Social Question

Shippy's avatar

How do you see turning 50? Or if you have how is it?

Asked by Shippy (9857 points ) April 5th, 2012

I am turning 50 soon. The other day I woke up in bed with a panic attack. I realized now I am officially “aged” from herein on all I have to look forward to is, growing older. I saw passageways of doors closing, opportunities vanishing and unrequited dreams of study disappear into thin air.
I had so many plans and life got in the way, but also life issues. It seem then I will never conclude my studies, it is too late, I will not do lots of things I always felt there was time for. I also don’t look like 50 by any stretch of the imagination so often I am misunderstood, as I have settled into the “grumpy old woman” syndrome quite well! People just call me grumpy instead! With aging comes gifts yes, like saying no because I just don’t want to. But for me having lost everything through illness it’s a bit harder as I have to start all over again. Do I have time? Is turning 50 like this? A huge thoughtful event filled with fears and also filled with new knowledge. How do feel about turning 50? Is it true 50 is the new 40?

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72 Answers

downtide's avatar

I will be 50 in 5 years and I see it exactly the same as you do.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

I’ll be 50 next year. In many ways, I think of myself as only just getting started with life.

I was a late bloomer. Then, I drank away 15 or 16 years. Then I spent a good portion of the last 12 years making up for lost time by living life fully.

I want to live life fully for many more years to come, and maybe I will. Only time will tell.

I try not to think about the future too much or become maudlin over the past either. I try to live in today. I have a beautiful roof over my head. I have food in the cupboard. Clean water comes right out of my faucet. I have books to read to keep me busy. I have so much to be grateful for.

anartist's avatar

50 is the new 30. With longer healthier lives, the world is still wide open.
At 50 we can still be sexy, start new careers, anything—if we wish to.

I know someone in his 60s who just completed college and graduate school and is beginning a new career as a social worker. His earlier life had been totally different and he had been to busy to squeeze in any schooling.

Passed it. Forgot about it.

Coloma's avatar

40 kicked my ass, 50 was hardly acknowledged. lol
Now I am 52…time warp! I’m comfortable getting older, I’ve had a good run, and I’ve certainly gained a boatload of wisdom, now, all I want is peace and low stress work and to keep toxic people out of my life. Simple desires, but well earned. ;-)

jazmina88's avatar

I turned 50 in November and I feel old as hell.

I too want the negativity gone. peace and zen is the goal.

Coloma's avatar

I’d also say that while attitude is everything and we CAN do and achieve whatever we want, if we really want whatever it is, and it is true that people are living longer and healthier lives I cannot stand these cutesy little sayings that 40 is the new 20 and 50 is the new 30 and 90 is the new 50. WTF? lol
Bah…no, 50 is 50 and I don’t like feeling as if I have to keep being some sort of super person, I don’t want to be moving til I drop, I want the rocking chair on the porch without guilt that I am too “young” to rock. lol

Shippy's avatar

@jazmina88 It could be that at any age we feel negative I am just thinking now. Some feel over the hill at 30 with so much misplaced value on youth. But I hear you, there are days I feel as old as hell!

WestRiverrat's avatar

SSDD

No different than turning 40

Shippy's avatar

@Coloma I think that catch phrase applies more to opportunities that do exist, for us, as if we were ten years younger. That maybe life has changed and sees values in older people still. That we are judged less, I remember when I was younger, if you were 40 you were an old fart. However if 40 is the new 30 in the perspective of people the old fart label falls away. I also would not forfeit my years, they are precious and I don’t mind 50 as an age or number it is just it could spell aging sicknesses, and all those horrible things that do come with aging. Plus you realize life is short.

Coloma's avatar

@Shippy True. I’m a zippy, overall positive personality and I know I am younger for my age than my mother was, but these sayings feel like pressure to me in a sense. I’m ready to relax and I don’t care if I don’t run a marathon at 80 or Kayak across the Bering Straight or still look like a 30 year old. No more pressure! lol

SmashTheState's avatar

When I hit 40, it was like the warranty ran out on my body. Everything started to break. I used to be able to go three days without sleep, go toe to toe with a riot cop, and be up the next day and ready to fight, so when I discovered that the bruises and minor broken bones took weeks instead of days to heal and that I’d start dragging my ass after a single sleepless night, I felt like I was being betrayed by my own body.

