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How to Start Over at 50 With No Money and Little Hope

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Is it hard to start over at 50? Is it terrifying to start over at 50? Is it frustrating af to start over at 50?

Yup, yup, yup.

It’s all of those things and then some. And I know. I had to do that at 52 years old without a penny to my name. I had zippo, zilch, nudda. Except for hope. I had a tiny shred of hope that I clung to for dear life.

I had to hang on to that because I had nothing else. Nothing. I had to figure out how to start over at 50 with no money and no job.

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When you have to start over at 50 with no money (and alone)

I never once thought in a million years that I would have to start over at 50. I mean, when I threw my husband out 31 odd years ago, I kinda had to start over, but it was a lot easier then. Or so it seemed anyway.

And then, when I left my abusive partner in 2013 after just closing up my salon and declaring bankruptcy, I had to start over again, but this time, it was hard. And terrifying af.

To be honest, I have never felt so alone in my entire life as I did then.

I had to scramble to find an apartment and find things to put in my apartment, hopefully for free, because I couldn’t afford anything. I had to find someone to help me move what little belongings I did have remaining at the old house with my ex.

And I had to find a job. I needed money. I needed a lot of things. I was starting over entirely.

I was fortunate enough to have a former boss who really liked me and was happy to have me return to her salon. Tail between my legs, off I went.

I had to start over at 50 with nothing. And to say I was freaking out a little is an understatement.

Trying to figure out how to start over when you have a small child is one thing, and that in itself is exhausting and hard. But when you’re over 50, and you feel like most of your life is over, and then you gotta figure out how to start over again?

Ya. That’s terrifying and exhausting too but in a different way.

Starting over at 50 with nothing is soul crushing

People joke about having a midlife crisis. Honestly, it’s nothing to joke about at all; well, not my crisis anyway. I was 52 years old and had nothing to my name.

I even ran out of pride and self-confidence/respect/worth/love, you name it, I had no selfs left.

To say you feel like an absolute loser is an understatement. Starting over at 50 and broke is soul-crushing and frustrating af.

You look around at most of your friends and they are all still happily married or still have good jobs they had right out of high school. So many of them are doing so well in life, and here you are, at 50, starting over with no money, no nothing.

It’s sufficient to say you kinda feel like a bit of a loser.

So ya, to start over at 50 isn’t all rainbows and lollipops. But once you get past the initial shell shock and fear, you realize that you can reinvent your life the way YOU want. How it pleases you!!

That’s the amazing part!

How to start over at 50 - picture of a happy womanPin

You can reinvent your life at 50 (or even older!!)

Once I left my ex and started to reinvent my life, I realized that the sky was the limit. I could do or be anything in the world that I wanted to. All I had to do was find out what that was.

I had no clue.

For the first time in my life, I was alone and had no one to answer to but myself. If anything needed changing or improving, it was up to me to do that.

It was up to me to change my life at 50 (something-ish) and to stop living in the same misery I had been living all these years. My life was an insane roller coaster of ups and downs, highs and lows, and I needed it to stop.

I needed some stability.

I needed some kind of normalcy. When you realize you can reinvent your life any way you want to, well, girl, lemme tell ya. You kinda feel like a 5 yr old on Christmas morning!

How to start over in life at 50

I had no clue how to start over in life, but I was about to find out.

The first thing I had to do was find out who Iva was and what made her happy. I needed to let go of who I used to be so I could become who I wanted to be.

I also had to forget how old I was. I mean, totally remove my age from this equation.

Too many people use their age as an excuse not to do or start something. I couldn’t do that. I had to throw my age out of the window. I had spent my entire life making excuses for things. Not anymore.

So while doing some life inventory, I had to stop and ask myself a few questions to find out exactly what the heck I was gonna do with my life now.

Five questions to ask yourself when you’re starting over at 50

  • What’s going to make me happy?
  • What will give me the greatest amount of freedom?
  • What can I do to help others?
  • What am I really good at?
  • What am I really passionate about?

Nowhere in there does it say, “Can I do this?”. Do you know why? Because you can do anything you set your mind to. Absolutely anything.

How to start over at 50 with no money and all alone. Pin

When you take some time to answer these questions and try to figure out your next step, you will see how things will unfold for you, almost miraculously, kinda like they did for me.

How to start over: changing careers at 50

I’m going to really try hard to make this a Reader’s Digest version of my life, but I share it with you now because I want you to see that if I can do it, so can you. And I don’t care how old you are.

