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happier after 50

Only a quarter of over-50s say they’ve achieved all their life goals, but bucket lists are helping them tick off their biggest ambitions.

Life really does begin at 50 – or so say more than a third of people over 50, according to new research. Older generations are swapping a quiet retirement for adventure and excitement with far-flung holidays and exotic bucket list ideas.

According to the study, a quarter of over-50s said that they haven’t achieved everything they want to in life. Five out of six said they still have important things to tick off their bucket list.

Reported in the Scotsman, the survey of over-50-year-olds found that the majority still have important life goals to accomplish.

A quarter of those surveyed said they want to see the Northern Lights before they die. This incredible natural phenomenon can only be witnessed in places nearer the North Pole, such as Scandinavia, Canada, Greenland and Alaska, USA.

One in 10 plan to visit all seven continents, while other globe-trotting bucket list items included seeing a volcano, riding a gondola in Venice, and taking a helicopter ride.

Older generations’ adventurous spirit has driven a significant growth in travel spending over the last five years in the UK. Over-65s in particular are travelling more – and further afield – than previous generations.

Debbie Marshall of review site Silver Travel Advisor said that more and more people are looking to achieve their life goals as they get older.

“They have a bucket list or wish list, places they want to see and things they want to do,” she said. “They want to do it while they still can. So, they are prepared to spend on these big-ticket items like world cruises [to] Australia, New Zealand, the Galapagos, and Antarctica.”

There’s still plenty to do if you’re not looking to travel half way across the world, though.

Other ideas for retirement bucket lists were more affordable and practical. Some over-50s said they want to read more than 100 books in their lifetime, others want to learn a foreign language, and eating fish and chips on the pier also made the list of must-do activities.

If you’re thinking of creating a bucket list, LifeLocker is a free online tool from Avalon that lets you record your memories and tick off your own personalised bucket list. It’s quick, easy and free to sign up.

With LifeLocker, you can answer questions to record your life story and share with friends and family. The personalised bucket list lets you enter your ideas for things you want to do, then tick them off when you’ve completed them. You can add photos and notes to bring your memory to life, then share online with friends.

Sign up for free and start creating your bucket list at www.lifelocker.co.uk.