I remember I was sitting in a meeting with some other union organizers as we were working on tactics for an upcoming picket, and I suggested some direct confrontations with the riot police, offering to run the action myself. One of the other organizers gave me a sidewise look and said, “You’re a senior organizer, you can’t be out on the front lines fighting with cops.”

At the time I was highly offended. What I heard was, “You’re too old, fat, and weak to be of any use to the cause, gramps.” It took me a number of years to understand what he was actually saying, that almost anyone can swing a stick at a riot cop, but that there are so few people with decades of experience organizing resistance on the left that there is no real institutional memory, and that I have a teaching responsibility beyond educating some meathead cop with a knuckle massage.

As for getting old itself, there is only one thing I have ever found which is even minor recompense for the heartbreak of watching my body grow weaker: with every passing day, I get farther and farther from the living Hell which was highschool. I always make sure to tell kids that when their elders tell them their teens are “the best years of their lives,” that they’re lying sacks of shit; survive highschool, and life can only get better, because it can’t get worse.

creative1's avatar

People continue to live and it never too late to do anything especially learning… You are never too old to go back to school and finish or start a degree. Go for it no matter what your age. I would never put limitations on myself like that. Your age is only a number and if you keep being stuck on this age thing and think life ends at 50 you might as well hop in the grave now because though your alive your just waiting to die.

No one knows when they will die ao live lfe to the fullest no matter what number you are, just think of the kids who die young. Do you think they would change the learning and fun just because they were going to die before they grew up.

Bellatrix's avatar

It is only too late if you let it be too late. I have people in nursing homes studying with me. I met a lady a year or so ago who was in her 60s but wanted to study medicine. Your age is just a number. A number can only stop you if you let it. If you want to study, study! If you want to trek across the Himalayas, trek across the Himalayas. If you want romance, go and get yourself some romance. Fifty is nothing! Sure you might ache a bit more and things don’t work as fluidly as they did when you were younger, but so what. Fifty is hardly old. If you take care of yourself you could have decades of life left. Or you can sit yourself down in a chair and watch the world pass by your window. Up to you really.

rooeytoo's avatar

From my perspective at 67, 50 is not much more than a kid who now knows a thing or two, hehehe. Keep your body in shape, feed it good stuff, keep it exercised, don’t let it get overweight, do the same with your head and you will be fine!

ccrow's avatar

I’m 54 and I don’t feel old… (my knees do, though, ungrateful things!) Yeah, I have come to realize that there are some things I most likely will never do at this point; but really, trite as it is, all we have is today. None of us knows what the future holds. I regret time lost to depression and alcohol, but I can’t dwell on it… I’m looking forward and trying to be kind to my body and soul.

Trillian's avatar

I turned 50 last August, and none of that negative stuff occurred to me. I finished my degree (finally) that same month and have since started a new job while still looking for a different career. I lived my life somewhat backwards, raising three kids and doing things because I had to. Now I’m living for myself and doing what I want. People change careers all the time in our society, and I don’t feel like it’s any kind of a negative statement on the individual. Companies close taking the work with them, new ones open. Meh.
I’m thinking about going back for a Masters.

janbb's avatar

It’s better than turning 60 but both are better than the alternative.

Sunny2's avatar

I never paid much attention to it. I was too busily occupied. You really are as old or young as you want to be, as long as you’re healthy. Aye. There’s the rub.

filmfann's avatar

After my Mom hit 50, she traveled to Turkey, Italy, Scotland, China, Russia, East Germany, Egypt, Israel, Ireland, France, and a lot of Africa. Life did not end with turning 50.
I turned 50 several years ago, and while I haven’t toured like my Mom, I am enjoying grandchildren, a new second home, and learning a lot of the things I never had time for earlier.
There are bad things, and adjustments you have to make, for sure. Growing old isn’t for wimps.
But it beats the alternative.

