Research Reveals the Top Fifty Things to do Before You’re Fifty
Learn a new language, attend a music festival – and be able to say no to your mother are among the 50 things everyone should do before they turn 50, a study has found.
While many expect to have fallen in love, got married, bought a house and had children by the time they reach the big 5-0, Brits aged over 50 also think you should have seen the Northern Lights, quit a job and gone skinny dipping.
Other things everyone should have done before they reach their fifties include staying out all night partying, having sex on the beach and jumping into a pool fully clothed.
It also emerged less than four in ten over 50s have accomplished all of their life aims, with another 39 per cent believing life really does begin at 50.
Ian Atkinson, director of marketing for over 50s insurance experts SunLife, which commissioned the research to mark the launch of its ‘Welcome to Life After 50’ campaign today (March 11), said: “For many, 50 is a milestone age when you may start to look back and take stock of everything you have done or achieved so far.
“And while most people want to be married and settled down in their home with a family, there are also a host of other activities and experiences they want to have tried.
“But with many believing 50 is the point where your life is just getting started, there is still plenty of time to tick more things off the list if you are coming up a little short.”
The study, of 2,000 over 50s carried out with OnePoll, found buying a house is top of the list of things to do before you turn 50, followed by having children and getting married.
Falling in love came fourth with eating fish and chips on the pier at number five.
Donating blood, reading 100 books, seeing your favourite band or musician live, learning a language and attending a music festival completed the top ten.
Other things every 50-year-old should have experienced include travelling somewhere alone, sleeping out underneath the stars and swimming with dolphins.
Travel features heavily in the list including seeing a volcano, riding a gondola in Venice, backpacking across Europe and visiting all seven continents
But there is also a rebellious streak in many Brits with taking part in a protest, getting a tattoo and trying drugs all in the top 50.
Some over 50s have gone one step further with the experiences they have had in their lives so far with one being among one of the first female priests to be ordained while another has foiled a bank raid.
One adventurous over 50 also described how they got a ferry to France with just a sleeping bag and spent three years travelling around Europe while another got engaged the day they met their partner.
Having sex in usual places are also among the weird things over 50s have done, including at a bus stop, in a cave and even at a rubbish dump.
Researchers also revealed 47 per cent of over 50s feel they still have so much more to achieve in their life.
And 62 per cent say there have been times since turning 50 they have worried they’ve not done as much as they would have liked.
And almost nine in ten have at least one regret, with not seeing enough of the world the most common.
Other regrets include losing touch with old friends, marrying the wrong person, not starting a pension soon enough and spending too long worrying about what others thought of them.
SunLife’s Ian Atkinson added: “For Big 50, we’ve interviewed 50,000 people over 50 so that we understand better than any other insurance company what people over 50 want and value. And our research shows that people over 50 are enjoying life more than ever before.
“Far from winding down, many over 50s are busier than ever, trying new things or taking up new hobbies and just generally living life to the full.
“We want to celebrate this with our ‘Welcome to Life After 50’ campaign because currently, this is not how people over 50 are being represented.
“In fact, nine out of ten over 50s say brands aren’t interested in them, and three quarters feel the portrayal of over 50s in the media is an outdated stereotype that does not represent them. With ‘Welcome to Life After 50’ we want to change that.
“Our campaign aims to show what life after 50 is really like, because we recognise that for many, it can be the best years of their life.”
TOP 50 THINGS TO DO BEFORE YOU’RE 50
- Buy a house
- Have kids
- Get married
- Fall in love
- Eat fish and chips on the pier
- Donate blood
- Read 100 books
- See your favourite musician/band live
- Learn a language
- Attend a music festival
- Own a dog
- Learn to say no to your mother
- Stay out all night partying
- See the Northern Lights
- Visit Stonehenge
- Be able to remember which side of your car the petrol cap is on
- Travel somewhere alone
- Sleep underneath the stars
- Watch a meteor shower
- Dance in the rain
- Become an expert at something
- Quit a job
- See a volcano
- Visit all seven continents
- Throw a coin in the Trevi fountain
- Take a helicopter ride
- Have sex on a beach
- Swim with dolphins
- Go skinny dipping
- Ride a gondola in Venice
- Make a snow angel
- Take part in a protest
- Own your own business
- Go in a hot air balloon
- Ride an elephant
- Climb Snowdonia
- Jump into a pool fully clothed
- Backpack across Europe
- Perfect a signature dish
- Drink beer at Oktoberfest
- Run a marathon
- Get a tattoo
- Ride a Vespa
- Watch comedy at Edinburgh Fringe
- Write a novel
- Write a journal
- Spend a month technology free
- Try drugs
- Have a threesome
- Go to an airport and pick a random flight
Top 20 regrets
- Not seeing enough of the world
- Smoking too much
- Losing touch with old friends
- Putting on too much weight
- Marrying the wrong person
- Not starting my pension soon enough
- Not learning a new language
- Spending too much time worrying about what others thought of me
- Not learning an instrument
- Not following a career direction I wanted
- Living to work rather than working to live
- Not looking after my health properly
- Not being able to say ‘no’
- Not learning more about my family tree
- Having children too old
- Not having children
- Not owning my own business
- Not taking up more hobbies
- Having children too young
- Never living in the countryside