So many people are worried or scared because they don’t know how to start over or if they can even change careers at 50 (or even 40 or 60!), but you most certainly can. It’s not easy, but it’s not impossible either.

This is how it went down for me.

It kinda happened like this:

  • Went back to the old job, grateful but miserable
  • I spent a year doing self-discovery
  • Started volunteering at the homeless shelter while I was healing my own demons
  • Found my passion there, helping and serving the homeless
  • I decided I wanted to do this in Central America
  • I went on a volunteer mission for three weeks in Costa Rica
  • Came back home and decided I wanted to do more of that and move to Central America
  • While still cutting hair, I read eBooks and blogs to learn how to become a freelance writer (it was the only thing I was really good at and could work online at)
  • I spent almost a full year honing this craft (writing) and looking for jobs (while still cutting hair full-time)
  • Finally found good jobs as a ghostwriter
  • In July of 2015, I retired from hair, became a full-time freelance writer
  • In October 2015, I moved to Guatemala with two suitcases on a one-way ticket.

See how that happened? While working on myself and helping others, I found my passion and did what I could do to do more of it. Just not in Northern Ontario where I was living at the time.

At 53 years old I had started a new career. I hung up my cutting shears, and I was now a freelance writer. Who would have ever thunk? Certainly not me.

But that’s how things happen. That’s how life changes.

I knew what I wanted. I wanted to leave Canada, I wanted to leave winters behind and I wanted to help poor people in another country.

I knew if I wanted to do all that, I wouldn’t be able to do that as a hairstylist, so I had to totally reinvent myself and start a new career over 50 that would allow me to travel and still support myself.

And that’s exactly what I did. And so can you.

Some tips to follow when you’re starting over in life

Before we get into this, please check out my new YouTube channel for women over 50 (or 30 or 40 or even 60 or 70!! HA!) Don’t forget to hit the subscribe button while you’re there.

I recently made a video on this exact topic and I think you’ll really like it. You can click here to watch that inspirational video now.

As I mentioned earlier, it’s not easy (well it wasn’t for me) and it can be stressful and super scary but you most certainly can start over at 50, or even 60!

How to start over in life: 5 Tips

  1. Forget your age-it’s just a number. Too many of us think we are “too old” to start anything new or make any significant changes in life, but nothing is further from the truth. Forget how old you are and do life the way you want it.
  2. Find your passion. What are you most passionate about? Are you doing that? What are some of the things that bring your heart great joy and happiness? Do more of those things. Your heart knows.
  3. Do some research -Find out what it takes to follow your passion and what is required to do your “new thing.” All the answers you need are at your fingertips on the internet.
  4. Make the decision. You must decide to start taking the necessary steps to change your life (so many never make it that far). That’s by far the hardest step of all, but you have to do it!!
  5. Stay focused. Your new life and happiness are steps away, but it’s up to you to stay the course. Don’t give up. Be brave, determined, and courageous -you’ll need all 3 to succeed in your big life changes!

The way I look at it is this:

We’re more than halfway through our lives (give or take a few years).

We don’t want to die with regret.

There are probably so many things you still want to do but have always been afraid to do them (go do them)

This is your only life.

Nothing changes if nothing changes and it’s up to you to make those changes

Don’t you want to be happy? Aren’t you tired of being stuck in a cage like you have been your entire life? Don’t you want to be free?

Of course, you do!!

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You so got this!!!

Starting over at 50 with no money is very scary

It’s not going to be easy starting over at 50 with no money, and it’s so terrifying, but you can do it!!

Yes, what you are about to embark on may be terrifying. Do it anyway. You don’t think it was scary for me to leave my country and move to a third-world country that I knew nothing about?

Of course, it was scary. I was terrified out of my tree. But it didn’t matter. I had to face my fears and shut them down.

I wanted this; I knew it would be ballsy and scary. And I was prepared to do whatever it took to make this a reality.

I was tired of my life. It had to change. So I made it happen. Alone!

How bad do you want it? How badly do you want to reinvent a life that totally pleases you? Take your age out of the equation and do what your heart calls you to do.

The benefits when you start over at 50

Let’s face it, your life is about to become beyond amazing. You are going to be doing things you have only ever dreamed of. Yay you!!

Here are a few benefits of starting over at 50:

  • Build self-confidence
  • Boost self-esteem
  • Have more pride in yourself
  • Become unstoppable (yasssssssss)
  • Have courage to do more life-changing things
  • Become an inspiration to other women who want to start over at 50

This is the only life you have. Don’t live with regrets.

xo iva xo


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  1. Thank You, you’ve given me a starting point, and it was just what I needed right now.
    You were talking to me, you were saying just what I’ve been thinking I needed, but just needed to shut down that negative ninny voice in my head.

