember that this could be a beautiful phase of your life.
If you are curious to know if your thoughts and concerns are similar to other women in your age group, here is a peak into what is on the minds of other ladies turning 50, 60 and older!
10 questions that women over 50 ask. Here we go!
How is my health going to be affected?
More than 90% of older adults have some kind of chronic disease, while about 80% have more than one. The probability is that you will have one sooner or later. The common health problems that older adults experience include high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, obesity, osteoarthritis, hearing loss, osteoporosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), bladder problems, vision problems, cancer, back pain, depression, and dementia.
You do have a degree of control when it comes to SOME of the medical issues you might confront with age. Some ways to curtail the effects include eating a healthy diet, exercising, de-stressing and doing things that make you happy.
How will my sexual needs change?
As you move through your 50s, a decline in the estrogen and progesterone levels in your body may lead to lower sex drive. However, this change doesn’t necessarily mean that you won’t be interested in sex anymore. In fact, these hormonal drops are less likely to lower your sex drive than bad habits like having a sedentary lifestyle and smoking. The great news is that sex after 50 can even be better than it was for you during your child-bearing years. Why, you ask? Well, for one, you have fewer distractions and more time. You are also not tired due to daily childcare issues like in the previous decades. When it comes to issues like vaginal dryness that becomes more common as your estrogen levels decline, you can always use lubricants, and prescription estrogen tablets and creams. If medical challenges are more serious and holding you back from an fulfilled sex life, Physical Changes After 50 provides advice on available options to combat these challenges.
How should I deal with menopause?
Hello50 has highlighted Menopause since we launched our site. Not only is it a top 10 topic of questions on the minds of women, it also was a hot topic of interest in our original Hello50 survey! (Not surprising, of course) Menopause can be a tricky phase, and its symptoms can last for up to 7.4 years. Majority of the women reach menopause around the age of 51, and research suggests that up to 65% of women say that they are not prepared for their menopause. The sure-fire way to deal with menopause is to take care of your health and reach out to a health professional to seek advice or help when you need it. Apart from that, you can use exercise, supplements, and herbal remedies like CBD oil. You can also consume foods from the soy group because they contain a substance known as isoflavones, which is known to reduce menstrual symptoms like hot flashes. Check out What You Need to Know About Menopause for additional great tips!
How can I keep looking young?
As you age, changes in your skin’s elastin and collagen occur, which can lead to a loss of fat, bone, and muscle – in turn, causing wrinkles and fine lines. During your 50s, you may also notice skin tags and age spots. There are several things that you can do to have younger-looking and fresh skin. Maintain a balanced diet and ensure that you stay hydrated. Apart from that, you may use remedies for wrinkles and fine lines such as prescription retinol products like Renova or Retin-A. Creams like these speed cell turnover, repairing damaged skin. Also, choose skin products containing glycolic acid and antioxidants because these substances enhance collagen production and promote skin thickening. For age spots, you may try a dermatologist-prescribed hydroquinone product. Skin tags may be removed by a dermatologist through snipping, freezing, or cauterizing. If you develop telangiectasias (dilated superficial blood vessels) on your chin, nose, cheeks, or legs, you can get a doctor to zap them with the help of a laser.
To keep your skin looking young, you can also try:
Plasma skin resurfacing
Radio-frequency-emitting devices for skin tightening
Injectable fillers like Juvéderm, Restylane, and Radiesse for reducing wrinkles
What will happen to my professional journey?
You have a lot more control over your career path after 50 thank you might think. You bring a diverse set of skills to the workplace and you might even have more energy, time and as well as fewer distractions than when you were younger if you were raising a family. People in this age group have comparatively lower levels of unemployment overall, but they are also more likely to experience longer durations of unemployment after losing a job. Still, older job seekers may find it useful to look for a job that can utilize skills that they have already mastered in their careers. This might be a good time in your life to look at your skills, what you love to do and work as an independent consultant, start a business or dive into an alternative line of business where you currently work. Although older, you bring your expertise, level of commitment and flexibility to any new endeavor.
What are some things that I should be doing now?
