Think you know AARP? What you don't know about us may surprise you. Discover all the 'Real Possibilities'

Contests and

Dream Vacation Sweepstakes

10 weeks. 10 amazing trips. Seize your chance to win!
See official rules. 


most popular



You Can Do It!

Career Change After 50

His career comeback story made it to Hollywood. Now Chris Gardner is here to help you.

blue collar worker looking out over the horizon

— Christophe Vander Eecken/GalleryStock

Dear Chris,

Last year I was laid off from my job in oil-burner repair. After a year of retraining I found a job in an air-conditioning plant. I’m glad to have work, but I feel as if I’ve lost my identity. Can a person really start over at my age and feel good about it?

Albert Ferrell, 51, Philadelphia

Dear Albert,

Age is a fact, but it’s not the whole story. At 51 you are younger than Ray Kroc was when he started the McDonald’s chain. So, yes, it’s possible to start something new after 50 and make it your life’s work.

Stop worrying about starting over, and just start. To find the self you feel you’ve lost, figure out what turns you on—that one passion that makes you say, “The sun can’t rise soon enough, because I’ve got to do my thing.” See where you are with it, and where you want to go.

Next, take a step toward your goal. Maybe it’s pursuing a hobby. Maybe it’s bringing old strengths to your new job. Where do you start? Start where you are! Martin Luther King Jr. said it best: “You don’t have to see the whole staircase. Just take the first step.”

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts


Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.

Discounts & Benefits

Norwegian Cruise Lines

Norwegian Cruise Line offers 5% off on select cruises, plus other special offers.

Tanger Outlets

Members receive a free Tanger Coupon Book including up to 20% discount offers.

Life insurance: you are covered rain or shine

Members can convert their assets into guaranteed income for life with AARP Lifetime Income Program from New York Life.

Member Benefits

Members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change. Join Today


5 Weeks to a New Life

How do you resolve differences in a relationship — without fighting? Share your tips in our online community and be eligible to win prizes. Discuss

The Reinvention Group

The Reinvention Group

Ask questions, find support and share information about changing gears in your 50+ years. Discuss


The Coffee Shop

Kick back and enjoy lighthearted conversation among Online Community locals. Discuss