Judi's avatar

I just turned 51 and it is shaping up to be one of my best decades ever. You can’t always choose your circumstances, but you can choose your attitude towards them.

CWOTUS's avatar

Look at it this way: It’s only the 11th anniversary of your 39th birthday. What’s the big deal?

I’ll be celebrating my 20th this year.

Charles's avatar

Turning 50 is the transition from “the old age of youth” to “the youth of old age”.

I turned 50 last July. I think my life is less stressful now (even with four young kids) than it was when I was 14 (junior high stresses), high school (social stresses), college (academic stresses).

john65pennington's avatar

50 was not a bad year for me at all. I felt great then and still do, now. Age is only a state of mind.

Your mind tells your body what to do and how to act. Me, I have never really grown up and it has kept my youth shining bright.

Your outlook on life is also the key. If you have negative thoughts, you will be a negative person.

Remember, it takes twice as many facial muscles to frown as it does to smile.

So, keep a smile on your face and be thankful you are still alive.

gailcalled's avatar

My mother had a terrific run until she hit 92 and then had a droopy four years, due primarily to severe memory loss (senile dementia) and the death of her boyfriend.

Moping around moaning about the inexorable and unstoppable march of time does nothing except program you to worry about unnecessary things.

When I think about the time I wasted in HS obsessing about issues that I can no longer even remember without falling on the floor laughing, I vow to never waste another second on fretting. It’s easy.

Coloma's avatar

I certainly agree with the “no worries, be happy” mantra. I’ll never stop learning, I love to travel, but I am not obsessed with my waning youth. Acceptance and attitude is what it’s all about. Well, maybe the hokey pokey too. ;-)

Judi's avatar

Mother Teresa left the safety of the convent at 38 and look at all that she did AFTER 50!!!
There’s still time to change the world.

Bill1939's avatar

I became deeply depressed when I turned 49. Played Pink Floyd’s Time till the groves wore smooth: “And then one day you find ten years have got behind you. No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun.” ... “The time is gone, the song is over, Thought I’d something more to say.”

At age 72, it seems almost foolish. However I understand that when you realize the future you had imagined for much of your life was forever out of reach, the feelings that arise are something most people experience at least once in their lives. Humans like to delude themselves with the notion that they have control over their lives, and when reality impinges upon their fantasy all of the stages of grief play out.

Coloma's avatar

@Bill1939 Welcome to fluther, yes, this is why we must “die before we die”, meaning, the sooner we let go of our egos fantasies the better it gets. Death of ego removes all the illusions and programming and sets us free to just be. ;-)

wundayatta's avatar

When I turned fifty, I finally had to accept that I was no longer in the first half of my life. Of course, a few years later, I have convinced myself that I can live to 120, so I can still be in the first half of my life.

I learned a number of new things after I turned fifty. I learned three new jumps in ice skating, and I learned how to do a gainer off the diving board. Of course, hitting my head on the diving board two years after that kind of put an end to doing gainers.

My knees hurt a lot. So does my shoulder. I need a root canal. My memory is for shit now in terms of remember the names of things.

But if I lose fifty pounds, I bet I’ll be a lot more spry than I am. Maybe my brain will be more alert, too. We may lose memory as we age, but we’re supposed to make up for it with wisdom. No one has accused me of wisdom lately, but it has happened in the past.

50 is just a number. There is no particular reason it should be any different from 49 or 51. Nature doesn’t count; only people do.

Health care is better now, and human bodies can last longer. We can still make the most of what we have, whatever we have. So do it!

zenvelo's avatar

My 50th year was awful: my work changed, my marriage ended. But the birthday itself was nothing, I felt fine and like I was still in my 30’s. And I was still able to attract younger women.

The hard birthday for me was 55. That put me in a new demographic on surveys,. took me out of range of a lot of women on dating sites, and I found myself invisible to women younger than 52 or so.

janbb's avatar

@zenvelo Interesting insight. I had the impression that guys into their 60s were available to women in their 30s and 40s and was envious of that.

