5 Reminders You’re in Your 30s

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No one needs any reminders that they’re in their 30s, but some days you temporarily forget. A promotion at work or even just a good hair day can put you on top of the world, and you feel like you’re 19 again. Well, you’re not. The world has sneaky ways of reminding you that you’re just not as young as you used to be. Usually, this happens when you least appreciate it.

5 You’re Thinking Seriously About Retirement

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Admit it—you probably weren’t seriously planning for retirement in your 20s. You’d just started your career, why would you be orchestrating your exit strategy? But once you hit your 30s, you start to see the writing on the wall. Many of your colleagues are older, and they’re fretting about how few years they have left to prepare. You stopped saying “when I grow up” quite some time ago, but now you’re starting to say, “when I retire.” Luckily, you still have plenty of time to take incremental and fairly inexpensive measures to save for the future. Make smart investments and use retirement-savings vehicles, such as a Roth IRA, to make small contributions over time that won’t break the bank.

4 Your Face Starts Breaking Out

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If you thought you were done with acne when you graduated from high school, think again. Your body goes through similar hormonal changes in your 30s as it did during puberty. Women have natural declines in estrogen levels, and your body overall starts slowing down. Lower production levels of human growth hormone and collagen will start to show in your skin, which won’t regenerate like it did in your 20s. The stress of adult life—your career, a mortgage, even kids—can exacerbate the situation by raising cortisol levels and causing break-outs. Regular cleansing and exfoliating can help manage the problem, so you can put your best face forward.

3 New Music Sounds Like Noise

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If you find yourself going back to the music you enjoyed in high school and college, thinking it’s better than the stuff coming out these days—you’re not alone. Psychological studies show that if you’re over 35 when a new musical trend takes hold, you won’t be as open or receptive to it. In fact, there’s a greater than 95 percent chance you won’t even bother listening to it. This explains why you think auto-tuned, overproduced pop music featuring 18-year-olds sounds like garbage. Just remember, your parents said the same thing about your musical taste when you were in high school.

2 Your Favorite Jeans Don’t Fit

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Once you hit 30, your metabolism begins to slow and you gain weight. Your body uses fewer calories, which means more of what you eat is converted to fat. A man’s body consumes an estimated 12 fewer calories per day after 30 than it did before. That doesn’t sound like a lot, but it adds up. A woman’s metabolic rate also decreases, by an estimated 1 percent every year after 30. Your old fitness routines from your 20s may no longer be effective. Focus on weight training to build muscle and eating more protein to help reverse this trend—and get you back into those jeans.

1 Teenagers Call You “Ma’am” or “Sir”

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It seems like just yesterday when that barista would’ve flirted with you, but now he says “here’s your coffee, ma’am.” And if you’re not in the military, a 19-year-old saying “I’ll get that for you, sir” may not seem as polite as it’s intended. When you’re in your 30s, you still want others to think you’re close to their age, that you can relate to them. Choke back that resentful urge to snap, “Do I look like a ‘ma’am’?” and realize that to them, you probably do.

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