Most British people have a ‘second adolescence’ as they grow middle-aged, poll claims

Over-50s have a new lease of life rather than a mid-life crisis, survey finds

Tuesday 23 July 2019 14:05

Whether it be retirement, redundancy, sacking or just the choice to move on, change can be a daunting prospect.

Few of us are immune to a career change, with Boris Johnson and Theresa May among the more high profile of recent examples.

But far from anything to fear, what if a mid-life shift to something new could instead be time of opportunity and refreshment?

According to a new poll of over 2,000 British adults over the age of 55, almost two thirds had enjoyed a "second adolescence" in their middle decades, where life opens up for them again and responsibilities change.

This commenced at the age of 50, the survey of the age group found, with 43 per cent of taking up the chance to experiment with a different role in life.

No longer caring what other people think, being more open to talking about personal issues and choosing to pursue a life-long dream, were among the identifying signals.

One in four said having more confidence to express yourself is a sign of reaching new levels of personal freedom.

And 35 per cent of respondents thought that their children leaving home was a key trigger for the advent of a second adolescence.

Another third decided to live more freely after realising life was too short, while 43 per cent embarked upon a second adolescence after reaching a milestone birthday, such as their 50th or 60th.

Nearly one in four admitted they did not have the courage to achieve their main goal or dream in life, while 37 per cent delayed ambitions to get married and start a family.

“Millions of adults are currently trapped in the daily grind, taking life day by day without looking at the bigger picture," said Lee Willett, marketing director at Country Life which commissioned the poll. “However, we’ve found there’s a point in life where people look for a new taste of freedom, where you can live on your own terms regardless of what other people think."

He added: “One huge advantage of your later years is that, as you wind down your career and kids leave the nest for good, you’ll have more time to yourself to do the things you want to do, rather than things you have to do."


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