If you’re looking to make the most of your golden years, start with this bucket list of 50 things to do before age 50.
A few years ago, I wrote a post titled “45 Things to Do Before You Turn 45,” and I can proudly say that I’ve managed to do 38 of those things by age 45. Believe me, that’s no big feat, as I started later than I should have. However, I’m happy I was able to accomplish most of the things I wanted to do.
I personally believe that everyone should have a bucket list of things they want to do. Whether it’s a travel bucket list, a celebration of life bucket list, no matter what you call it, there should be something or some things that you want to achieve and that you’re willing to work towards. I recently wrote about 23 things I’m doing in 2023, and I’m also on my way to accomplishing that list as well.
This list of 50 things to do before age 50 is full of tips, advice, and suggestions that will help you make the most of your life. You can use these ideas to get motivated and start making plans for the upcoming years, from going out on a wild night to finally taking that dream vacation.
1. Take a trip around the world and visit all seven continents.
The earlier you start, the easier it will be, of course. You don’t have to visit all 195 countries, but if you visit one country from each continent once a year, you can cross this off your list in seven years.
2. Learn a new language, like Spanish or French.
I decided that I was going to learn German, as Madison was learning both German and French. I signed up with Duolingo, and I can say that this is by far my biggest accomplishment to date.
3. Travel solo for at least one week.
This was always a dream of mine, and I made it happen a few years ago! However, I spent a week visiting Hungary, Czechia, and Slovakia, and it was an amazing experience. Not only did I get to explore the cities, but I also made some new friends along the way.
4. Do something totally unexpected and out of character (e.g., skydiving, bungee jumping, etc.).
Even though this is a bit risky, it’s definitely worth a try for all thrill-seekers out there! This could be anything from going skydiving to taking a road trip to an unknown destination—just do something that you wouldn’t normally do. It’s all about taking risks and living life to the fullest! Plus, you’ll have an awesome story to tell your grandkids someday.
5. Take a painting or drawing class.
I’m not very good at drawing or painting (I stick mostly to photography), but that doesn’t mean I can’t try and learn something new. Grab a canvas, some paint, and brushes, and start painting your first masterpiece today!
6. Practice saying “No” more often.
Learning the art of saying “No” is a great way to set boundaries and take control of your life. You don’t have to take up every opportunity that comes your way — remember, it’s totally okay to say no!
7. Visit all 50 states (or as many as you can!).
This is a great way to explore the USA and gain some first-hand experiences with different regions and cultures. Plus, you can tick off destinations from your bucket list!
8. Go to a professional sports game.
Whether it’s American football, basketball, baseball, or hockey — pick one of your favorite teams and buy tickets for their next big game. It’ll be an unforgettable experience!
9. Visit a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
There are over 1,000 UNESCO World Heritage Sites around the world, and they’re all worth visiting — especially those that are close to you. Pick one (or more!) and start planning your trip!
10. Take up yoga or mindfulness meditation to bring balance into your life.
Yoga and meditation are great for keeping stress at bay and bringing a sense of inner peace into your life. It’s also an excellent way to stay healthy and fit as we age.
11. Take a trip to Disney World .
This might seem a bit childish, but it’s actually a great way to relax and have some fun. Disney is my happy place, and I actually have a bucket list dream of visiting all the parks around the world. However, if you’ve never been, add Disney World to your bucket list, or at least one of their many parks. Plus, Disney World has something for everyone — from thrill rides to family-friendly activities.
12. Read more books and broaden your horizons.
It’s never too late to start reading! Pick up a few books of different genres and dive into the pages to explore new worlds. You can even make it a goal to read a certain number of books each month.
13. Learn how to play a musical instrument (at least one).
This might take some time, but if you dedicate yourself to mastering this skill, it will definitely pay off in the long run!
14. Live in another country for at least a year.
Living abroad can be a great experience, and it’s definitely worth considering. Not only will you get to explore a new culture, but you’ll also meet some amazing people along the way!
15. Start investing in stocks or learn how to trade cryptocurrency.
This is something that many people are doing right now, so why not join the crowd? It’s always better to start early and make your money work for you instead of letting it sit idle in a savings account.