    1. Yay I’m so happy to hear this. That negative voice thinks it knows best but it doesn’t. You go girl!!!

  2. Hello Iva-
    I just Subscribed to your YouTube channel and thrilled to get to know you! I had tears and butterflies…as I read your story, up above.
    🙋🏼‍♀️Sixty-Single/Divorced-Scared in a rut. You are a breath of fresh air-inspiration! 🙏🏻🌞Thank you.

    1. Yay thanx for doing that and thank you so much for your kind words! You will get out of this rut!! Forge ahead girl..you’re gonna be ok!!

  3. Thank you, what I read is what I needed right now.I am a 48 years old man that wasted many years of my life because I was trapped in a doomsday cult, the Jehovah’s witnesses.I was 21 years old when i surrender my brain to this group and at that time I was working with my older brother in a foreign country but my cult involvement led me eventually away from him and while he became rich i stayed poor until now and last year my wife left me because of the fact that I had woken up to the reality that I was trapped in a cult, something for which my dear brother had warned me telling me that this so called religion would destroy my life, and two months ago the most terrible thing happened my beloved Brother died from covid and for the last two months i live in pain for the years i lost away from him and for the years i spend to take care of my wife and her family who without any regret thrown me out of the house after serving them for 18 years.So here i am 48 with no older brother no children without a house and with no money but whith an inspiration,my brother Peter, what would he do?Yes i am free, especially from this destroying and mind controling cult,i speak and write English and i have nothing to loose, and if Peter is watching me from heaven i want to say that I am sorry for not listening to you all those years ago but now you will be my inspiration

  4. George…. where are you now? Are you ambitious? We are starting over too. We need those that would work for nothing, but with hopes at succeeding. My hubby and I want to start a business, move, and start over. I am inspired anything can happen. Hope and faith. I pray you have found your way back to God. He is the miracle. With God, all is possible. Prayers.

  5. Every article on the internet says the same thing. All of these 50 something women say they are starting their lives over with nothing….but that’s not true. Do you have a car? Do you somewhere to live? A job? Plus all of you were married…so you got something out of that to. Like money and alimony and other material goods. That ‘s not nothing. Nothing is living with someone over 22 years and having no place to live, no car, no money, no… well… NOTHING. Rent is over 1500.00. No one wants to hire me for anything that makes more than that a month. I can’t find a full time, good paying job. All of that is NOTHING. I need help starting from actual NOTHING.

    1. Hey thanx for reading and I’m sorry that you feel that way about “all of these women” . I hope you can find some hope and try to believe in miracles. Good things will come if you change your mindset. If you can’t find a job, create one. That’s what I recently did. You haVe to start somewhere….Figure out a way, and have faith.

    2. Hi there.. am relating, and hearing, what you’re saying. I’m 54, about-to-be divorced, but with no alimony/material possessions, have lost over 70% of my hearing (wear over-ear hearing aids, both ears), scoliosis, carpel tunnel both hands/arms, no family/friends (died last several years), and Major chip-on-my-shoulder. So am curious what you’re doing now, where you’re at now in your starting-over (?) It’s the likes of ‘us’ that need to stick together!

      1. Thanx for your comments RaggDollaz. I feel it’s important for all women to lift each other up and help each other out when we can. Starting over is lonely and scary so it’s great to have support! 🙂

    3. I feel the same I am homeless with nothing like you tell me how are you now? I am stuck and health is a issue too. I actually have a hard time finding any hope.

    1. Yay so glad you found this and it has inspired and motivated you!! Thanx for reading xoxo

  6. Hi Iva. I walked away from everything aged 45…home city and country, friends, a secure apartment, my teaching job. It wasn’t a conscious or positive move..in all honesty I was running away from one thing, and have ended up much worse off. During Covid I finally stopped dreaming and began to wake up to the reality of what I threw away..the last 18 months have made me question who I am and if I had some kind of personality or identity takeover. I turned 50 last month and am scared sh£&tless at the prospect of poverty and homelessness in old age. As I said, I used to be a teacher..also taught English in Spain and Italy when younger, haven’t taught since leaving London 5,years ago but it is the one skill I have on my favour. Other than that I have no savings, no pension, no home of my own..In other words no assets at all. I have had 5 wasted years since arriving in rural Ireland,I can either stay here looking out at the rain and wasting the rest of my life, or I can be inspired and start living again. I love teaching, I love working with kids and have been told I have a talent for writing. I hope I can use both skills to at least keep a very modest roof over my head, and eat. As I have no savings I am wondering what far flung continent to move to and get old in. No partner or offspring, it will just be me. Best wishes, Claire.

