People Over 40 Share Their Best Advice For Folks In Their 20s
Photo by Devin Avery on Unsplash

With each passing year, it's hard not to look back on your life, and the decisions you've made.

How you wished you'd done this or hadn't done that.

Wishing that you were brave enough to try something, or wish you'd never even heard of something you took part in.

It can be said that the time we might look back on with the most regret is our 20s, that decade of life most heavily associated with figuring out what we want to do with our lives.

Some might wish they'd accomplished more in their 20s, while others might wish they slowed things down and didn't rush into some things.

Redditor morningperzon was curious to hear from people in their 40s what advice they would give to those still enjoying the adventure that is their 20s, leading them to ask:

"People who are 40+, what’s your advice to people in their 20s?"

Be responsible

"Don't put yourself in ridiculous amounts of debt trying to portray a certain image."

"You'll spend your entire life trying to get out of the hole you dug or you'll have to declare bankruptcy."

"Set aside enough money to cover 3-6 months of expenses for emergencies just like now."

"Moreover, save now for your retirement years."

"It doesn't require much and if you have it taken directly from your paycheck you won't be inclined to not pay yourself first."

"Take care of your body."

"Exercise to maintain a healthy weight and good cardiovascular health."

"As you get older, it's much harder to maintain these."

"Enjoy the days of your youth without going overboard."

"There is nothing wrong with having a good time, yet if you are always waking up wondering what happened last night, why you can't remember how you spent so much money or you always have a hangover; you should tone it down a bit."

"Don't take advice or criticism as a personal attack."

"Most times the people who care about you have observed behavior in you which is off-putting, doesn't reflect who you really are or could be or would make you a more rounded person.- Thomasgraham76

Respect your body, make good choices

"I'm going to post this b/c I know someone young is struggling w/ addiction rn."

"Don't waste your life."

"Don't wake up at 39 and let that sh*t hit you like a ton of bricks that you've pissed away half of your life on drugs."- scorpiobw1980

Love yourself and be happy!

"Don't let yourself get out of shape."

"If you're addicted to nicotine, stop. If not, don't ever start."

"VERY few companies out there will ever give a sh*t about you."

"You should never feel any loyalty to them."

"Ask him/her/them out."

"Worst case you get a 'no'."

"Life isn't a competition, no one wins and no one gets out alive."

"Be happy as much as possible." - user deleted

Happy Season 9 GIF by The OfficeGiphy

Don't be beholden to plans and expectations

"Don't fall for the trap that your life needs to be one long narrative that you should be building."

"Life is best when it's a bunch of happy moments that just happen to be connected."

"Don't try to make your life into a novel, make it a book of poems."- Ok-Wallaby9642

Save those dentist bills...

"Brush your teeth."- Dazzling-Adeptness11

"Take care of your teeth."- iuytrefdgh436yujhe2

"Floss your teeth really well, at least once a week."

"Will save you money in the future."- Otherwise_Picture_77

Teeth Tooth GIF by OllieTorresGiphy

Stay loose and limber


"Start stretching."

"Do yoga."

"Keep stretching."

"Never get out of the habit."

"You don't have to be in the best shape to be happy, but stretching makes everything feel better, keeps it feeling good, and means that when you inevitably hurt yourself at some point in the future it's easier to recover." - User deleted

"You may feel invincible now."

"Every person in their 20s does."

"And then you hit 30."

"And you start noticing things like it hurts when you jump down the last two stairs instead of walking down them, or when you wake up, or just, from existing."

"In my 40s now, and I'm still doing just fine, and find my daily yoga practice matters more than any other exercise I've ever done."- JoshG1981

Warm Up Golf GIF by Farmers Insurance ®Giphy

Find out who are your real friends

"Ghost your sh*tty friends."

"They are as much of a liability to your health and future as any other malicious factors in your life right now."

"And if you have to ask if they're a sh*tty friend, they are a sh*tty friend."

"Ghost them."

"Now."- MisterAmmosart

Save Those Pennies

"Put $ away NOW."

"You don't think old age will ever come your way, but just today you got closer to it."

"'Time goes by like hurricane, faster than a speeding train" Allman Bros.- kittykittyspank

"Start saving money even if it is only 5 or 10 dollars a week."

"Put it into a free stock account with the money tossed at a big corporation and just let it sit."- EelBitten

Pig Save GIF by Banco ItaúGiphy

Bottom line, live your best life!

"Save money."

"Start an investment fund."