Shippy's avatar

@janbb my thought also, but I have noticed more and more young men after me? That in itself is a question I’d like to ask, I dont understand it, I am hardly rich. Assuming the sugar mommy thingy.

Trillian's avatar

Sooooo, women above 52 are less desirable? Am I imagining a double standard here? I thought I heard someone older than 52 complaining that women younger than 52 are not longer available because he was OLDER than 52 as if women younger then 52 were more desirable then women OLDER than 52 to a man who is OLDER than 52 so why should age matter to women younger than 52 if he is OLDER than 52 while at the same time not even interested in women OLDER than 52…..
George Costanza has the perfect answer to this little bit of silliness

Coloma's avatar

I’ve had my fair share of young bucks show an interest, but I am not into the “cougar” thing, at all. I have a 24 yr. old daughter and would feel like a female pervert if I had a fling with a 20 -30 something younger guy. Really..this time of life now is ALL about being a genuine and authentic person and apprciating quality people on the level of plain human communion and not just sexuality.

This is my biggest complaint about a lot of men in my age bracket, still obsessed with sex, still wanting the arm candy, still on the prowl and while sex is great, it is sooo not the end all and be all of life. I’ve had plenty of great sex, I want GREAT company and GREAT character these days.

Shippy's avatar

@Trillian so true, I missed that, it’s odd but older men find older women and I am generalizing of course, not attractive, yet younger men find older women very attractive, I know as I have fleets of younger men after me. There is some sort of change going on that I have been unaware of in my dark hermit like state. But I also find older men more critical of womens bodies for example, but could hail back to the days when one had to have a wasp waist and small butt, which was popular then. In order to be attractive.

Coloma's avatar

@Shippy I agree. I’m a pretty woman but I am not killing myself to weigh 117 lbs. any more, I am NOT, ever, going for any cosmetic surgeries, face lifts, breast lifts, whatever. Take me as I am or don’t take me at all. ;-)

Shippy's avatar

@Coloma I find it interesting that older women are called preditors or cougars if they date younger men, yet older men just date younger women and expect it to be OK. So yes agree with second part of your answer, qaulity persons, of any age should be considered a possible partner. I think or hope agiesm is dying out.

gailcalled's avatar

edited by me

Shippy's avatar

@Coloma totally and maybe that is what is so sexy about , some, older women.

Shippy's avatar

@gailcalled thanks I have the worse spelling on earth.

CWOTUS's avatar

@janbb there’s a huge difference between “being available to” and “being interesting to” (or even, to use @zenvelo‘s apt phrase – which I’ve used myself – “being visible to”) younger women.

ucme's avatar

When I was a kid, the thought of ever being 50yrs old filled me with dread. So much so that I thought it better to be dead than have a wardrobe crammed with all things beige.
As I grow nearer to that particular milestone, my opinions have altered slightly, it’s just a number & fuck beige!!

ratboy's avatar

To me it was like being sentenced to death with nothing to see while I wait except for the gallows where I am to hang. But then I’ve always looked on the bright side.

gondwanalon's avatar

I turned 50 eleven years ago. It was no big deal because since my twenties I’ve made exercising part of my daily routine so I was physically fit, healthy as well as lucky.

However my luck ran short on the evening before I turned 50, I was in E.R. with heart arrhythmia which made my life hell for the next 9 years until I was finally cured of it on June 9, 2010. Nevertheless I tried to make the best of my situation by completed 23 full marathons, 14 triathlons and a hand full of half marathons in the last 11 years even with all of the heart arrhythmia (and the many harsh drugs that went with it). Now I’m feeling terrific and will be jogging the Boston Marathon in 2 weeks from now. (Also 3 other full marathons and 3 triathlons this year.)