    1. Oh you can teach online anywhere in the world…. the door is wide open for you now to do what YOU want….go do it!!! Thanx for sharing your story…you so got this girl 🙂

    2. Hi Claire – I agree with Iva, there are plentiful legit online teaching needed. There is HOPE and your will be good again! Keep the Faith! sending love and prayers from South Africa

  7. Your story was so close to mine. I’m 56, divorced a 16 yr marraige w/ 4 children, no child support, left our home due to fear of ex, struggled for years, fast forward to 4 grown children, 2 grand babies, had my life together and feeling strong & stable until I gave it all up for a life with what turned out to be a seriously toxic relationship & left with a car load of my things. Now staying in a friends spare bedroom and starting over. Wanting to be here for my kids & their children but needing to find a new home with no money, a job that isn’t paying so well right now and rents sky high. I’m scared, confused, angry I let this happen to myself. Thankyou for the encouraging words. Any advice on the finding a home in this situation would be greatly appreciated.

    1. Hi sorry you are feeling a little lost, scared, confused, etc. It can be stressful leaving a relationship and having to start over again alone. The only thing I can suggest if your current job doesnt’ pay enough is to find other work or another part time job. I worked up to 14 hour days some days to make ends meet and reinvent my career and my life. Yes it was long and hard but I wanted a better life for myself so I knew if I put in the hard work first, I would see results. Stay the course, have faith and be open to step out of your comfort zone, try new things. Hope this helps…xoxox

  8. Hi there, thank you so so much for sharing. I am 53 years old, and I am literally LOST at the moment! I had my own home, well still had a bond payments to bank but I had to sell it last year due to COVID and unemployment. I have an addiction which I cannot get rid off!!!! At times, I think death is the BEST thing cos this addiction is with me for 15 years!! I tried to reach out to support groups but ….I guess it is me that didnt want the proper help. So I am stuck with the addiction, I could have had a comfortable life but with the addiction lost most of my money. I recently lost my furbaby and it broke me; with guilt and sadness! My Peki baby was my BABY, my hope of living! I cannot think of what my passion is in life is! I am good with people, worked at global organisations and gel well with diverse cultures. I am a Personal Assistant / Admin by trade of 35 years under my belt! I am in a mundane job, which I should be grateful off as the unemployment rate is horrific in this country! I have lived alone for 27 odd years and have had a good life in my 20s, 30s, 40s etc but sadly at 53, no house, have excellent family and friend support though…but I dont feel grateful! Yes, I know how this sounds but I am being honest! what is wrong with me?? i am trying to reach out to support groups in my area but sadly, that too is so stagnant and unhelpful! apologies for the long write but I just needed to vent…Blessings from South Africa

    1. I think you’re just in a funk to be honest and paralyzed with indecisive and fear. You are creating your life with your thoughts and actions so it’s up to you to create new helpful thoughts and actions. You can stay miserable or you can change. It’s entirely up to you xoxox

    2. First, there is nothing wrong with you! Every individual has their own background/experiences/influences that has shaped them, and who/how they are at present. Second, addictions are insanely difficult to shed, I finally axed just one of mine recently, which in part is why I’ve woken up to the horror that is my current reality and pathetic excuse of a life, which in turn has caused me to be extremely angry with myself, but also realize that I have to forgive myself to move forward… and Third, I’ve attended/participated in several support groups, even psychotherapy, only to find most of these people are looking for people like me to use, abuse, or attempt to manipulate to their own selfish gain. So!, here we are, those of us who’ve made not-so-great decisions earlier in life and now paying the price, so-to-speak, also carrying around loads of hate/self-loathing.. If only we could all find each other, tune out the negative thoughts, focus on the positive one/s (gotta start somewhere, even if only ‘I’m alive, not dead, and have the ability to recognize the only way is up, but there at least is still a chance because I am ALIVE), and go from there, encourage one another, listen to one another, learn from our mistakes, understand each other, and support all of us in our newfound endeavor for healthy living/thinking on this crazy difficult, but yet another chance to ‘get it right’ this time around!

      1. Im in your situation as well. Its harsh. Wish there was a club for us to all meet and support one another.

    3. I am also in South Africa and finding life treacherous.
      I have no job yet have tried hour after hour for over four years now. As you probably know South Africans cant even work abroad to help ourselves as we can’t get a work visa anywhere in the world – which leaves us in a CATCH22! ALWAYS! I am solution oriented but in this set up… I have not found one answer. One cannot give and give… when one is so tired from it and not getting anything in return for effort or kindness.

