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40 things you should do before turning 40

"40 is the new 30."

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(Oakland Images via Shutterstock)

By Richard Jenkins, 72Point via SWNS

The top 40 things everyone should do by the age of 40 include being fired from a job, falling in love - and becoming debt free, according to researchers.

A poll of 2,000 adults found they believe someone embarking on their fifth decade should also have given blood, bought a house and gone skinny dipping.

They should also have had four relationships, three heartbreaks and spent some time traveling the world.

It also emerged 55 percent of those over 40 were worried about the milestone birthday, but 45 percent admitted they enjoyed the experience overall.

"40 is the new 30," said Nigel Birrell, CEO of, which commissioned the research to mark its partnership with the Prader-Willi Syndrome Association as it celebrates its 40th anniversary this year.

“Once we reach 40, there is so much left of life to achieve the goals and milestones we want to hit. So it’s nothing to worry about if there’s still plenty left on your to-do list.

“It’s interesting to see what people believe ‘should’ have been achieved by that age though, as what’s right for one person may not suit another.”

The study found Brits believe it’s acceptable for adults over 40 to have six hangovers per year - one every two months.

While 19 percent believe everyone should have owned a pet by the milestone age, but just 12 percent believe having a one-night stand is a must-do.

The results showed a steep drop off in life goals as people get older - with 50 percent having the most goals to achieve in their 20s and 30s, and just nine percent in their 40s.


A lack of time and money are the two main reasons for not yet hitting all their goals before 40 (38 percent).

But another 28 percent feel they’re too tied down by things at home to get out and achieve everything they wish.

Three in 10 respondents believe it’s important to have something to aim for.

While 22 percent think it’s important to show that older people can still do anything a younger person could.

In fact, 64 percent of those already over the age of 40 still feel young.

But of those who have already reached the start of their fifth decade, four in 10 have started giving serious consideration to their work life.

While 39 percent have begun thinking about retirement, and 33 percent are giving much more thought to their health and fitness, according to the OnePoll figures.

The Lottoland Win-Win Charity Lotto donates 20p for every £1 ($1.15) played to three chosen charities, including Prader-Willi Syndrome Association UK.

“Having reached our 40th birthday ourselves, we know what a huge milestone it is," said Susan Passmore, CEO for the charity.

“We have certainly achieved a great deal in that time as a charity, having seen many changes along the way.

"It is fascinating to get an insight into what others think people should have achieved by the time they reach 40.

“We are delighted that Lottoland are supporting us with their charity lotto, which has helped benefit the amazing community that we support. Here’s to the next 40 years - and beyond.”


1. Fallen in love
2. Started your pension
3. Learned basic DIY skills
4. Bought a house
5. Gone travelling
6. Had at least three months’ salary in savings
7. Been married
8. Had a child
9. Owned a pet
10. Written a will
11. Had a hangover that made you want to quit drinking forever
12. Donated blood
13. Had your heart broken
14. Volunteered somewhere
15. Be in a position to plan for retirement
16. Won at least £10 on the lottery
17. Earned a degree
18. Become debt free
19. Seen a stage show in the west end
20. Had a one-night stand
21. Secured your dream job
22. Overpaid on the mortgage
23. Had a fight
24. Tried being a vegetarian/ vegan for a certain period
25. Visited at least three of the seven wonders of the world
26. Attended a black-tie ball
27. Created a family tree
28. Gone skinny dipping
29. Invested in the stock market
30. Been on a cruise
31. Lived in a city centre
32. Reached manager level at your job
33. Started a business
34. Moved to the countryside
35. Visited most of the continents
36. Flown first class
37. Been sacked from a job
38. Bought a holiday home
39. Been whale watching
40. Written a book

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