We all want to be as healthy fit and active as possible as we reach old age. That does not come without effort on our part. We have to earn it with regular exercise (if capable), eat right and lay off the alcohol and other drugs. It takes dedicated hard work, but you can do it and it is well worth it.
Good luck and good health!

majorrich's avatar

Turning 50 was not a biggie for me, except that somehow I keep getting AARP mailings on a daily basis. Maybe the hair growing out of my ears is a bit of a bother. lol

Symbeline's avatar

I’ll get there in 20 years. I’m not really worried or scared, and a lot of the answers here are inspiring. I might not say that when I do hit 50, but so far, the only thing that bothers me about it is failing health, that prolly won’t get better the older I get. I’m not a leper here, but for someone my age, I should be in way better shape. Drinking, smoking. So it is something for me to think about now.
As far as the missed opportunities and things like that, well, I’ll only really have myself to blame then, if I fuck up.

woodcutter's avatar

Meh, it’s not as significant as it was 50 years ago.

Jeruba's avatar

When I turned fifty, a friend who was older by five years gave me a card on which she had written “Welcome to the confident fifties.” It made me feel a lot better.

So did this thought: we’re much younger than our parents were when they were our age.

Bellatrix's avatar

Again @Jeruba, so true.

Coloma's avatar

The confidence factor is so true, along with falling asleep 30 minutes into a movie, ditto for a couple of drinks and dinner. Forget even thinking about a movie. lol
I have to force myself to sit perfectly upright, if I lean on the pillows it’s all over. We do digress to infancy again, a baba and blankey and it’s all over. haha

9doomedtodie's avatar

I am 28 now. I will be 50 in 12 years, but I don’t even wish to. When I was living at my native place I was 20. We as a family used to live together. We used to pray God every day in the evening. Most of the people from my family used to gather and pray God. My beloved grandmother who lived her entire life with partially sighted eyes. She also used to join us praying God.

Later, I had to leave my native place since I was being recruited by a private company. I still remember the moment when my grandmother died. Well, I was not there when she left the world. That day was too bad. I was in the company doing my job that I never wished to, and one of my cousins called me and said, “Our grandmother passed away today”. That time, my cousin who was 12 years old and was able to understand the things. Actually, she met him early morning and promised to come for evening prayers, but she couldn’t. Having had lunch she went to take a nap. She may not even have known that she could not join them. That was her last nap. She liberated her soul in sleep. Pity!

Now, I think she was so lucky who died in such way. My life is a sad story. I am also a victim of depression. Don’t know what type of it is. The world is too bad, but we are not supposed to be, and of course, till the end. I have remembered this and I have to. I know I am digressing here.

Happy birthday!

rooeytoo's avatar

@doome – If I were you I would find a shrink and work on your attitude (and your math). It is a shame to go through life feeling as you say you do.

Symbeline's avatar

@rooeytoo Maybe they meant 38. Shit happens.

9doomedtodie's avatar

@rooeytoo :Umm, feeling sleepy. It was supposed to be 22. Mistakes happen!

Jeruba's avatar

As far as study is concerned, @Shippy, I often think of something I read in a “Dear Abby” column years ago. Actually I saw the columnist give the same advice a number of times.

Someone would write to ask whether, at her age (40, 50, 60, whatever), she should even think about trying to go back to school, saying something like “Abby, in four years I’ll be 62!” And Abby would always answer, “And how old will you be in four years if you don’t go?”

SmashTheState's avatar

@Jeruba You really think old people with minimal years left should be filling up limited spaces which could be used by young people with a whole lifetime ahead of them? Seems a little selfish to me.

rooeytoo's avatar

I don’t know what Jeruba will say but I will tell you how I see it. I don’t think it is my duty to avoid doing something I want to just because someone younger might want the same thing. I have worked for my entire life and paid my taxes. I am not in any way a drain on society. I have just as much right as anyone else to any educational opportunities that are available to me. Seems to me it would be selfish of someone young to say I shouldn’t do something because they want to do it themselves. Colleges/universities accept applicants who are most qualified, end of story!

Bellatrix's avatar

I have people of all ages in my classes and I have to say I think that diversity is important and valuable. Many people studying for degrees have already had years of hands-on experience in their field but for some reason want to get a paper qualification. It may be to progress in their work they are expected to have that formal qualification or they may hope to teach themselves at some point and for some, they just want to study.