      I know of a place in the Strand – there is a coffee shop called HeBrews (clever hey!) and a man who works there named Paul explained to me there is an Addiction Facility that will offer you all the support you need for an extended period to help you overcome addiction problems, and the service is sponsored so you are welcome. Please contact him. It may be just the step you need.

      In the meanwhile I do all I can to stop my brain from atrophying, pray and try be as creative as possible in looking for my next step even though I find life disillusioning after so much loss and hardship. South Africa is jampacked with challenges too that many will never understand!

      1. Can you not make your own job? It wont’ be easy but it’s not impossible either I don’t think. I’m sorry you are going through a really hard time right now.

  9. Hello Iva,

    I’m a 45 year old man now recognizing that my life is my own. This means that I’m starting to take REAL constructive steps to chase my dream. It is up to me and I’m taking full responsibility for all of my actions.

    Your article really helped me contextualize the effort that it takes to manifest my goals and it furthered the notion that life is worth living. I’m grateful for your article.

    Your words really saved my life…

    With much APPRECIATION…


    1. Yay I’m so happy to hear this James!! Thank you so much for reading and sharing your thoughts!

  10. It seems like you were able to get an apartment. How did you do that with nothing, nada, zilch? Housing is one of the hardest things to get in life period. If one has secure housing…anything is possible. What do people do who have no home, no clothes, no money? Those are the answers I am looking for. How did you get an apartment?

    1. Hi Christine. I had to reach out to people to borrow money for rent and was able to pay it back once I secured a job. I’m not sure what your situation is or where you live but in some cities/provinces/states they do have funding/grants/special funds for people who need money for rent. I’d look into the services offered in your area. Thanx for reading and hope this helps you.

    2. Amen! I’m 52 andon the streets for 4 months now with no money, job, or car. Housing is outrageously expensive and no one will hire me with no address. What to do now?

      1. I’m sorry you are going through this. Can you create your own job? What are you good at? What can you do? What are your skills? Sometimes we really need to think outside the box and scramble on our feet (I’ve had to do that a couple of times )…don’t give up… xox

        1. If you’d ever been truly penniless, homeless, disabled and without the help of family, friends, you’d understand that poverty and/or life on the streets is exhausting. You’re just trying to survive from one moment to the next. Graduating to the level of letting your mind roam free in order to create work is a near impossibility, is a luxury you can ill-afford.

  11. Hi Iva,
    I am 49, heading towards 50. I do have a job, I have a home, a common law husband, so I am not starting from zero but I feel like I have nothing if things go south. I work to survive, my savings is low and barely started putting into a 401K. The job I have is not my dream job but I have one. My husband is good with me, he pays for everything, I just buy groceries. The house is in his name and he is the one that has the better paying job and loves what he does. He has 2 more years before retirement. I am grateful for all I have been blessed with but I feel I could do more. Reading your article has motivated me and I hope I can achieve something out of this. I know I want to help others and I love music. Thanks Iva. I will continue to follow. prayers for everyone

    1. Your life sounds amazing but I can see how you want to do more…do it girl!!! I know you can. Sounds like you have a gift to offer the world. Time to share it 🙂 Thanx so much for reading and sharing your story.

  12. Going thru much of the same, except I have a list of health problems I’m dealing with, that prevent me from working a regular job. I also left an abusive relationship, and am still dealing with the hacking of my phone and internet, and stalking. I had an online job, but now I cannot even do that. I’m truly so very lost. I have no friends or family, and am running out of reasons to stay alive. 😔

    1. HI Maria I’m sorry you are going through so much. I’m sure it’s so overwhelming for you. You can email me at [email protected] if you need to talk more or want help or solutions. xoxo

  13. I left my 22 year marriage at age 48 and I will never forget going to the grocery store for the first time. I had NO idea what to buy. I didn’t know what I liked to eat. I had bought what my kids liked, what my ex liked and I ate it without even considering if I liked it. I freaked out and left the store with two yogurts and a can of Pringles. It was scary to realize i had lost so much of my identity.

    1. Omg Laura I can so relate. There are so many things I left out of this blog and one of them was being able to do things for myself and trying to figure out what I really liked. me. iva. no one else. I had no idea who I was. I hope you’re reinventing yourself now the way YOU want to live and be. xoxox

    2. Hi Laura

      I can totally relate to this!! I was wondering how your doing now?

