Stigma of Mid-Life Crisis Disappears as UK Public Give Their Life an Overhaul at 50.
ï 85% of 40-59 year-olds thinking about taking steps to change their life situation
ï 74% feel their financial situation is the only thing holding them back
ï Men look to achieve a better work/life balance, while women search for new life experiences
The mid-life crisis is often perceived as a ëcurseí of middle age, associated with men of a certain age attempting to relive their youth through extravagant purchases like sports cars and designer clothing. But as average life expectancy, and with it the age of retirement, creeps ever upward, men and women in their 40s and 50s are taking ownership of their existential questions and seizing the opportunity to take real life-changing and self-affirming steps, as new research from Experian CreditExpert- the UKís most trusted credit monitoring service – has revealed.
85% of 40-59 year-olds surveyed had felt the need to change their life situation in the last five years, with responses demonstrating that, far from the expected plans to splash out on cosmetic surgery or fast cars, mid-lifers are making decisions that directly impact their work and life happiness, giving themselves a second chance at achieving their ambitions and desires ñ from changing career or learning new skills to seeing the world.
70% gave ëtravelling the worldí as one of their goals in later life, with the next most popular options being ëspending time learning new thingsí (46%) and ëdedicating my life to a favourite hobbyí (29%). By comparison, only 13% (and only 3% of men) would have a cosmetic makeover, and purchasing a sporty new runaround did not feature at all.
The most clear gender divide was over what middle-aged men and women were most hoping to achieve by making life changes. Among men, gaining a better work/life balance was the most popular answer, given by almost a third (32%) of males (compared to just one in five (20%) of females). By comparison, womenís priorities were focused on adventure and gaining new life experiences. 36% of females gave this answer, compared to 30% of males.
Simple life changes were shown to have the biggest effect on most peopleís happiness, as ëmaking a career changeí and ëmaking new friendsí were each held by over half (51%) of those polled to have had a significant positive impact on their lives in recent years.
Money was predictably shown to play a big part in achieving oneís life goals. 69% said that a sudden change in their financial situation, such as an unexpected windfall or pay rise, would be the factor that was likely to kick-start their own ëmid-life makeoverí. 74% felt that their financial situation was the only thing still holding them back from making significant changes.
ìPeople entering their late 40s in 2011 are still only halfway through their working livesî, says Pete Turner, Managing Director of Experian Interactive. ìThese results show that, far from throwing money at new toys in a ëquick fixí, many are channelling their energy towards making positive, fulfilling changes. Preparing for the ëmid-life makeoverí by cleaning up your credit rating can, for many, be the first step towards achieving those dreams.î