I find mature aged students bring a wealth of first-hand, life experience to the learning environment. They are usually very motivated to learn and they are usually generous with their time and the information they share with their younger peers.

In addition, these days most people will not have one career throughout their lives. It is quite likely people will change career path two, three or even more times. They may be building on an existing career or changing direction entirely. The days when someone studied and stayed in one field for life are gone.

SmashTheState's avatar

I’m not saying that people past a certain age shouldn’t be allowed to get a formal education. I’m saying that, all things being equal, it seems unjust for an older person to take a up a spot which would otherwise be allocated to a younger person.

This is not just an academic (no pun intended) issue. The Baby Boomers are the most selfish, overentitled generation in all of history. When they wanted to drop acid and have fun, they used their numbers to lower the drinking age, make the hippy lifestyle socially acceptable, go on welfare, and kill the draft. Now that they’re reaching retirement age, they’ve slashed apart the social safety net they no longer need, and which their grandparents starved and fought for; raised the driving age; raised the drinking age; ruined our planet with SUVs and the I-got-mine suburban lifestyle; inflicted their tired, trite taste in music, art, literature, cinema, and television on every generation that followed; reinstituted “selective service” to make their children go and die in some foreign desert for cheaper prices at the pumps; and are currently sucking the last juices from the health care system and pension plans so as to leave absolutely nothing for their descendants. My own parents thought all this was hilarious, and told me as I grew up that I had better not rely on an inheritance because they plan to have fun with every last penny before they die – the quintessential Boomers.

The unemployment rate for youth is currently running something like 25–30% right now where I live, and I suspect it’s similar elsewhere. Even with a university education, it’s getting increasingly difficult for young people to get work doing anything but serving coffee to the moneyed Boomers. For an older person to rob a younger person of a chance at an education strikes me as being just one more way for the silverbacks to screw over their own progeny and feed, vampire-like, on the futures of their descendants.

Coloma's avatar

@SmashTheState

Everyone needs to survive and a 50 yr. old that needs to shift into another money making or career space has as much “right” as anyone, younger or even older. These “moneyed boomers” you speak of with such disgust, what..they don’t deserve to enjoy the fruits of their hard labor? People don’t become ” moneyed” without a lot of hard work. Few are handed life on a silver platter.

I agree with your parents, I’ve long joked that being of sound mind I plan on spending my money while I am still alive. Why should people work their ass off their entire life and not enjoy the fruits of their labor because they feel obligated to leave an inheritance to family? If one has something to leave fine, but to not live your own life in sacrifice to another is never a good idea. I have helped my daughter financially and very generously too, over the years and fortunetly she does not have a sense of entitlement and is very respectful of my financial situation.

Seems to me that you’re talking out of both sides of your mouth here, on the one hand you resent successful people, on the other you’d be more than happy to capitalize on their cash if it was given to you.
If you’re not living a life that you love, you have nobody to blame but yourself, and the “silverbacks” as you so disdainfully label mature humans are not to blame.

The planet was in trouble waaay before SUV’s and no, I do not drive an SUV in case you’re about to ass-ume anything about me and as far as the rest of your diatribe, really…“inflicting their tired, trite taste in music, art, literature, cinema and television on every generation that followed..” oh brother…dude, must suck to be you, so full of misplaced hatred and animosity and blame shifting. I can feel the spatter of your sour grape juice across the universe, whew…let me get a napkin to mop up the napalm of your projectile.

Get some help.

Shippy's avatar

@SmashTheState maybe make us into pies? so we can be useful? I would’t worry too much about us lot taking younger peoples jobs, they already have preference. Because we live much longer we need to earn longer, I promise you if I didn’t have to have a job (wasted funds on caring or two elderly parents in retirement) I would wander into the forest and live in a tree house.

Coloma's avatar

@Shippy Haha…Silverback pie…nice to know us f——ked up boomers that have ruined the planet for our offspring can be made into something useful in our middle age.
I can see it now, Silverback pie franchises, invest in the hottest commodity to come down the pike in years. Lets rewrite the old nursery rhyme…four and twenty silverbacks baked into a pie… lol

Shippy's avatar

@Coloma I certainly didn’t drop acid? I think he is one generation out? I have images of woodstock and hippys? Dont know too much about baby boomers!! loll.