  14. Im only in my mid 30 with 5 kids after 17 years in a relationship I’m now forced to start over with nothing but my children. Thank you for this.

    1. Awe I’m so sorry but I know you can do it. It’s hard and messy but you will get through this!! I’m glad it helped. Reach out anytime if you need to talk. xoxo

  15. Iva
    Thank you
    Finding you has come at just the right time.
    58, worried, alone but full of passion for others…… looking for direction….. impostor syndrome needs kicking out of my life.
    Day 1 of the scary new pathway…

    Much love ❤️

    1. Hi Zan, I am 52 (53 in July) I am on day 2 of getting out of an 18 year abusive relationship with a severe alcoholic. Unlike most of the women here, I still have children at home. A young child and a teen… I am terrified. Our home is rented, not in my name and I have only a few dollars. (Alcoholics always live paycheck to paycheck) I haven’t worked outside of the home in 10 years. I sell online to make side money for myself. I stayed home because I was always trying to protect my kids from his wrath and never left them alone with him. I am so stressed, but I know I can do it. I am just trying to absorb all I am facing and figuring out my next step. He is drunk in a hotel room maxing out our credit card, ruining our credit and threatening to quit his job. Trying to manipulate. I am staying strong and keeping the door locked. Once I quit crying it’s time to get my big girl panties on!

      1. Oh Anne I’m so sorry you are going through this but yes it’s def time you end that before it ends you. Stay strong!! You can do it.

  16. Hi,
    I am 48 years old and starting over after leaving a toxic, narcissistic husband. After being forced out of my home and living in extended stay hotels for a few months, I am in a lot of debt. The job offers I received salary didn’t meet the 3 times the monthly rent requirement or enough to cover living costs. I have a degree and experience in telecommunications, but since I haven’t worked in the field in 17 years, I received no job offers. Desperate and terrified, I accepted a preschool teacher job that barely covered my credit card bills. So, I took a leap of faith and accepted an offer to teach English in South Korea. That might sound amazing, but at nearly 50 years old, being in a country where I don’t speak the language, a huge cultural difference, most teachers or nearly teenagers and being so far from home makes me feel displaced and homesick. However, I feel stuck here without a home or money. I really want to move to an English speaking country but fear not finding a job because ESL teachers are not needed… any advice would be appreciated.

    1. I have no answers, but I too at age 53 have to start again. I live in South Africa where there is literally no work. I have been applying every day wherever I can and walking into shops and telling everyone for four long hard years. I can’t move anywhere abroad as I cannot get a work visa so every day I just exist, my money depleting – only paying bills (our government gives us nothing) and doing all I can to believe in myself.
      I am so lonely yet I have done all I can to connect with people. I think my losses and hardship have cut a wedge between others who still have it all and myself.
      I do not know where the starting point is. People say “one step at a time.” But each time I take a step it leads nowhere or to more problems (I started a retail business one years ago and had to close it due limited sales – I now sit with stock which people don’t want to buy).
      I had no idea life could be so ruthless. And trying to meet a single, kind man at my age seems impossible too.
      Very very hard each second.

      1. I’m sorry Sally. Yes, life sure can be ruthless at times but I think you have to think outside the box. That’s what I did and created my own life, not the one society thinks I should live.

  17. Iva, you’re awesome and an inspiration to me. Thank you for sharing. Bobbie

  18. Thank you! My husband of 18 years just left me for a pole dancer. I am literally destroyed and don’t see any way out of this dreadful state. Feel completely written off. Likely I have a job and couple of a good friends. I am happy that I found your article, will re-evaluate my life and hopefully have some light in it in the end.

    1. OOph I’m so sorry to hear this. Girl you are so gonna be ok. Better than ok!!! Chin up 🙂

    1. Well Hun!! Alot of us 50’s + are loving your article. I going through a most horrendous divorce of 27 years, and woo, have I been so mashed up for a year now. Today!!! I’m saying, enough!!! No more crap getting to me, I’m exhausted! I from Wales, landed in Cornwall last July homeless. Help and guidance from god and followers of god here in Cornwall, my new family and friends. In 3 days time I’m taking a weeks journey up to Scotland and back to Cornwall. 1600 + miles. I’m gonna succeed in getting a rental/purchased property for myself to start all over!! I’m packing up my caravan home, and my tractor I been restoring, my sausage dog, Ralphi, my rabbit Bunti Boo, and my chickens, and heading back to up to bonny Scotland, and BEGIN!! 🥰 And BREATH!! ✅ Then!! I’m gonna make a million! and write a book ,- ‘So bitter, my perpetrator’.

