50 Things to Celebrate About Turning 50 (& What Science Has to Say)

Turning 50 is more than it's cracked up to be. Discover the fun behind the big 5-0 and the science that backs it all up.

Updated January 18, 2024
beautiful middle age woman

If you're just now cresting 30 with stiff joints and three-day hangovers, you might be worried about what life's going to look like when you turn 50. And if you're nearing the end of your 40s or know someone who's approaching the big 5-0? Get ready to throw all that negative turning 50 talk out the window! Hitting 50 is something to look forward to, and we'll tell you why. 

Turning 50 Is a Beautiful Thing

beautiful woman riding in a car

It can be so hard to drown out the noise that turning 50 is some dreadful milestone you should be afraid of. What people don't talk about often enough is that when you turn 50, you've got the experience to not sweat the small stuff and embrace your life as it is. Of course, new problems and ailments can't be avoided, but that doesn't mean there's no cause for celebration! 

50 Momentous Things About Turning 50 Years Old

While it's fun to make light of getting older, dad jokes about turning 50 aside, sliding into your fifth decade is something to celebrate. There are so many things to look forward to when it comes to turning 50 that we've got one for every year you've been around! 

  1. You're less fearful.
  2. You're not afraid to have opinions.
  3. You know yourself better.
  4. You have a greater appreciation for life.
  5. It's easier to laugh at yourself.
  6. It's easier to laugh at others.
  7. It's easier to take life less seriously.
  8. You stop caring what other people think.
  9. You stop sweating the small stuff.
  10. You have a lifetime of wisdom to help you make decisions.
  11. You're more at peace.
  12. You're less critical of your body and weight.
  13. You know that eating right and exercising are the best medicine.
  14. You embrace your imperfections.
  15. You make jokes more often.
  16. You get to use the excuse: "I'm set in my ways."
  17. You have a reason for forgetting things.
  18. You have a reason for losing things.
  19. You have a reason for telling the same stories.
  20. You can be as grumpy as you wish.
  21. You can learn to dance.
  22. You can learn to sing.
  23. No one cares if you're a bad singer.
  24. People expect you to be a bad dancer.
  25. Your inner confidence shines.
  26. You can go home early without offending anyone.
  27. You can enjoy being settled in life.
  28. Being an empty-nester means you can be more spontaneous.
  29. Your kids stop expecting big gifts from you.
  30. AARP discounts are everywhere.
  31. Other age-related discounts and free stuff for older adults are ripe for the picking. 
  32. Younger people will help you more.
  33. You have more time to explore new hobbies.
  34. You can wear red hats that don't match your clothes.
  35. You can wear glitter or funny sweaters and laugh at yourself.
  36. You can wear glitter or funny sweaters in public with pride.
  37. You can embrace your natural gray
  38. Retired life is just around the corner.
  39. You have more time to relax.
  40. Nap time is fun again.
  41. Waking up so early means you get to watch the sunrise.
  42. Resting feels natural.
  43. You have license to buy more comfortable clothing.
  44. People make fewer comparisons to younger folks.
  45. You've seen amazing things that younger people haven't.
  46. You're wiser.
  47. You can give good advice based on experience.
  48. You have a better ability to let go.
  49. You have a better ability to forgive others.
  50. You have a better ability to forgive yourself.

Related: 12 Purposeful Ways to Make Friends as an Older Adult 

Quick Tip

Age really is just a number. A UK survey found that 67% of people over 50 are looking forward to fulfilling all their life's goals. Don't let your next birthday stop you from reaching for your dreams, starting a new career, entering into a new relationship, making new friends, or doing anything you want to do. 

Benefits of Turning 50, Backed By Science 

Don't believe us that turning 50 is better than it's cracked up to be? The research doesn't lie. 

You Feel Less Stress After 50 

beautiful woman

If you're nearing your 50th birthday, you can look forward to the rollercoaster that is stress coming to an end. In one study involving 340,000 US adults conducted by Stony Brook University, "after age 50, life perceptions are more positive and feelings of worry or stress decline." Reportedly, senior adults feel less stress, "regardless of certain life circumstances." 

Although they're not quite sure what causes that remarkable shift, we're not complaining! 

Your Immune System Is Still in Top Form 

We can't deny that aging does have a substantial impact on your health. But, studies show that your immune system is ready and rearing to fight off all kinds of gnarly illnesses into your 60s. According to one 2016 report, "beginning with the sixth decade of life, the human immune system undergoes dramatic aging-related changes." So, turning 50 means you've still got a decade to rely on a regenerative and responsive immune system. 

You've Got a Higher Self-Esteem Than When You Were Young 

active beautiful woman

Growing older can be liberating. There have been many studies conducted on how our self-esteem changes as we age. As recently as 2020, a Japanese study found that measures of "self-liking" are "high for elementary school students, low among middle and high school students, but then continues to become higher among adults by the 60s." 

Every year leading up to the big 5-0 has given you the chance to know and love yourself just that much more. 

Related: Myths About Aging We're Debunking

Find the Fun in Turning 50 

Everyone's experience with turning 50 is going to be different. But, if you can find the fun in being 50, then everything should come up roses. You've made it too far to let your life be anything but! 

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50 Things to Celebrate About Turning 50 (& What Science Has to Say)