13 Reasons Why Your 40s Are Your Best Decade

Read time: 4 Minutes

Turning 40 is a big deal. You’ve been around the block, learned a thing or two, got a few great stories under your belt and now it’s well and truly time to settle into your life and live it for you.

Although aging is always a daunting prospect, most people agree that their 40s are potentially their best decade, as they have the confidence, experience and freedom to make good decisions and do the things they really want to do.

If you’re approaching the milestone, here are a few things you have to look forward to in your forties.

  1. You care less about everything

But in a good way. You no longer care what people think about you, if they like you and what you look like. You’re fully prepared to admit when you’re wrong or when you don’t know something and you no longer do the childish thing of tearing others down to make yourself look or feel better.

You don’t care about keeping up with trendy music, celebrities or reality TV. You finally understand who and what is important to you in life and those are the things that get all of your attention.

When you're in your 40's, you care less about what people think

  1. All your favourite childhood bands are doing reunion tours

And you can go to those concerts and pretend you’re 16 again, alongside a bunch of 40-somethings who are doing the same thing.

  1. You have nice things

You’ve got a decent job, saved a bit of money and have more disposable income to spend on the nice car or expensive shoes you pined for in your twenties. You understand that there are some things that should just never be bought cheap – like wine and bed sheets. But at the same time, you know that importance of spending money on experiences and things that will make your life better.

  1. You have your core group of friends

By the time you hit your forties, all those fair-weather friends have flown away and you’re left with a strong core group of mates whose company you actually enjoy. No more sitting until 3am talking drunken gibberish with Paul who you only ever see on wild nights out. Now it’s dinner parties and get togethers with people you like to spend time with.

Group of friends

  1. People think you’re an adult

Even though you still feel 21 at the very most, other people treat you like a wise and respectable adult, seeking your opinion on all manner of things; from mortgages to relationship advice. And although you don’t feel responsible enough, you find that you’re pretty good at dishing out some sage advice. In doing this you realise that there is no such thing as ‘grown ups’ – we’re all winging it but some of us are more convincing than others.

  1. You have a lot of great stories

With two decades as an adult behind you, you have quite a selection of anecdotes and stories to bust out at dinner parties.

  1. Your retirement plan is looking healthy

That pension you set up begrudgingly in your thirties (link to previous article) is starting to look good and you’re slightly less frightened about the prospect of retirement.

  1. Your kids are growing up

If you have children in your early to mid twenties, by now they might be growing up and maybe even flying the nest to college or university, giving you slightly more spare time and freedom to do the things you want to do.

  1. You’re getting better at reading people

You’ve met a lot of different kinds of people in your 40 years – some for better and some for worse and you finally feel like you can read people and situations a little better than you used to. You’re getting better at trusting your own gut and avoiding wasting time and energy on those who don’t deserve it.

  1. You know your body

Having lived in the same body for your entire life, you feel like you’re finally getting to know and like it a little better. You don’t put as much pressure on yourself to look perfect and instead feel gratitude for each day you wake up healthy and happy.

  1. You’re more confident than ever

You’re not afraid of saying no or asking for the things you want. You have respect for yourself and value your own opinion over what other people think.  You’re finally starting to let go of negative self-talk and being too hard on yourself because you know life’s too short and, in the grand scheme of things, you’re actually pretty great.


  1. You’re most adventurous

In your twenties there were so many things you wanted to do and as you’ve grown older, you understand how being held back by fear can lead to regret. Now, you’ve experienced real life at it’s best and worst. You know you can deal with whatever is thrown at you and will happily try new things despite the fear of failure.

  1. You live in the moment

As morbid as it sounds on the surface, you’ve come to realise that you’re probably not going to tick absolutely everything off your bucket list. But that’s not a bad thing – instead you’re more focused on doing the things and reaching the goals that will bring you true joy. You know that life is short and you’re getting better at soaking up the good moments.

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What do you like best about being in you 40s? Let us know by using the hashtag #MyIrishLife

Author: Irish Life

Irish Life is one of Ireland’s leading financial services companies with over 1 million customers. For over 75 years, we’ve been helping people in Ireland look after their life insurance, pension and investment needs.

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