      1. You go girl!!! Thanx so much for sharing your story and journey xoxo

  19. I realise this is an old post but I came across it on Pinterest and it really resonated with me. I’m going through a bit of a mid life crisis I suppose. I went back to work part time after 10 years of illness and raising my daughter. It’s not as fulfilling as I’d hoped for and not paying quite so much as we’d like (although it pays more than other organisations doing the same thing). I’d love a business of my own, to be my own boss. Hopefully, I’m making new connections with some bad arse women and I’m hoping it pays off and something good comes of it 🤞

  20. Interesting article. I wish this article had addressed how to gain basic income during this period. As some of the replies indicate, you might have an idea for a business, but you need some income to pay your basic living expenses. Any ideas on that? I’m over-qualified it seems. The last interview said they love me, but with my background I am a flight risk. Nothing I said convinced them. I’ve tried big box stores, etc. I’m going to become homeless. How do you build your dream then? Don’t get me wrong, I like what you are saying. Can you write something addressing the practical realities of basic living expenses? It sounds like you were able to find a hair dressing job easily. What about those of us without these practical skills? Any ideas? I’ve been applying for jobs for eight months now.

    1. Hi Tina sorry you’re going through that right now. It’s tough. Can you create your own job? See what sort of random services might be in demand? You really have to think outside the box…I wish I could help you further.

      1. I’m going to throw in my two cents, if that’s OK. Many people say “you can do anything at any time in your life” and although there have been wonderful stories about starting from nothing, it’s not true. As well, many people say “create a job” and for every story I read about this “job creation”, there is a back-story that is not being told. I have never observed someone rubbing two nickels together (no matter how hard and how long), and, viola! – success. That’s not the real world. One would need money and connections. Without the two, you do not go anywhere. Trust me on this – I am an out-of-the-box thinker, who made amazing strides with only a 6th grade education, no family (was a foster child raised in a brutal environment that aged out at age 16 – now I am 58), but it’s not enough to do what you are currently doing. One needs connections or enough money to buy connections. One needs a talent of some sort that is highly desirable to make money at it. One would need family, friends, colleagues, or someone or something that gets a foot in a door. Many people have no support system whatsoever. Many have no family, friends, workable skills, social skills, formal education, and many have mental health disorders. Many hop from low-end job to low-end job and that does not make a good resume. Self-help books, seminars, – even Google or YouTube, seminars – may help spark some idea to create a thought about creating a job, but reality comes back into play when one lacks a support system of some kind (all mentioned above). These people (I know all too well) cannot just up and reinvent without the means to do so. This is why we have persistent poverty and suicide. You got to have something special that catches the eye of some beholder. Many people cannot find a job that pays the bills and burnout ensues and here comes depression and a host of other problems. If one is lucky, they may be able to get disability benefits, but those benefits more often than not, do not pay the bills. If a disabled person attempts to work, they risk everything (and I mean everything) and could end up homeless. Many people don’t even have health benefits and their teeth look terrible. Bad teeth are like having leprosy. I could go on and on about this topic and don’t want to be a Debbi-downer, but I feel it necessary to say what I did to keep things real. I am also venting. The best advice to give someone who is truly struggling without resources is to apply for welfare (bearing in mind that welfare requires one to be qualified and the taxpayer’s dime doesn’t always reach the truly needy) and see if one can climb up the ladder from there. Now, once you reach an age when the bloom is off the rose, and you have none of the above resources I mentioned previously, It’s impossible (or close to impossible) to reinvent. I want so much to believe in your story and desire that you challenge me in my own pursuit of reinvention at close to 60, but if I haven’t achieved what I set out to do decades ago, whilst still arduously attempting, the odds are that I won’t be able to. Thank you for listening to my thoughts about this topic and allowing it to be posted.

        1. Thanx for sharing your thoughts on this. While you’ve made some excellent points, to me it just sounds like you’ve thrown in the towel at close to 60. Best of luck to you xoxo

        2. Thanks. That is a very real response. Perhaps things will be better for future generations as society evolves. I hold out hope for them.

