How should you live after 40

Life at 40 - "I still want to, I already have" - ​​the series about midlife

Claudia Weber and Jonathan Fisch are just over 40 and ask themselves the existential questions: What else do I want from life? And what do I already have? Sure, that's the job: Jonathan and Claudia work for the morning information on Radio SRF and for the information channel “SRF 4 News”. But there is so much more.

Family, love, sex, health, happiness, fate, past, future, job, passion. It all plays together. Who do we want to be? And what society do we want to live in? The “SRF 4 News” series asks questions at the summer party, from the political scientist, the doctor, the psychotherapist, the headhunter and looks for answers in the basement, at the high school and in the burnout clinic.

Clear. One can deal with life questions at any time. Always determine your position. Reflect and sharpen your mind. Only: that one is in the middle of life only happens once. At least statistically. A look at the tables of the federal statisticians shows: women in Switzerland live to be around 85 years old, men are almost 82 years old. So if you count 40 candles on your cake, you can statistically assume that you are pretty much in the middle of life. High time to take stock. “I still want to, I already have”: In the “SRF 4 News” audio series about mid-life, our authors investigate the social, political and economic issues that their generation is grappling with.

40-year-olds celebrate

The search for possible answers leads the “SRF 4 News” journalists Claudia Weber and Jonathan Fisch to Wettswil am Albis. Around 5,200 people live in this inconspicuous Zurich agglomeration community. The highlight of the annual agenda is a village festival that is organized in late summer by the 40-year-olds. The organization team consists of 30 members - so the ideal setting to get an idea of ​​these 40-year-olds. How do they manage their family and professional life? Where do you stand in life? These questions are at the center of the visit to this festival.

In the burnout clinic

45 minutes by car from Wettswil, a private clinic above Lake Zurich takes care of those who can no longer cope with everyday life. Most of the clients are older than 40. But there are also those who are coached with therapies and conversations for weeks in the middle of life. The representative property with several Art Nouveau houses is aimed at those with a little more money in their pockets. One of them is Nino (name changed). A classic workaholic, father to a young daughter. Until recently, he would not have thought that he was sitting in the deputy director's interview room at the age of a little over 40 and sketching his previous life on a flipchart. Talking to journalists takes a lot of effort. He is sweating. The encounter becomes personal, he doesn't avoid any question. It seems as if it is also liberating for the family man to talk to two complete strangers about his fate.

Thomas Rosemann, Director of the Institute for Family Medicine at the University of Zurich, confirms that life is particularly stressful for 40-year-olds. Taking care of your health, withstanding the stress of everyday life, not everyone, not everyone, can do that. One of his recipes: exercise, and do it regularly. Forty-year-olds don't seem to be lazy. According to statistics, around 25 percent of women exercise at least three times a week. Men do it more often.

Successful aging starts at 40

Exercise regularly: This is also the advice of Ulrike Ehlert, a psychologist at the University of Zurich. She took a closer look at the behavior of women and men over 40. "At 40 you have arrived in the middle of life," she says - which is why it is high time to take stock. Or more specifically: "To plan the second half of life." Successful aging begins at 40. At this stage in life, it would be best to come up with a plan of what else you want to do in addition to your family and your job. Determine the location. Set priorities. Or just - become aware: "What else do I want, what do I already have?"

Career prospects

The Federal Council has decided on several measures so that 40-year-olds can deal more specifically with their professional future. Because of the demographic development, the shortage of skilled workers will worsen in the next few years - which is why today's 40-year-olds will play a key role. They will be the top performers of tomorrow. With counseling sessions aimed at people aged 40 and over, the potential of female employees should be better used. The federal government will spend almost 37 million francs on this by 2024. The cantons, which will offer free advice, are responsible for implementing the program. From the point of view of HR managers, such location assessments at 40 are urgently desired. Headhunter Doris Aebi from Zurich recommends starting external further education or training at the latest at the age of 40 in order to remain attractive on the job market. Because the fact is: According to labor market experts, the risk of dismissal between the ages of 40 and 50 is highest.

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