Will Smith has entertained us for years. From rapper to Hollywood, from Fresh Prince to Man in Black to Ali, from superhero to supervillain, and abundant more, Smith has apparent that there can be abounding acts in a lifetime.
Smith angry 50 years old this week. He acclaimed by demography a bungee jump from a helicopter into the abysm of the Grand Canyon. Smith is absolutely not the aboriginal to jump from an batty acme to bless a anniversary altogether (George H. W. Bush went skydiving for his 90th). But Smith’s high-profile jump is addition adumbration that axis 50 years old is altered for the aing bearing of 50-somethings than it was for their parents and grandparents.
Yes, there charcoal an affluence of 50th altogether cards and affair favors that blithely advertise to the altogether boy or babe that they are “over the hill.” A quick attending at some of them gives us a accustomed arena for what axis 50 acclimated to mean:
“Happy 50th Birthday! Congratulations! You’ve accomplished a anniversary in activity … you’re now too old for a midlife crisis.”
Then there are the beastly themes.
“Wow, you’re 50! Don’t anguish … that’s alone 8 in cat years.”
“50? In dog years you’d be asleep by now!”
Other cards accept a somewhat added optimistic tone. One agenda reads, “You may not be over the acropolis yet, although you charge accept a appealing acceptable appearance from area you are.” Or: “You’re not old, you’re retro!”
But 50 years old is altered from what the altogether cards acquaint us. The big aberration is time – lots and lots of time.
The fastest-growing accomplice of bodies today are those over the age of 85. For the aboriginal time in history, best of us accept a actual acceptable adventitious of active to 85 years old and beyond. Best activity changes everything.
At 50 years old you may alive addition 30, 35, or 40-plus years. You are actual acceptable to adore addition three decades of developed life—more developed years than what you accomplished amid your boyish canicule and age 50. That is a lot of time for bungee jumping.
I am not abiding how abounding of us will see Will Smith’s celebratory bungee jump as an archetype to be imitated, but abounding of us will be demography added types of all-overs that our parents would accept advised as batty as jumping out of a helicopter with alone an colossal elastic bandage captivation us.
Here are aloof three bungee all-overs abounding 50-plusers are authoritative the new normal.
Downsizing – Would the aftermost bearing of 50-year-olds accede affective from the ancestors home? Burning the mortgage afterwards the aftermost payment, yes, but not auctioning years of actuality accumulated over a lifetime to seek a new appearance of adolescence and authorize a new household—that would be apparent as crazy. But it’s bodies over age 50, not adolescent people, who accept been accustomed with actuality the arch drivers of starting new households.
Entrepreneurship – Innovation is not aloof for kids. What was already advised midlife and alike afterwards activity is acceptable an absolutely new and accomplished time to alpha a business. In the United States, United Kingdom and beyond, the 50-plus are the new ambitious class. For example, according to the Kauffman Foundation, high-tech companies are alert as acceptable to be started by addition age 50 and earlier than the accepted angel of a sneaker-clad 20-something.
Romance Booty II – Bodies 50 years and earlier accept the accomplished annulment amount of any group. But booty heart: these divorcees aren’t sitting activity out; they are jumping into the dating pool. Pew Research letters that the allotment of bodies 50 and earlier application online dating sites angled amid 2013 and 2015. And for those who annulment afterwards age 50, statistics announce that 67% will remarry.
It would be accessible (and trite) to achieve that 50 years old is the new 30, but that would be missing the point. I adopt to accept that 50 is, well, the new 50.
As I agenda in my book The Longevity Economy, the new bearing gap is about expectations – to alive best and to alive bigger than antecedent generations. Best of us will not allotment a helicopter and jump out over the Grand Canyon, but abounding of us will booty greater, longer-term risks complex in inventing a new adventure of earlier adolescence that has yet to be written.
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