  21. It’s not just women. I’m a 58-year-old Black man who let fear and depression rob me of the first 55 years of my life and now I’m convinced that for me, it truly is too late. I never dated my entire time in high school, college and beyond because I believe as I do today that no woman in her right mind would want to be seen with a pathetic, unattractive loser like me. I’ve been seeing a therapist for the past forty years to try to rid myself of this but nothing has changed. It all started when my own mother told me no woman would want a punk like me. I was just thirteen at the time. She said women wouldn’t to be bothered with me. Maybe she was right. Now, it’s just too late to find love. As for what I wanted to be in life, it’s only been in the last two years I’ve been trying to pursue a career in the arts, and even that’s too late for me. My entire life, I listened to family and friends tell me that a career in art is impossible. So, I tried to completely ignore art – which was useless anyway – and for the rest of my life, pursue jobs that left me so miserable that at times I wanted to just end it. So, here I find myself now, so poor and broke that I’m living on government assistance. If you think I still have a chance at happiness, please tell me how to do it. Thanks.

    1. Hi John thank you for sharing your story. First of all maybe you should see a different therapist. If nothing has changed in 40 years then they aren’t doing their job. Secondly, you have to shut down all the negative voices in your head and follow your heart, which is arts. I’m not sure what field of art you are talking about but don’t limit your options. Google some art sites or people to see what they’re doing. Maybe set up an Etsy store? You’re only 55. I restarted my life at 52 with persistence and perseverence, never giving up, no matter what.

    2. Dear Mr john, first and foremost i would like you to permit me to commend your courage to air your story on life and at seeking possible ways at giving life the chance at starting life all over. Nothing is impossible as long as you still breathe and healthy with God all things are possible. Naturally no one can achieve greatness if all we do is allow outside voice override inner voice. Secondly, you need a therapist and you need to start loving yourself much more than you ever did. Engage in social activities like hanging out with friends that will impact your life positively. Start talking to neighbors and friends in a more assertive and confident manner. Be open minded. Ask yourself what you love most in life that gives your heart joy even at a glance and give that thing your best by doing most of it for as long as it’s not something that is deterrent to other people’s life. If you do not love yourself first and find happiness yourself no one will give it to you and if they do it will only be temporary. I wish you light and love and pray God guide you to the right steps toward an outstanding and beautiful life. Age is nothing but some figures. I am over 40 and everyday i feel like I’m just starting life despite all the life’s downturns. Please hold on generously to prayer. It works too but you have to do the most of the processes. God bless you 🙏

    3. Dear John , I would like to undo what your mother said and say you can chose to not believe her. What she said can only be true if YOU believe it. I am saying to you today that you can be loved and that the world will benefit from seeing your talents. If you can’t see the light be the light . Start shining your lovely soul to the world and you will see the difference.

  22. It is sad, but good to hear a woman echoing my soul crushing feelings of failure and loss. I had an over 20 year career and financial stability which ended 5 years ago. My work experience was unique and no one will hire me, not even for positions Im grossly overqualified. I could try to go back to my old career, starting at the bottom again as you did, but the prospect makes me want to vomit. I dont know what my next move is. But after reading your blog, Im starting to get some ideas.

    1. Having to go back to my old job made me want to vomit too, but I did what I had to do to at least pay the bills and keep a roof over my head until I could do something else. I”m glad this blog helped you even a little bit!

  23. Thank you so much for sharing your experience. I am so glad it worked out for you.
    I left my marriage of 20 years because he became a horrible person. I stayed at home with my kids so you can guess that he made all of the money so I cashed out my life insurance and left. All I took with me went to the courts. He made a lot of money but went bankrupt and totaled my car. I had nothing. I got into another relationship way too quickly and I will say that after 4 years I still have no car, no place to walk to get a job, so many health issues and $15 in my checking account. I am horrified how I got here. I turn 50 next year and have nothing to show for myself. I am so ashamed. But I have been feeling this for a long while so I am ready to do something about it. I just wish there were “lists” or “steps” individualized for us lol

    1. HI Janie thank you for sharing your story and sorry you are in a bad place. I wish I could detail a step by step plan for you but ultimately, it’s up to you to decide what to do and how to change things. Try finding ways you can make money with some of the skills you already have or create your own ‘job’. It won’t be easy and won’t happen overnight but with determination and perseverance, I think you can do it!

  24. Ok. I’m sorry in my humble opinion, you could cut hair. So technically you have/had a skill/job. Maybe it wasn’t your passion, but it’s a skill…. I need to find a skill less starting over… 54.

    1. Every single one of us can do something well. Dig deep and you will find it. Sometimes the things that bring us joy can also support us financially.

  25. I really Can start over at 57. I am terrified, and no job. I haven’t worked much in my life. I am Scared so bad I am excited!
    I A

  26. I’m a man starting over at 53. What you said meant a lot. thank you. You helped me figure it out.