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If I Could Do It Over Again: 11 Things People Over 50 Would Do Differently

Around the age of 50 we often develop the ability to look back at our past decisions and say “Yeah, that probably wasn’t the best decision.” Whether you want to refer to it as being a graduate of the school of hard knocks or simply life experience, it’s this hindsight that is worth sharing with those younger than us.

If you’re in your 20s or even a tad younger or older, take notice. Here are the top 11 things 50 year olds think you should know.

1. Sometimes, it’s best just to walk away.

It’s not an easy decision, but it in some instances, it is the best one. The quicker you realize this and do it, the less time you’ll spend trying to make up for lost time.

2. Your bad health habits today become more difficult to change.

Sure, it may seem no big to go out drinking every weekend, smoke a few times a day, or run through the drive-thru every morning for a biscuit, but these habits will become harder and harder to break. Now’s the time to do it and form the habits that are crucial for living a long and healthy life where you can do the things you want to do.

3. Speak up.

You only have one real advocate and that’s yourself. Stand up for yourself and speak your mind. If you don’t, you’ll regret it for decades to come.

4. Slow way down.

Simply put. Life is short; take the time to savor your experiences. Sure, you can work 80 or 90 hours a week to have a big corner office by the time you’re 35, but it can be lonely and unfulfilling at the top.

5. A good education is crucial.

It’s not unusual for people in their 50s to realize that education is one accomplishment no one can take from you. Plus, it gives you something to fall back on.

6. Now’s the time to really consider your college major.

This goes along with #5. If you realize now that your college major isn’t everything you thought it would be, now’s the time to head back to school.

7. Really think about who (or when) you are getting married.

While this may not apply to everyone, it’s something to consider. Don’t get married because it’s expected. Don’t get married because you’ve been dating for a few years and it just seems like the right thing to do. Think carefully before you walk down the aisle.

8. Put on some sunscreen.

That tan you earn from hitting the tanning bed and baking in the sun turns into wrinkles and age spots as you age. Opt for the self-tanner and don’t forget the SPF sunscreen when you head outdoors.

9. Save more money.

Few things are more mind numbing than reaching the age of 50 and realizing you have little to nothing saved. Don’t waste your money today on frivolous expenses. Make your own coffee, pack a lunch, and don’t feel so compelled to keep up with the Joneses.

10. Watch your debt.

Before you pull out that credit card for the latest Prada bag, stop! Work on building a good credit score and solid credit history. It’ll still be there long after you’ve discarded your old handbag.

11. Take the time to travel.

Yes, it’s important to save and watch your debt, but now is also the time to travel (within reason). It’s much easier to do it before you’re tied down by a ton of responsibilities.