Coloma's avatar

@Shippy Yeah, that’s me too, and I did drop acid a few times, haha. Well, us early 50’s peeps are on the cusp of the last boomers which ended, I think, around 1964? I was born in ‘59. :-) Point is, life has always had it’s challenges, and shifting the blame is never acceptable.

rooeytoo's avatar

Sounds like maybe @SmashTheState is dropping a little something himself, but his rants against just about everything are always impressive.

Coloma's avatar

@rooeytoo true that, the king of the blowhards

CWOTUS's avatar

What!?

He stole my title?!

I’m outraged. Hang on for awhile… I need time to compose my own rant.

Coloma's avatar

@CWOTUS Down boy down..wanna treat? ;-)

jonsblond's avatar

I’m 41. I have two sisters who are in their early 50s who have a better body than I do. They are fit, sexy and energetic. Good role models for me and others. I admire those who stay active and fit as they grow older. Jack LaLanne is a hero of mine.

How do I see turning 50?

I don’t dread it like I did when I was 12.

Coloma's avatar

@jonsblond Yep, all of my 50 something friends are very attractive women still.
A woman in her prime is a force to be reckoned with that’s for sure! :-)

wundayatta's avatar

When I was 22, there were no jobs for young people, either. It really sucked, and believe me, I feel bad about the troubles young people are going through now. All I can say is that I am committed to making the world a better place where young people won’t have these troubles.

However the issue of the age of people who receive education is not an issue of social justice. That’s about as laughable as you can get and I am surprised that @SmashTheState, who normally is pretty logical about his thinking, would say such a thing.

Education is pretty much infinitely expandable at a fairly low cost. You can almost always fit in an extra person in a class. If need be, you do have to spend more money building new classrooms, but universities are always happy to have that problem. Old and young people simply are not competing for classroom space.

The main difference, most likely, is that old people pay out of pocket for education, and young people have to borrow or get grants. Any young person who doesn’t believe they will be able to pay back their loans, shouldn’t go to school. Anyone who doesn’t think they will be able to pay back their loans just isn’t looking at this clearly.

The economy will eventually expand, and salaries will go up and up, and when that happens, young people will get jobs and they will have an easier and easier time paying off student loans. I’m not sure where the entitlement philosophy really is, though. It seems to me that young people who think their education should be free have a pretty big sense of entitlement. I hope there aren’t many of them.

I know when I was 22, I had a huge sense of entitlement. I thought society owed me a job. I had a good education and I was smart, but I didn’t end up working for some big salary job. Instead I ended up doing odd jobs for a while, and then I supported myself, in New York City, going door to door, selling ideas. From 1979 until 1984, I never made more than $7000. I don’t think that took me out of poverty. However, I lived in a pretty nice house in a nice part of Brooklyn because I had three housemates who all made between 10 and 12K. And I was the one with the car, which I had because I had to take care of the car at work that we used to drive us to the burbs to go canvassing.

People do what they have to, I think, to afford to live the way they want to. Or they change their wants to match their incomes. There are a lot of whiners in the US, with a huge sense of entitlement. Perhaps it is the way we bring our children up, because I was definitely one back in that time. Now I see that the promise works. If you work—and you don’t even have to work hard—you will slowly improve your lot. If you save money instead of spending it, you’ll improve your situation pretty quickly.

Even if you have no job. People find things to do—ways to make money. There is an informal economy. People move in with others. Share resources. Trade skills. Whatever.

Turning 50 is fine. I’ve worked for 30 years now, and I see the payoff. I have significant savings. My wife has retired instead of working in a miserable job. Also she is leaving a place open for younger people. Not that they can find any with the skills needed to do her work. It would probably take three young people. But all the better. More work for more people, except right now the company prefers to drive the remaining workers to heart attacks my making them do everything with three people that they used to do with six people. Weird.

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