16. Go wine/beer tasting.
This is a great way to explore different flavors and have some fun. Plus, it’s always nice to spend time with friends over a glass of wine or beer.
17. Explore the wilderness — pitch a tent in the woods or go camping with friends.
Exploring nature is one of the best things we can do for our mental health — so why not pitch a tent in the woods and spend some time with Mother Nature? It’s an amazing way to escape reality and just relax.
18. Attend a music festival or concert
This is a great way to experience some of your favorite bands or artists live in person. Plus, you can make new friends and have a good time! Forget about having someone to go along with, do it solo if you must, but just do it.
19. Take up an outdoor activity like camping, kayaking or rock climbing.
Outdoor activities are not only fun, but they can also help connect us with nature and give us a much-needed sense of adventure. So go ahead and explore the outdoors!
20. Start a blog or vlog to document your life journey.
This is something that has become very popular in the past few years, and it’s definitely worth the effort — you never know who might be inspired by your story!
21. Plant a tree in your garden and watch it grow.
Taking care of a living thing can bring us closer to nature, and even provide us with a sense of purpose as we watch our plants thrive! Who knows, you might even harvest some fruits or vegetables from it in the future!
22. Spend quality time with family and friends.
No matter how busy you get, make sure to set aside some time for the people who matter the most in your life! Catch up over lunch, plan a weekend getaway, or just stay at home and watch a movie together — whatever it is, make sure not to miss out on spending quality time with loved ones.
23. Go on a shopping spree (for yourself or for charity!).
Shopping can be a great stress-reliever and it’s also an opportunity to treat yourself (or someone else) after a long week. So go ahead and indulge in some retail therapy. It would seem like I do this one pretty often enough, but I’ve never done it for charity before.
24. Learn how to scuba dive or snorkel.
Discovering the depths of the ocean can be an amazing experience — and it’s something that everyone should try at least once in their life! So why not take a dive and explore the beauty that lies beneath?
25. Run a half marathon or any kind of long-distance race/event.
Challenge yourself with running, whether it’s a 5k, 10k or even a half marathon. The accomplishment of completing such an event will be hugely satisfying, and it’ll also give you bragging rights for years to come!
26. Learn a new skill that could help you in your career (or business).
For example, if you work in the tech industry, learning how to code might come in handy. Or if you’re an entrepreneur, understanding the basics of marketing and finance would definitely give your business a boost.
27. Learn to cook a new cuisine or try out a new recipe every week.
This can be fun and rewarding — you’ll not only enjoy learning something new but also treating your taste buds with different flavors!
28. Take a road trip across the country.
There’s nothing quite like hitting the road and exploring the different sights and sounds of America. Whether you take a scenic route or drive off the beaten path, this is one of those experiences that you’ll never forget. Nothing beats the thrill of embarking on an adventure — so why not plan for one? Pack all the essentials, grab your car keys, and hit the road! Who knows, you might even make some lifelong memories along the way.
29. Write a book or short story.
I recently wrote a book (still in the process of editing), and I can say that it is one of the most rewarding experiences I have ever had. Writing a book can help you expand your knowledge and share it with the world — so go ahead and start working on yours today!
30. Visit at least 5 historical sites in your city/state/country.
Learning about the history of a particular place can be an eye-opening experience. So find out more about your local area and take a trip to some historical sites — you might even learn something new!
31. Learn to dance (ballroom or salsa!).
Dancing is a great way to have fun, express yourself and meet new people. It’s also a great form of exercise that can help keep you fit and healthy. So why not give it a try and enjoy the many benefits of dancing?
32. Join a club or organization that shares your interests.
Clubs and organizations are great places to meet people who share similar interests as you — as well as learn more about them! Whether it’s a book club, film society, or any other type of organization — joining one can be a great way to make new friends and explore new interests.
33. Visit a museum (or several) and learn about different cultures and histories.
Museums are amazing places that offer incredible insight into the world around us — from art to science, there’s something for everyone! So go ahead and plan a trip to the museum — you won’t regret it. If you’re in Colorado, check out these free museums in Colorado Springs.
