Living & Lifestyle

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

The Rise of the Early Midlife Crisis

 When we hear the words ‘midlife crisis’, we usually think of men in their 50s buying expensive sports cars and luxurious speedboats, or spontaneously selling up and moving to a desert island. Interestingly, the concept of the midlife crisis seems to have changed and now veers away from stereotypically extravagant purchases to more practical life changing decisions. We surveyed 2000 people of all ages and from multiple locations around the country to see what defines the modern midlife crisis.

 

Is it a crisis or just a change?

Out of 2000 people1, all of them admitted to making some sort of change or decision that had a significant effect on their lives. Nevertheless, only a quarter considered it to be a midlife crisis or a drastic phase.

 

It’s not just men

Just under half of those who took part in the survey were women and all of them admitted to making some form of drastic decision in their lives.

 

Thirties are the new fifties

Our research shows that a midlife crisis is more likely to affect those in their late thirties with the average age being just 37.  This crisis phase tended to last around two years with the average end age being 39.

 

Most life changing decisions were practical

Driving abroad

Gone are the days of extravagant purchasing and excess. Now, a midlife crisis involves more practical decisions to do with career changes, living situations and relationships. 36% of people claimed quitting their job was their drastic life changing decision while 24% moved house, 14% decided to travel and 7% had a change in their relationship.

 

The stereotypical midlife crisis decisions are still there

Despite these more useful life changes, the research shows that some still considered impulsive purchases to be their defining crisis moment with 5% buying a new car and 2% spending money on improving their home.

 

People are making changes due to boredom and stress

While wanting more excitement in life rated highly on the list of reasons at 25%, the most common reason for making such a drastic life choice was due to feeling trapped or bored with normal life. 38% of people claimed this to be the reason, while needing a change came in a close second with 35% and escaping from the stresses of life at 29%.

The midlife crisis is no longer just for the middle aged, and impulse buys have been replaced with more practical investments and decisions that focus on alleviating stress and boredom. There is a definite focus on improving quality of life for the long term and investing in experiences, rather than simply trading in the family car for a fast convertible. With 77% of people feeling their midlife crisis decision had a positive impact on their lives, perhaps it is time to stop thinking of them as drastic and instead consider them as an excuse to revaluate what’s important in life.

 

12000 people were surveyed online in May 2016. 

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