"Develop good habits with your diet and physical activity."

"Don’t obsess over relationships or lack there of."

"Only follow your bliss if you have a good idea or plan on how you’re going to make a career out of it."

"Lastly, don’t live life virtually."

"Keep your social media in check."

"Don’t let it become your life."

"Go outside."- No-Philosopher-4793

If you have an addiction that is affecting your life deal with it now."

"Eliminate it or go to and participate in recovery."

"Lift weights and exercise."

"Your body is your temple and you will feel great in your 40s if you keep up with an exercise routine."

"Your boss does not care about you."

"You may think that you're special or talented and you very well might be."

"Your boss and your company does not care about you."

"Do your required hours and then go home, don't give extra."

"If you decide to get married, this shouldn't and isn't a thing for everyone BTW, make sure it's not just for love but to have a partner and a best friend."

"I'm so lucky I have a great wife."

"Having kids is a wonderful experience."

"While I personally think it's the best thing I've ever done it's certainly not for everyone and you will give up a lot of your personal life, hobbies, time alone and everything that you once did for yourself."

"Focus on having good people in your life."

"Eliminate the toxic people that can't change."

"Challenge yourself everyday, learn everyday and do new and exciting things."

"Travelling the world on the cheap has been a most rewarding experience."

"See and meet all different kinds of people from all walks of life."- ThorSaw

Cbs Live Your Best Life GIF by The Late Show With Stephen ColbertGiphy

Continue to strive for excellence.

No matter if it kills you, make a daily routine to balance the following areas of your life."

"Studying, Work, Spirituality, Physical Fitness, and Cleanliness in environment/Stellar face/teeth/bodily grooming habits."

"Entertainment comes last, but daily if even for a 1/2 hr, so you don't binge or don't resort to toxic binge-type behavior."

"Don't drink."

"Don't do drugs ever."

"if you have, stop."

"They may expand your mind for a moment."

"But it's like making a hole in the walls of your house."

"Even when you lock your doors, something crawly can get in."

"Never take something internally that will leave you in a state more vulnerable than you already are."

"When working, make an LLC and put yourself and spouse and children on payroll."

"Set aside 1/3rd of your paycheck forever."

"1/3 rd of THAT will be used in stable return endeavors."

"Another 1/3rd will go into gold."

"Or similar store of value."

"The final 1/3rd will go into saving to buy land/real estate."

"Build your credit thru 20 levels and learn how to spend other people's money and make a profit on it."

"Work on things on a daily basis."

"Chip away slowly every day."

"This is how excellence is built."

"Never leave anything for last minute."

"Know yourself."

"STEP on your ego."

"If your ego doesn't like something, do it."

"If your ego likes something, delay it."

"Find a guide, someone to follow and learn from."

"A true master."

"Don't be so proud that you won't bend the knee to learn from masters."

"Understand your weaknesses."

"Learn from them."

"Laziness is a killer."

"Anger, Pride, Jealousy and Stubbornness will destroy you."

"Leave these."

"You don't have to control everything in other people's lives."

"Your partner or children."

"Advise, enforce but don't force. control everything in YOUR life."

"Your behavior, your speech, your actions."

"Being in control of yourself, and the ability to RELY on yourself as circumstances change around you, is a sustaining reward."


"Meet people from all over the world."

"You share the earth with them for a reason."

"Do not be insular."

"Share food, culture, intentions and laughter with people who look nothing like you."

"This will turn you into a real human being."

"Give back as much as you can."

"Give in a way that if you give with your right hand, your left hand is unaware."

"Beware people who compliment you."

"They want something from you."

"Learn self-defense or a martial art."

"When interacting with people on a business level."

"Meaning, money will exchange hands for a service."

"Prior to meeting with them, outline what the cost will be and what the reasonable expected result will be."

"It will make the experience easier."

"Written contract for everything that will have long-term effects on your life."


"Record video as much as you can before, during after."

"Make records of everything that can have legal repercussions, like landlord leases, buying cars, homes, business partnerships and learn to organize and preserve these digitally for easy accessibility."

"Just off the top of my head."

"Good luck."- BuzzLawldrin

Be a gracious guest

"Never show up to a party, no matter how small, empty handed."

"It doesn’t have to be expensive and it doesn’t have to be a lot."

"Just bring something in the realm of food."- melissastandard

Needless to say, life should always be about moving forward, and not looking back with regret.

Though the younger generations will no doubt be thankful 20 years from now for getting this advice.

If they listen to it, that is...

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