34. Take up martial arts or self-defense classes.
Martial arts and self-defense classes are both excellent ways to stay active while learning some useful skills. Plus, they can also help boost your confidence and teach you how to protect yourself if needed!
35. Ride in a hot air balloon.
Experience the thrill and beauty of riding in a hot air balloon — this is surely one experience you won’t forget! Plus, it’ll make for some beautiful photos too.
36. Create a bucket list — both short-term and long-term goals for yourself.
Having clear-cut goals helps us stay focused on what we want in life — so why not create a bucket list today? It doesn’t have to be anything wild; just take small steps to reach your bigger goals.
37. Spend some time each day reflecting on yourself and your life.
Taking the time to sit down and reflect on your life is incredibly important — it helps us stay grounded and reminds us of our purpose in life. Plus, it can also be incredibly therapeutic! So why not spend a few minutes every day doing just that?
38. Smile more often — even when you don’t feel like it.
Smiling can help us stay positive and spread good vibes around us — so why not make it a daily habit? Whether it’s at home or out in public, don’t forget to flash those pearly whites!
39. Give back to the community.
Giving back to the community is one of the best ways we can make a difference in our world. Plus, it will also allow you to meet some incredible people too! So why not spend some time volunteering for causes that matter deeply to you? Whether it’s volunteering at a food bank or providing mentorship to a young person, it’s important to remember that we all have something to give. It might just be the most rewarding experience of your life.
40. Spend time with animals — volunteer at your local animal shelter or pet store.
Animals can be some of the most rewarding creatures to spend time with — so why not volunteer at a local animal shelter or pet store? It’s an amazing way to give back and connect with these incredible beings!
41. Buy a house.
If you haven’t already, now is the perfect time to invest in a house. It’s an amazing way to secure your financial future and will also be a great place for you to call home — so make sure you buy that dream house before it’s too late!
42. Save at least $20k in an emergency fund.
Make a concerted effort to save at least $20,000 before you turn 50. It’s not as difficult as you think. By age 30, you should have some savings, so start by deducting how much you have already saved and then take the remaining amount and divide by 12 to find how much you need to save each month to accomplish this goal. This money can be used in the event of an emergency or simply as a safety net for your later years.
43. Visit one of the Wonders of the World.
We live on an amazing planet with lots of incredible places to explore, so why not visit one of the Seven Wonders of the World? Whether it’s Machu Picchu or Chichen Itza, this will surely be an adventure like no other!
44. Try something new every year, even if it scares you at first.
Trying something new can be incredibly rewarding—it helps us grow and learn more about ourselves. So why not make an effort to try something new every year? You never know what amazing experiences await you!
45. Make sure to save for retirement; don’t forget about your future self.
Retirement can seem like a distant dream, but it’s never too early to start saving for it. Setting money aside now will ensure that you have enough later in life, so make sure you take the time to plan ahead!
46. Learn to drive.
Driving is an essential skill that everyone should have, so why not learn to drive before you turn 50? It’s a great way to get around and also gives you the freedom to explore new places. Plus, it’s a great skill to keep for years to come.
47. Start a business or side hustle that you’re passionate about.
Starting a business can be an incredibly rewarding experience—if done right! If there’s something that you’ve been wanting to pursue, now is the perfect time to get started on it! Who knows? It might just be the best decision you ever make.
48. Spend a day at a spa—treat yourself to some much-needed relaxation.
Everyone deserves to be pampered and unwind once in a while, so why not spend a day at the spa? It’s great for relieving stress and also helps us reconnect with our bodies and minds. Plus, it’s an amazing way to give yourself some well-deserved TLC!
49. Take a cruise.
Cruising is a great way to explore the world and experience new cultures, so why not book yourself on one? It’s an amazing way to get away and also discover some incredible places along the way.
50. Enjoy life—remember that you only have one chance at it!
At the end of the day, don’t forget to enjoy life—after all, there’s only one chance at it! So why not make sure you’re living your best life today? Do things that bring you joy, and make time for those who matter most to you—you won’t be sorry.
These are just a few of the many things you can do before you turn 50, so don’t be afraid to dream big and start taking small steps towards achieving those goals today! No matter what age you are, it’s never too late to make positive changes in your life. Good luck!