While a midlife crisis is not regarded as a universal phenomenon, during one’s 40s and 50s comes the recognition that more than half of one’s life is gone. That recognition may prompt some to feel that the clock is ticking and that they must make sudden, drastic changes in order to achieve their goals, while others focus on finding satisfaction with the present course of their lives.
For this week’s discussion, think about mid-life crisis. Is this a true stage in life or something which has turned into somewhat of a scapegoat for risky behavior in older adults? Older adults face important risky decisions about their health, their financial future, and their social environment.
Keep in mind the risk-taking tendencies in the financial domain reduce steeply in older age (at least for men). Risk taking in the social domain instead increases slightly from young to middle age, before reducing sharply in later life, whereas recreational risk taking reduces more steeply from young to middle age than in later life. Ethical and health risk taking reduce relatively smoothly with age. Think about gender differences in risk taking with age. Financial risk taking reduced steeply in later life for men but not for women, and risk taking in the social domain reduced more sharply for women than for men. Finally, discuss the possible underlying causes of the domain-specific nature of risk taking and age.