Midlife Crises & its Financial Impact

What is midlife crisis? Midlife crisis is behaviour usually displayed by people between the age of 35 and 50 years which is uncharacteristic of them or even inappropriate.  Some people identify the crisis and manage it well by gracefully accepting the fact that they are growing older. Some people struggle to get over it and behave irrationally. In some cases it may be mild and sometimes it can go to extremes affecting health, behaviour and finances negatively.

midlife crisis

Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

What are the signs of a midlife crisis?

There are many behavioural traits that can be attributed to midlife crisis. Too many instances of unpredictable behaviour, risky actions or uncharacteristic acts can be signs of midlife crises. Splurging on expensive items like a new luxury car on a whim is a sign that the middle-aged wants it just to feel good. If it a purchase without planning, it could be a sign of middle age crisis.

Some people take on more risky things like leaving the job without any plan, sudden divorce or commit infidelity just to crave attention. Such actions lead to emotional problems, professional/business issues and financial problems.

ReadUnderstanding Financial Infidelity – Symptoms & what to do

Some people try to get back their youth. They spend a fortune on plastic surgery or on a lavish lifestyle. They believe this will help to retain their attractiveness, Such irresponsible behaviour causes health and lifestyle problems.

Depression is also a sign of midlife crisis. People going through a midlife crisis might get angry or irritated without reason. They become very sensitive. They abandon rational decision-making process and act recklessly. They might get into too bad habits like too much smoking and/or drinking without limits. They feel sad that they have only a finite time and have few options left. If they have not achieved what they want, they feel that their life has been unfulfilled and get negative thoughts.

What is the financial impact of an uncontrolled midlife crisis?

Midlife crisis if managed well, will not cause too much harm. It will just be a short phase in life and a person will get over it. But if it is not handled smartly, it can cause your financial status to go wayward.

If you leave your job, you will lose your steady source of income. Your financial goals will not be achieved and you will get into serious money problems. If you have people dependent on you, their life will also become difficult. Leaving a job as per a long-term plan with enough money saved and a concrete back up plan, then it is a different case which can be executed.

If you purchase many expensive things without planning, you can eat up your savings or even worse, you could land in excessive debt. This will make your financial plan go awry.

If you destabilize your family life or get into rifts with friends, it will cause you unhappiness and unnecessary stress. This can lead to irrational behaviour for which you might regret later on. Divorces and affairs can be uncomfortable situations and quite expensive.

How to manage or avoid a midlife crisis successfully?

Midlife crisis can occur in anyone’s life. It is good to be forewarned and prepared.

Financial Planning Firstly, financial planning should be done and followed meticulously. Sound financial planning can take care of some wrong moves. The financial plan should be revisited regularly and updated as per different milestones in life. You should follow financial prudence like saving regularly, investing and spending as per the budget.

Revisit dreams and goals – Sometimes we are so caught up in our education, career, family, kids etc. that we forget our identity. We forget about our dreams. When we reach middle age and look back at our life, we might regret that our wishes did not get fulfilled. This can trigger a midlife crisis and lead to reckless behaviour. It is good to keep our aspirations in our mind and try to fulfil at least some of them if not all so that we can be happy.

Family and friendship – It is important to have strong ties with the family members and build friendships. This will fulfil needs of love, compassion and bonding that will keep triggers of midlife crisis at bay. ReadTop regrets of the dying

Keep your mind engaged – You should keep your mind busy so that it remains alert and engaged. You should focus on your career/business. You should devote some time to your hobbies. You should develop new skills. This will help in keeping the mind fit and not going astray.

There will be different challenges in life. You should be mindful of that and take positive steps to achieve your goals. You should take support of loved ones and professionals to ensure you are financially and emotionally on course.

Must Share your experiences on Midlife crises. 

Print Friendly

Subscribe for TFL Weekly Guide

Do you believe in - An apple a day keeps the doctor away? Similarly, TFL Guide is your weekly apple, keeping you financially fit. Subscribe now and get Basics of Financial Planning E-Course FREE.

{ 4 comments… add one }
  • Anil Kumar Kapila January 7, 2016, 11:34 AM

    Hi Hemant
    I think most people go through midlife crises and I am no exception. Fortunately in my case it was of very mild nature and did not have much impact on me financially.I know one person who started smoking and drinking heavily even though he was a doctor.Ultimately he died when he was relatively young.Many people go into depression and even start taking drugs.

  • Madhupam Krishna January 7, 2016, 12:46 PM

    Hi Hemant … it’s a very well written and contemporary topics of recent age. I have also seen people committing mistakes like having obsessions with cars/gadgets/property investments, making irrational career switches, using heavy credits cards, dipping into retirement kitty on regular basis and disturbing savings. A notion of maturity sets in and people tend to move away from long cultivated financial habits. A very apt and eye-opener article for people in middle age.

  • Sanjay Gohil January 10, 2016, 8:12 PM

    Dear Hemant,
    This one is really very well written, nicely explained and wisely guided article..
    this happens in almost everyone’s life..,

    thanks for such a nice article..

  • KRANTIVIR RAJPUT January 17, 2016, 11:35 AM

    Awesome article, my age is 33yrs..thanks for forewarning!! have shared this one with my dad.

Leave a Comment