Growing older comes with certain preconceived notions and benchmarks of success, often based on societal and cultural standards.
As you approach ages 30, 40, and 50, it’s common to experience a certain degree uncertainty as you move onto another chapter in your life. In his article, “Turning 30, 40, and 50: The New Markers of Success,” Rob Asghar of Forbes describes why we don’t need to be worried by expectations and benchmarks of success at each decade of our lives.
Let’s take a look at the old and new models of progress through different life stages:
- The Old 30 | You partnered off almost a decade ago, and you’ve since then been building a family.
- The New 30 | You’re just realizing who you are as an adult, and you’re grateful that you’re not stuck with choices that you might have made a decade earlier.
- The Old 40 | You’ve bought a larger house in a nicer bedroom community than where you lived for the past several years.
- The New 40 | You’re more likely to move to the city center, where you think the action is, than to the suburbs. And you’re happy to rent.
- The Old 50 | You’re on cruise control toward your golden years. And you’re not far from an empty nest.
- The New 50 | You’re relaunching your career after a layoff and relaunching your life after a divorce.
The common difference in each stage is that you’re reinventing yourself as you age, rather than cruising at a steady pace. This generation is moving away from the old, standard model of life and moving towards freedom, individuality, and a bit of risk.
The old goal was to own a house in the suburbs, whereas now it’s more common to see young adults moving closer to city centers and renting property. Relationships and parenting are also shifting towards a newer standard. In 1960, the average age of a first marriage was 20-22 years old. Today, that number is closer to 27-29. The old model was based on stability and conformity, but modern social change has brought forth a new era of reinvention.