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Don't Ask These Questions to People Over 50

 Getting older is a privilege, after all, it's a clear indication that you've got quite a number of years under your belt. Yet, for many people, older people are treated like a curiosity, a never-ending oracle from which to glean wisdom about what's to come. Yet, in truth, people over 50 don't differ much from adults in their 20s or 30s. Here are 25 questions you should refrain from asking over 50-year-olds. 
1. “Do you feel old?”
questions not to ask people over 50

Most people consider someone over 50 to be an old person. Though it doesn't necessarily mean that they perceive their age to be that way. If you are asking this question don't be surprised if they take offense. In fact, some researchers believe that 60-somethings are middle-aged, not the 40-something we'd been led to believe. 

2. “Do you wish you’d had kids?”

Many people consider having children to be an important milestone. But don't assume that everyone sees things that way. It could be the right relationship never came around, or someone was dealing with infertility, or they just never had any interest in raising kids. Either way, it is none of your business. 

3. “Are you worried about being replaced at work?”

This may be a concern of people getting older in an ageist society. But asking this question insinuates that you think your friends or co-workers are getting too old to do their job. 

4. “Do you regret settling down so young?”
questions not to ask people over 50

For some, hearing that a person has been married for 30-plus years may seem like a lifetime. But, not everyone sees getting married at a relatively young age as a bad thing. In fact, most people don't see marriage as settling down. There's often, little difference between being coupled and being single. 

5. “Why are you still single?”

Not everyone thinks that being in a romantic relationship is a prerequisite for a happy life. This question is particularly insensitive primarily when it is highly likely that this age group may have endured a loss of a spouse or a divorce. 

6. “Do you feel weird being the oldest person here?”

Most people aren't aware of age until someone points it out. This is a question that can make another person feel very uncomfortable. 

7. “Do you worry about dying?”
questions not to ask people over 50

While it may be the case for most people, it is not unreasonable to have some fears about what happens in the afterlife. For most healthy 50-somethings, death isn't something they'll have to worry about for a few decades. It's also a rather insulting question to ask. 

8. “Did you have a color TV growing up?”

If you're asking an 80-year-old this question the answer will be no. But don't assume that everyone over 50 was watching in black-and-white. In fact, the first color TVs hit the market in 1954. This means that many people in their 50s and 60s have only seen shows broadcast in full color as opposed to black and white. 

9. “Do you even know who that celebrity is?”

When you act like older people are inherently illiterate when it comes to pop culture it is extremely rude and doesn't even make sense most of the time. Being over 50 doesn't mean that you don't have access to the internet, television, magazines or movies after all. 

10. “How much money do you make?”
questions not to ask people over 50

While it may seem less rude to ask this someone over 50 and theoretically financially stable than it would be to ask someone who is barely scraping by on minimum wage. Still, it's a major invasion of privacy. With rising debt affecting countless Americans, it is probably a safe bet to not ask how much over 50-year-olds are earning. 

11. “Can you still do that at your age?”

Just because a person has turned 50 it does not mean that their body is rapidly breaking down. Unless they have specifically told you that they can't do a particular activity, it is best if you keep your mouth closed on this line of questioning. 

12. “What’s it like to be old?”

If someone's over 50 it doesn't mean that they consider themselves to be old. Ask one person and they may say it's no different than being 25, while someone else may tell you that things have been going downhill for decades. 

13. “Do you know how to use email?”
questions not to ask people over 50

Email is generally used by everyone at this point. So it is probably wise to assume that most adults you meet know how to use it unless they've specifically told you otherwise. 

14. “Is that your grandchild?”

Older parents have become common these days so it's wise to play it safe and assume that a child is someone's son or daughter before jumping to the conclusion that they are a grandparent. 

15. “Have you had plastic surgery?”

While the plastic surgery industry is indeed growing, it doesn't mean that every person over 50 who looks great has had it. Even so, it is still a private matter. 

16. “Do you wish you’d gotten married?”
questions not to ask people over 50

Getting married isn't a goal for everyone. Just because someone's over 50 and hasn't tied the knot it doesn't mean they missed out on something. 

17. “Is that your natural hair color?”

People of all ages dye their hair. However, asking someone if their hair color is natural it feels like you are implying it's not. 

18. “Do you ever feel silly going out with younger people?”

While someone in their 50s may seem old to you if you are in your 20s it doesn't mean that they feel old. In many cases people 50 and over with younger friends or spouses don't think there's anything strange about having friends a decade or two younger than they are - so long as they get along well. 

19. “Does your spouse do that for you?”
questions not to ask people over 50

Gender-specific rules are not always portrayed in relationships with those over 50. It is an offensive question that assumes that people are in a heterosexual relationship and also presumes that people are of a certain age inherently depend on their spouse. 

20. “Are you tired?”

This question is undeniably rude at any age. But when you ask it to someone over  50 it is especially so. Just because a person is not wearing makeup or is dressed down it is of no indication that they are tired. 

21. “What did you really want to do with your life?”

If you saw someone over 50 working a job you thought was beneath them and you thought it was a good time to say something about it, don't. It sounds rude and judgmental. 

22. “Don’t you think it’s a little late to get married?
questions not to ask people over 50

Finding a loving relationship has no age limit to it. Just because someone is over 50 it doesn't mean that it's too late for them to get married. In fact, statistics show that marriage rates for older people are on the rise. 

23. “Aren’t you too old to have kids?”

While people have more trouble conceiving naturally when they are 50+, it doesn't mean that having children is out of the question. Fertility treatments made it possible for parents to have children naturally over 50 and many families happily adopt too. 

24. “What do you do for fun?”

This question comes with some baggage for the over 50 set. Fun hobbies for many people over 50 are the same as it would be for their younger counterparts: traveling, seeing movies, spending time with friends and so on. 

25. “Aren’t you adorable?”

This line sounds very patronizing. Older people aren't puppies or newborns, they're sentient individuals who could probably do without the fawning. 

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Related Topics: tips, questions, guide, people, elderly, over 50
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