Your 50s are a great time to spend more on spoiling yourself and doing exactly what you want to do. If you don’t get enough time with loved ones, nothing should get in the way of being with them, in person or on zoom. Give time to your hobbies, or develop new ones. Plan for your retirement and keep up with the current trends in fashion, entertainment, music, and food. Take care of your health and appearance. Travel, join a support group, learn something new every day. Take a wine tasting class, hot yoga class or that computer class you always thought about taking. Just because many of you are home because of COVID, nothing is stopping you from having these learning experiences online. Many vineyards are offering online tours as are museums, all over the world. Reach out to a high school friend you haven’t spoken to in years. If you and a family member or friend had a falling out, maybe it is a good time to make amends, as long as it would not be toxic for you.
Do what makes you happy and seize every single day. If you are looking for love, there are so many great online dating sites for older people. It’s never too late to be happy. Above all, embrace your age. Live each day like it is an adventure while remembering to take it easy as well. Accept who you are, who you used to be, and who you can still become. Researchers have found that those who feel younger than their chronological age are typically more psychologically resilient and healthy as compared to those who feel older. Remember, age is just used for comparison and doesn’t have to define what you do. You are as old as you feel. If you think and feel young, you will stay that way!
What are the things I should be avoiding?
As we approach our 50’s, 60’s and beyond, we want to find a place of inner peace and happiness and shake off fear, doubt and stress. That might sound like a difficult task but sounds nearly impossible but we can truly manage SOME of the negativity that impacts our thoughts if it is interfering with our happiness. Of course you want to seek professional help if your fear and stress is not tenable. Sometimes avoiding certain triggers, toxic people, or environments that are not healthy for you will make a huge difference in your life. Make a list of what takes you to your happy place and those people, places, and things should surround you. You also want to list what brings you stress, unhappiness, fear and doubt. It is like the answers to a test - you need to work at purging those things from your life. Those things will only age you and prohibit you from living your best life.
How can I be financially secure?
The average age for retirement in the USA is 62 years old. Whether you are already retired or if you are planning on retiring, you should take the appropriate steps to know how much you need for retirement, how to get there and how to eliminate unnecessary expenses. If you are over 50, you can maximize the salary deferral 401(K) contribution of $26,000. You might also want to max out the allowable contribution limits which increased by $1,000 in 2020 to $63,500 if you are over 50. According to AARP, one rule of thumb is that you will need 70% to 80% of your pre-retirement income when you retire. Take the look at this retirement calculator to help determine your finances going forward. This is based on the fact that your expenses will be lower. Student loan payments and college tuitions are done, maybe you have downsized your mortgage and you now have a reduced car insurance bill every month. You want to meet with your financial advisor, get a plan in place and budget. It might seem overwhelming but if you know what you need to live a comfortable life after retirement and you have a path to get there, you will actually minimize your level of stress.
How can I keep stress at bay?
There are several ways to manage stress, which is crucial if you want to have a healthy mind and body. Stress can raise your blood pressure, increase your belly fat, cause anxiety and overall, lessen your mental and physical well being. Some of the best ways to decrease stress include going to a spa, dancing, painting, getting a massage done, watching a movie with friends or family, reading, playing with your pet, gardening, cooking, meditating, doing yoga, smiling and laughing as well as getting plenty of sleep. If your stress levels are raised to unhealthy levels, you will not attain the same level of happiness as when your levels are under control.
Do I still time to chase my dreams?
Yes, of course you do! It’s never too late to learn anything or to do what you always wanted to do in life. Wanted to pursue further education? Research online and in person options and Do it. Want to start a business and do what you love? Go for it! Do you have an interest in serving your community? Now is the time to serve. When it comes to going after dreams:
List your goal
Chart a plan to reach your goal
Figure out how much time you need to reach your goal
Finally, determine how you will know you are successful in reaching your goals
Take some time to reevaluate your life and goals, and start working on fulfilling your dreams, whatever they may be. You may be afraid that it might be too late. The reality is that at this point in life, you have all you need - seasoned skills, years of experience, time to invest in yourself and access to the right people and tools through a strong network. There’s nothing that you can’t do if you set your mind to it. So, don’t hold back, and say goodbye to regrets!
Of course women always have their children, parents, family and good friends in their thoughts. However, when it comes to taking inventory of your life, these are the questions on the mind of women over 50 and 60. Your 50s are a blessing, and there’s so much that you can do to live the life that you want. Make a list of how you want to live these next years and what you want out of them then make a life plan!