The audience here tends to skew younger I think so this may not interest all of our readers. But I say, too dam* bad. There are people in crisis here and they need to know what to do! Never mind that all you 20 and 30 somethings are likely to have a midlife crisis at some point in your lives. So let’s get this on – what the heck is a midlife crisis anyway and why do you need to plan for it?
The Midlife Crisis is Ready to Have Its Own Midlife Crisis
The whole idea of a midlife crisis is so important in our culture that Scientific American did a whole article on the concept and how it started a few years ago. The whole concept of the midlife crisis is a modern invention, dating to around 1965 (yeah, I know, the younger people here are thinking that’s ancient history).
Of course, back then, the concept didn’t mean what it does now. Today, it refers to someone in their 40s and 50s who suddenly decides that it’s time to start dying his grey hair back to blonde, usually peroxide blond, because after all, if you’re doing it anyway, you may as well go whole hog, right? Men at this stage also often buy a motorcycle and start wearing lots of leather.
In essence, a midlife crisis means that you suddenly realize that half or more of your life is behind you and you want to recapture your youth. Because after all, in the immortal words of Ralph Kramden, youth is wasted on young people. It’s true – when you’re young, all you seem to think about is getting ahead and building a career.
When you’re older, you only wish you’d spent your youth doing different things and so people somehow come up with the dumb idea that if they dye their hair and get a cool car or a motorcycle that will make them young again (it doesn’t).
So Why Plan for It?
When I started researching this article, I expected fully that there would be lots of material out there. There isn’t though – there’s lots of stuff on how to prevent a midlife crisis and how to know if you’re experiencing one but not so much on planning for it.
To my mind, that kinda sucks – look, to varying degrees, most of us will experience something like a midlife crisis. Maybe it won’t be as severe as divorcing your wife and trading her in for a younger model (she’s only interested in your money – if you ain’t got none, don’t bother).
However, it is human nature to kind of reflect on our lives and to wonder what we’ve done with all the time that went by. What did we accomplish in this world? Will anyone care who I was when I’m gone? These are questions almost everyone asks at some point in their lives even if they don’t want to admit to it so it’s important to plan.
Don’t Let it Send You Over the Deep End
This blog all about getting rich and staying rich. Which means that if you’re middle aged right now, you’re probably here because you feel like time is slipping by and you haven’t made your mark yet.
The first thing to remember is that you can’t let this thing derail you from your goals. So yeah, if it makes you feel better to try wearing a toupee and or dying your hair, more power to ya – you’ll likely grow out of it after a short while. But if you’re finding yourself visiting Lamborghini dealerships and wondering if the kids’ college fund would be enough, you need to step back and think carefully.
Do you really want to let something which is by all accounts likely to be temporary put you permanently into a bad financial situation? Maybe it would be best to try to plan for some smaller acts of rebellion against aging instead of going whole hog and driving a Lambo while sporting your oh so fake peroxide blonde hair and hoping to attract a girl half your age to take over the job of wife and mother.
Bottom line, sure you can have a midlife crisis. You’re entitled after all. Just don’t go overboard.