Living the American dream makes anything seem possible — at least until you reach a certain age.
A recent survey conducted by SeniorLiving.org identified exactly how old is considered too old to make a career change. The survey gathered responses from 1,102 Americans — ranging in age from 18 to 75 years old — to determine when people should start and stop participating in certain activities.
Click through to read more about how to handle finances and more at different stages of life.
How Old Is Too Old for a Career Change?
Anyone 61 years old and up is considered too old for a new career, according to the average of all the survey results. In comparison, respondents also claim this is the age where it’s no longer acceptable to eat fast food, so if you’re in your early sixties, now you know how to buck the system.
But Millennials Think Even Younger Is Too Old
If you thought age 61 was a bit too young to stop exploring your career options, wait until you see what millennials had to say on the matter. The more discerning, younger generation believes 57 years old is actually the end point for starting a new career.
Baby Boomers Are More Optimistic About Career Changes
A more enthusiastic outlook, baby boomers believe it’s fine to explore your career options until age 67. Not as generous, but still slightly above average, Gen X decided 62 years old was the maximum acceptable age.
Although times have changed, there are still career lessons millennials can learn from baby boomers.
When It Comes to Starting a Business, People Think You Can Be Older
According to survey respondents, you shouldn’t start a new career if you’re over 61 years old, but surprisingly, they found it acceptable to launch a business up until age 70. Once again the most optimistic group, baby boomers pushed that limit to 74 years old.
When It Comes to Working Excessively, All Generations Agree When You Should Stop
The three generations surveyed don’t agree on everything, but they do have a general consensus on when to quit being a workaholic. The results revealed it’s time to stop working excessively in the 54 to 56 years old age range.
61 Wasn't Too Old for These People to Start New Careers
General consensus might say anyone 61 years old and up is too old for a new career, but that doesn’t mean you have to listen. Plenty of seniors have started fresh and thrived, including Ronald Reagan, Laura Ingalls Wilder and Peter Mark Roget.
Former career: Actor
New career started at age 69: U.S. President
Ronald Reagan was a few weeks shy of his 70th birthday when he was sworn in as the 40th U.S. president. He’d previously served two terms as the governor of California, but prior to that, he had a successful acting career that spanned more than 50 films.
Laura Ingalls Wilder
Former career: Farmer
New career started at age 65: Author
She’s one of the most famous authors of all time, but before publishing her first novel, “Little House in the Big Woods,” at age 65, Laura Ingalls Wilder and her family lived on a farm in the Ozarks. Wilder wrote a biweekly column for The Missouri Ruralist, but that pales in comparison to her success as an author. Her nine novels have sold more than 60 million copies in more than 100 countries, according to the official website of “Little House on the Prairie.”
Not Everyone Succeeds: 15 Celebrities Who Tried and Failed to Start New Careers
Peter Mark Roget
Former career: Doctor and inventor
New career started at age 73: Author
As a young English doctor, Peter Mark Roget often published works on medicine and even invented a slide rule that formed the basis of the standard used in higher education until the calculator was created. After retiring from medicine, he went to work on the “Roget’s Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases.” It was published in 1852, when he was 73 years old.
Aging and Career Changes
As a whole, baby boomers have a more ambitious attitude about working into their golden years than millennials. Both figuratively and literally, Gen X sits firmly between the two. But it’s clear that if you’re determined enough, you can start a new career at almost any age.
Click through to read more about the 30 greatest threats to your retirement.
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About the Author
Laura is a writer with nearly 10 years of experience in marketing and personal finance. She is a Los Angeles-based writer specializing in personal finance, higher education, legal matters and marketing. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from the University of Pittsburgh and an MBA from Robert Morris University.