Living Your Best Life After 50 All-in-One For Dummies
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Take this opportunity to explore new opportunities and make the most of the decades ahead. Keep your finances, your living arrangements, and, most importantly, your health in peak performance.

To get started, you may be interested in finding a new job, getting a handle on your finances, and trying your hand at yoga.

Pursuing your passion in a job after age 50

“Pursue your passion” is the kind of advice you might receive from friends or relatives who either never pursued their passion or knew from the day they were born what they wanted to do. It sounds like great advice until you pause to think about it and realize that you have no idea what your passion is or how to begin to get from point A to point B. Here are some suggestions to ease you into those first steps:

  • Find a place to start. You don’t need a precise definition before you get going. Start by making a list of what you want in the next phase of your career. Don’t look for a perfect path or ideal starting point.
  • Get things moving by taking small steps. Get moving in the general direction of where you want to go. One small step may be contacting someone who works in a field that appeals to you to discuss possibilities.
  • Silence your inner enemy. If you have a negative refrain that goes through your head and sabotages your efforts to make a change, such as “I’m too old to do that,” make note of it. Write that thought down in a notebook and reframe it with a positive thought, such as, “I have vast experience and these specific skills, and I’m going to use them in a new career.” You need to get rid of that old blocking message to move forward with your dreams.
  • Ask the basic questions. Does your second act fit your lifestyle? Can you afford it? What does your partner think? Ask yourself how a certain career will work with your social life, your spending habits, and your family situation. It will help you to dig deeper and get a clearer picture of what you truly want in your life and your options to get there.
  • Keep a journal. Journaling is a great way to map your new career direction. Make lists: the best times in your life, the things you really like, the experiences you’ve enjoyed, what you’ve excelled at, the best moments in your current career. These lists can help you home in on your passion and visualize yourself harnessing it to pursue something new and exciting.
  • Get a business card. Want to be an artist but still working as a lawyer? Get an artist’s business card. As soon as you have a card, it makes the career real. You can get your second‐act card long before you finish your first act. Printing your new information on a card can be transformative.
  • Have a mental picture of where you want to go. Tape a photograph to your office wall of what your new career might look like. Or create a collage. Journal about your goals.
  • Be practical. You may need to upgrade your skills and education, but take one class at a time. You can add more classes as your direction and motivation become clear.
  • Get your life in order. Get physically and financially fit. Change is stressful. When you’re physically fit, you have more energy. Less debt gives you more choices. With your finances in order, you have more options. You can be more nimble.

Managing Your Money at Age 50 and Beyond

Spending money is much more fun than cutting expenses, but debt is a dream killer. It drives people to make choices out of desperation that often limit their opportunities to achieve future wealth. If you’ve never had to concern yourself with finances in the past, focus first on these fundamentals:

  • Chart a budget. Write down your income, what you owe, and what you have socked away. Look at what you’re spending every day, every month, and every year. This will help you find ways to pare back your spending. Begin by keeping track of how much you spend each day and on what. (Pay in cash or put everything on a credit or debit card, as long as that doesn’t lead to increased spending.) Then, on a monthly basis, study your credit card, bank statements, and log of cash payments to see where your money is going and what can be trimmed back or eliminated. Do you dine out too often? Are you traveling too much? Do you spend a lot on streaming subscriptions or clothes?
  • Track your finances on a website or in an app. To find one search “track finances app” or “budget app.” These sites are designed to help you streamline your bill paying and dissect your monthly spending.
  • Increase your savings. If you’re unemployed, increasing your savings probably is not an option, but if you’re still working and planning ahead for a career change or business startup, grow your nest egg. A savings cushion of six months to a year of living expenses will stave off dipping into your retirement savings or taking on debt. (Aim for a year’s worth of expenses, if you can swing it.)
  • Stay liquid. Emergency funds typically belong in bank accounts or money market funds that don’t fluctuate in value and are easily accessible by check, ATM, or teller window. Also consider putting some of your emergency cash in bank CDs with maturity dates of six months or less so you can eke out a little more interest than from a savings account. You generally find the highest rates at online banks and credit unions.
  • Review your credit report and score. Get a free annual report at, and check for errors. Your credit score is important for two reasons:
    • With a higher score, you can borrow more money at lower interest rates, which gives you more choices. Good credit can provide the funds you need to start a business or pay bills as you transition to contract work.
    • Many employers are now checking credit scores prior to hiring. (They must ask your permission to do so.)
  • If your credit score is lower than 700, work toward improving it. Pay all bills on time, and don’t open new accounts, transfer balances, close accounts, or cancel credit cards, all of which show up on your credit report and negatively affect your credit score.
  • Consolidate debt. If you have several sources of debt, you may be able to consolidate loans and credit card balances into a single loan with a lower overall interest rate.
  • Reduce or eliminate debt. Pay down credit card balances and refinance your mortgage at a lower rate, if possible. Consider downsizing your home, depending on where you live and the real estate market. If you have enough equity built up in your current home, you may be able to sell it and pay cash for a more affordable home, eliminating your mortgage.If you’ve experienced a financial setback, such as unemployment, contact your creditors and try to negotiate payment options. Banks are often willing to work out arrangements with people who are responsible enough to call them and make a sincere effort to work out a solution.
  • Consult with a fee‐only financial planner. Look for experienced, credentialed advisors. As a rule, an advisor should have the Certified Financial Planner designation, awarded by the nonprofit Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards. These national groups of financial planners offer searchable databases with contact information: the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards (, Financial Planning Association (, Garrett Planning Network (, and National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (
  • Take a personal finance course or read a book. Many community colleges offer personal finance courses.

Checking out the benefits of yoga after 50

Yoga can be a great practice for anyone, offering you a multitude of benefits — if you practice the type of yoga that’s right for your body. And what’s right for your body at age 20-something is probably very different from what is right at 50-something. At age 50 and over, yoga may help in these essential ways:

  • Keeps muscles, bones, and joints from losing density, length, and flexibility
  • Sustains mobility with greater ease of movement
  • Protects against falling down and incurring injuries
  • Guards against skin becoming thinner, looser, and more easily damaged
  • May help you recover from some injuries faster

The ability of yoga to reduce stress is widely known, and it may, in fact, be your No. 1 reason for beginning a new routine or wanting to continue your existing practice. The benefits of stress reduction can include

  • Lower blood pressure and heart rate
  • A decrease in muscle tension
  • Better sleep (including the ability to fall asleep)
  • Prevention or management of certain medical conditions that may be related to stress (including asthma, obesity, diabetes, migraines, certain gastrointestinal issues — even Alzheimer’s disease)
  • Possibly slow down the aging process

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AARP is the largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization in the United States dedicated to empowering people as they age. The Experts at Dummies are smart, friendly people who make learning easy by taking a not-so-serious approach to serious stuff.

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