55 Year Olds – Millennials and Empty Nests

I think it was the great subversive Tom Arnold who long ago quipped: “Kids – 10 seconds of joy, 30 years of misery.


Stuff’s changed in the sense that stuff that was bugging you, by the time you’re fifty-three, either you worked it out or you’ve just forgiven yourself and you’ve said, “Look, this is who I am.”

With the help of our knowledge bank, you can choose for variations in your new neighborhood by:

But to zero in on the best place for you you’ll have to visit and schedule time to explore potential new homes in a region.

Oh, darn!

Adult Life Stages

Women in their 50s

Chris Erskine. “Here’s the setting: Betsy’s backyard, on one of those SoCal patios right out of a magazine.

Daditude by Chris Erskine

Nearby, a waterfall.

And the woodwind sounds of Chardonnay cascading into a glass.

I’m not sure if it’s my fantasy or my worst nightmare, but I’m surrounded by successful women, 50ish and funny, half of them Stanford grads.

“Hi, I’m Chris, and I’m a bookaholic.” “Hi, Chris!”

We talk about the latest books awhile.

Erskine. “At 56, Posh still really rocks a tiara.

Plus, she still seems so young to me, so why shouldn’t she also share in such a wonderful celebration of budding femaleness?

If the budget allows, I plan to hire world-renowned contortionists.

Graduating Neighborhood Kids

Hope I don’t cry.

I’ll admit being very emotional lately.


Bar mitzvahs.


All these are piling up for us.

Fearless or Flaming 50s

Gail Sheehy

Gail Sheehy called this time of life the “Fearless or Flaming 50s”.

She described it as a time of:

  • Accepting feelings of warmth and mellowing.
  • Making room for secondary interests.
  • Allowing them to blossom into serious work.
  • Approving our ethical and moral selves.
  • Finding our bliss and blessing our own life.

This Is Who I Am

Barack Obama. In Marc Maron’s “Waiting for the Punch President Obama says:

“Stuff’s changed in the sense that stuff that was bugging you, by the time you’re fifty-three, either you worked it out or you’ve just forgiven yourself and you’ve said, “Look, this is who I am.” 

By the time you get into your fifties, hopefully a lot of those have been resolved.

You’ve come to terms and come to peace with some stuff, and then some stuff you’ve just said, “Well, you know what, that’s just who I am.

I’ve got some flaws, I’ve got some strengths, and that’s okay.” 

The biggest fun I’ve had is watching my kids grow up, and they are magnificent.” pg 43-44.

50% Through Second Adulthood Stage

And, we’re about halfway through Erik Erikson’s Adulthood.

Approximate Age: Adulthood ( 40 – 64)

Significant Relationship: Household, workmates

Existential Question:  Can I make my life count?

Examples: Work, parenthood

Psychosocial Crisis: Generativity vs. Stagnation

Virtues: Care

By the time you’re in your mid-fifties your generation’s cohort splinters into 13 lifestyle segments stretching across the midlevel of status and influence.

Southwest United States – Wikitravel

Here’s a sample of lifestyles and communities where you can find neighbors in the 55+ age group in the West and Pacific Northwest.

  • Arizona: Prescott, Surprise
  • California: Indian Wells, Huntington Beach, La Mirada, St. Helena, Idyllwild, Laguna Hills, Ukiah
  • Colorado: Lakewood
  • New Mexico: Santa Fe
  • Washington: Mukilteo

Lifestyle Profiles: 55+

Singles, Couples and Empty-Nests: Wealthy Influentials, Wireless Resorters High Country Eagles and Permanent Temporaries.


