YOUR MONEY-What to do when a midlife crisis is a major splurge

Tue Jan 20, 2015 11:46am EST
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(The writer is a Reuters contributor. The opinions expressed are his own.)

By Chris Taylor

NEW YORK Jan 20 (Reuters) - Say the words 'Midlife Crisis', and most people think of cringe-worthy scenes like graying men squiring around much-younger paramours in zippy sports cars.

Matt Welch went in a more wholesome direction: Baseball cards.

Specifically, the 46-year-old editor-in-chief of Reason magazine set out to collect every Topps-brand baseball card ever printed of his beloved Angels. It took roughly five years and $1,000, but this past New Year's Eve, the final two cards came in the mail.

"Strange things happen to men in their 40s, and this was my midlife crisis," says Welch, a New York City resident originally from Long Beach, California. "I hadn't thought about baseball cards in 30 years. But then I bought one, then two, and it was so pleasurable I thought 'Oh hell, why not?'"

A relatively harmless midlife crisis, to be sure. And one which his wife Emmanuelle Richard has given her tacit approval. "She's said from the beginning, 'It beats the convertible, and it beats the expensive mistress,' " he jokes.

But its is a crisis nonetheless, which no doubt feels very familiar to 40- or 50-somethings who feel increasingly alarmed at the passage of time. One common response: Whip out the wallet.

Whether it's for an extravagant vacation, a pricey hobby or a shiny new ride, the many challenges of midlife can lead us to throw off our usual financial restrictions, if only for a moment.   Continued...