Helping Women Start Over After 50

 Feeling the Need to Start Over After 50?

Have you ever felt like running away from your current life situation and starting over? I know I have at times. Sometimes life becomes overwhelming and we may want to just disappear.   Actually, that’s not a very good solution, for obvious reasons.

Starting Over After 50 Requires Thought and Planning and Deciding What’s Possible:

Below are some questions to ask yourself as you contemplate your future:

Are you entering your 5th decade and wondering how to manage all the changes and challenges?

Do you feel the need to make some major adjustments in your life ?

Are you thinking about starting over but not sure how to move forward and make it happen?

Why Start Over After 50?

Not all women feel the need to completely revamp their lives, but some of us go through major life events that make it necessary to take a long look at the possibilities ahead.

Below are just some of the situations that signal the need to make a new life plan or make some major adjustments:

Divorce/Widowhood: This is a situation that actually requires you to make some significant adjustments to your life.  Whether due to divorce or death of your spouse, it is a huge transition to go from a long marriage to being single over 50.

There are so many issues to deal with.  It’s important to have the support of family and friends and the expertise of  professionals to guide you through the process.  It’s also important to remember that it is a process and can’t be resolved in a few days or weeks. So be patient!

Some women go through a year or more of adjusting and becoming comfortable with the changes in status and lifestyle that follow divorce or widowhood.

This is the time for thoughtful consideration of how you want to structure your new life circumstances.

Empty Nest When Children Leave Home:  This is a major transition for many women!  We all know our children will someday grow up and eventually make their own way in the world, but the reality is sometimes startling.

Many mothers feel like they no longer have a purpose, especially those who have put aside their careers while raising their children.  It’s a feeling of being out of balance, of no longer being needed.

It requires some major adjustments in thinking and also the need to find another purpose.

Some women go back to school, or start a new career, or start a business, or find a new purpose in Volunteering for a cause that is important to them.  It can be an exciting time to reinvent yourself!

During this time of transition marriages are sometimes at risk, especially when the couple have mainly focused on their children while neglecting their own relationship.

This is pretty common and requires some renegotiation on the part of both spouses to reestablish their relationship after children leave home.

Unfortunately divorce is not that uncommon in these situations when the couple find that their relationship is no longer viable.

Career Change/Starting a New Business:  In spite of the tendency in  our society to overlook women after 50,  it is still possible to reinvent yourself and change careers, or start a new business at this stage of your life.  And to be successful!

There are many resources to help women who want to stay in the workforce but go in a different direction professionally.

It takes dedication and courage to reinvent yourself, and there are some specific skills you need to develop to be successful.  You can read the following article to learn some tips.

Retirement Planning: Not every woman wants to start over with a new career or business. Some want to have the ability to do the things that they have missed out on due to  years of work or family obligations.

Some want to learn a new skill, some want to travel, or perhaps relocate. Some want to spend time with grandchildren or learn a new language.

The list is very long of things we can do in this stage of our life.   That lifestyle requires financial resources that many people don’t have unfortunately.

Long term planning for retirement is necessary and it is not too early to start, especially if you are a single woman after 50. And especially if you are a newly single woman due to divorce.

There are many competent professionals who can assist you to make a financial plan so you can create a life that is meaningful for you.

If you have a spouse, the financial planning will involve both of you in deciding your financial future.  Don’t put it off!

Health/medical Issues Requiring a Lifestyle Change:  Suppose you are feeling good and going about your daily activities as usual.  Then suddenly you begin to develop symptoms that require medical diagnosis and intervention.

You find yourself with a medical condition that forces you to make radical changes to your lifestyle.  It could be any number of illnesses or other conditions that require changes in the way you live and function on a daily basis.

This situation tests your resilience and your ability to accept a “starting over” that is not of your choosing.  It could mean giving up some very meaningful activities and replacing them with new ones that take into account your new reality.

Skills Needed When Starting Over After 50:  

Adapting to Change:   Change is a part of life, yet many of us, myself included, tend to resist it. Why is that?  We become comfortable in whatever situation we’re in and making a change requires effort and planning.

Change can be difficult, particularly if it is thrust on us and not of our own choosing.  However, being able to accept and adapt to change is essential if we want to continue to thrive.

Adapting to life’s changes is often a skill that comes with maturity. Most of us, having lived through many changes in our lives, become more willing to accept and deal with it appropriately.

Starting over after 50 is a change that is often positive and offers the chance of improving your life in many different ways.

The skill set needed is changing your Mindset from viewing change as a negative to a Growth Mindset by beginning to think of all the positives involved for a more satisfying future.

Living With Uncertainty:  Uncertainty accompanies change!   When making a major life change like starting over in some areas of your life, uncertainty is inevitable. 

Not knowing exactly how things will work out in the end can cause some amount of anxiety and worry.  By learning to accept change and becoming comfortable with uncertainty you will  lower your level of anxiety as you continue to move forward towards your new reality.

Discover the Possibilities:  It can be helpful to find a quiet time to reflect on what the possibilities are for making needed changes in your life.  How do you want to structure your life going forward?

Putting your thoughts down on paper is also helpful.  Make a list of your ideas for your future and  look at which ones make you feel energetic and hopeful!  Continue to narrow your list down until you find the one idea that feels right.  Then it’s time to make a plan!

Make a Plan and Create a List of Goals:  Making your idea  for your future become a reality requires specific planning and creating the goals that are needed to make it happen. 

The more you can list the specific goals necessary to make your new life plan workable, the more likely it is to happen for you!  Hopefully you can be excited about the possibilities! 

Learn  to Take Risks/Get Out of Your Comfort Zone:  Yikes!  Taking a risk?  Most of us avoid taking risks because they are too “risky”.

What if  you take a risk and it doesn’t work out?  What if you fall on your face and everyone knows it?  What if you have to change everything and find out it wasn’t a good move?   It’s not the end of your world!

I know that taking risks is scary, but in order to thrive and grow we need to get out of our comfort zone and do some things that might or might not work out the way we planned.  That’s how we learn!  Take a leap of faith.

Think about moving to that new place that you have always dreamed about.  Start that new business, interview for that job or position you really want,  take any new step that fills you with hope as well as some degree of fear.

Living life in your comfort zone is not a recipe for starting over in a new and more satisfying life!  So, take that risk and maybe it will be the best decision you ever made!

I hope this article was helpful for those of you going through the process of change or thinking about starting over! I welcome your comments.  Send them to

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