Wealthy Influentials

14M2S2, New Empty Nests -WIES Exurb Society (Indian Wells, CA)

15M2S2, Patios & Pools, Empty Nests -WIES Exurb Society (Mukilteo, WA)

26M2U1, The Cosmopolitans, Couples – WIDM Digitally Mobiles (Huntington Beach, CA)

40M3U2, Close-In Couples – WIPL Portfolio Locals (La Mirada, CA)

Wireless Resorters

28M2T2, Traditional Times, Empty Nests – WRMR Maturing Resorts (St. Helena, CA)

38M3T3, Simple Pleasures, Couples – WRRS Resort Suburbans (Idyllwild, CA)

43M3T3, Heartlanders, Couples – WRRS Resort Suburbans (Prescott. AZ)

High Country Eagles

27M2C2, Middleburg Managers, Couples – HCESC Satellite City-zens (Santa Fe, NM)

41M3C2, Sunset City Blues, Empty Nests – HCESC Satellite City-zens (Ukiah, CA)

Permanent Temporaries

21M2S3, Gray Power – PTIMM Interim Middle Managers (Laguna Hills, CA)

39M3S3, Domestic Duos – PTIMM Interim Middle Managers (Lakewood, CO)

46M3S4, Old Glories – PTSO Start Overs

49M3S4, American Classics – PTSO Start Overs (Surprise, AZ)

So what is so special about the 50s?

Gail Sheehy: “At 50, there is a new warmth and mellowing.

Friends become more important than ever; so does privacy.

Secondary interests that have been tapped earlier in life can, in middle and old age, blossom into a serious life work.

One of the great rewards of moving through the disassembling period to renewal is coming to approve of oneself ethically and morally and quite independently of other people’s standards and agenda … arrival at that final stage of adult development, in which one can give a blessing to one’s own life.”

Also during this time, a person is enjoying raising their children and participating in activities, that gives them a sense of purpose.”

Erskine.  I think it was the great subversive Tom Arnold who long ago quipped: “Kids – 10 seconds of joy, 30 years of misery.”

Obama. Look, hopefully every parent feels the way I do about my daughters, but I think they are spectacular. pg. 175

Now, unfortunately, they’re hitting the age where they still love me but they think I’m completely boring, and so they’ll come in, pat me on the head, talk to me for ten minutes, and they they’re gone all weekend.

They break my heart.

Now I’ve got to start thinking, “Well, what’s going to replace the fun?” pg. 176

More Than Money Could Ever Buy

Erskine.  If you have children, you’ll have everything.

To see them grow, to flourish, to graduate college, is among the sweetest joys.

The feeling you get from raising children is something money could never buy.

Which is good, because you will no longer have any.

Yes, against the odds, I’d recommend having kids.

Maybe not four at once, like their mother did, but a bunch.

Children teach us humility, servitude and to give our lives to something greater than ourselves.

In return, they’ll occasionally curl up on the couch with you at night, then mention that you look really tired, and your neck is starting to look kind of saggy.

Still, have kids. Just don’t say you weren’t warned.”

Boomerang Millennials

Erskine.  “Anyway, three of our kids are now free upon the world, yet their mishaps still find me.

Traffic tickets.

Insurance claims.

College loans they can’t quite handle.

I always warned them to never grow up … no good can come of it.


Wear and Tear and Manopause

Is there a better description for what males go through, kinda like what women experience in their 50s?

Erskine wrote about “manopause” when fathers become grandfathers.

When if you keep score you notice that “Four Weddings and a Funeral” reverses.

Erskine. “Then at middle-age, an actual physical fade ensues, not to mention more hair in all the wrong places.

Is that manopause or a robust virility that even time can’t take away?

It’s all in your attitude, I guess, and your awareness of male wear and tear.

So, can you make your life count?

By the time you reach your fifties it’s up to you.

Part One:  She’s Leaving Home, Not Living Alone (Buy Buy)

Part Two:  Failing at Growing Up

Part Three:  Love, Marriage, Baby Carriage, or …

Part Four:  Crisis and Pivots for 28 -32 Year Olds

Part Five:  Making It – Ages 30 – 38

Part Six:  Authenticity Crisis for 35 – 45 Year Olds

Part Seven:  Renewal or Resignation in Your Mid-40s

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