According to the Social Security Administration, a woman turning 65 years old today can expect to live, on average, until the age of 86.6.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that between 2013 and 2014, overall life expectancy for white women fell slightly, from 81.2 years to 81.1 years, while it actually increased for Hispanic females, from 83.8 to 84.0 years, and remained unchanged for black women, at 78.1 years.
However you look at it, most healthy women can expect to live to about 80, on average, and that means when you turn 50, you’ve suddenly got more life behind you than ahead.
It’s a sobering thought for most women, as up until that point, it’s easy to believe that we’re just getting started. But that big 5-0 can change things, simply because it’s so real
Most women have other things as well that remind them they’ve reached the fifth decade, including a few gray hairs, perhaps some pre-menopausal symptoms, and those increasingly visible fine lines and wrinkles. We may feel more aches and pains in our backs and our joints, discover we need reading glasses, and realize that the old bras just aren’t doing the job anymore.
This doesn’t have to be a time of decline. On the contrary—women can look forward to 50 and beyond as the age of liberation, self-actualization, and renewed purpose in life. Feeling more secure in our own skin, we can evaluate what’s really important, and make changes that open up new horizons.
We do need to realize, however, that our bodies have been on this earth for 50 years, and they need a little extra care. If you’ve reached this age or you’re close to it, we’ve got seven things you can do to ensure that from here on out, life only gets better.
7 Things Women Over 50 Should Do for Their Health
Let’s start with your physical health. Most likely you’re feeling your age more than you have in the past. David Karp, a sociologist at Boston College, writes that the 50s are a kind of “fulcrum decade, a turning point in the aging process during which people, more sharply than before, are made to feel their age.”
It’s not only your own physical changes that can remind you you’re getting older, but those of others around you. You may have friends diagnosed with serious illnesses, or even have those you cared about show up in the obituary column. You may have become a grandparent recently, or had a younger person refer to you in a way that made it clear the difference in age between you. These can be stark reminders of your own mortality, which can be a little frightening.
The best way to deal with these feelings is to take the right steps to protect your health now and in the future. Here are five things you need to be sure you do once you turn 50.