What to Write: 50th Birthday Messages

What to Write in a 50th Birthday Card

Someone you know is turning the big 5-0, and you want to write something fabulous in their birthday card? Well, you’ve come to the right place. Fifty is my favorite milestone!

With one foot just out of the forties, and the other foot not quite over the hill, no two 50-year-olds are alike. That’s what makes 50 so interesting. Some still strive to be forever young, while others have settled into their skin, and still others are wondering who the heck that is in the mirror. Some still see an exciting journey ahead, some are exactly where they want to be, and others are coasting toward retirement. Some are celebrating, some are commiserating, and some are denying it all together.

Does any of this sound like the person you’re celebrating? Before you write those 50th birthday wishes, it’s important to know your audience and the overall tone you want to set—celebratory, complimentary or humorous. Of course, for some people you can combine all three. And feel free to do so with the suggestions below.

Celebratory Wishes
Celebrating the day and sending positive thoughts for the future is a can’t-go-wrong choice for anyone turning 50, especially if you aren’t sure how they feel about their age or if “funny” doesn’t feel right. For example, if your co-worker is turning 50 but you want to keep it office-appropriate, or you’re attending a party for someone you don’t usually hang out with, or if it’s someone you don’t see very often, it’s best play it safe with a short and simple wish. Even if you do know the person well, but you’re not sure you can joke about fifty’s failing eyesight and creaky knees, stick to focusing on the day and then wish the best for the years ahead.

  • Wishing you a fun-filled fabulous 50th!
  • Hope your 50th celebration rocks—and kicks off and incredible year!
  • May the next 50 be even better than the first.
  • Wishing you life’s finest things at 50.
  • Here’s to 50 years of incredible you…and an incredible 50 more!
  • Hope your 50th is just the beginning of amazing things to come.
  • May you wish on every candle and may all 50 of them come true.
  • Celebrating 50 years might take a while. Let’s get started!
  • Hope your 50th year is your favorite so far!
  • Happy 50th Birthday! Wishing you a wonderful celebration and an amazing year.
  • 50 cheers to 50 years. Let the party begin!

Complimentary Messages
Everyone loves a compliment, especially if it’s sincere. If you know this person well enough to give them a 50th birthday card, then you probably know their strong points. Compliments on appearance are especially popular for women, while compliments on attitude or accomplishments work well for anyone. But, let’s face it, not everyone is feeling fabulous at fifty, and that’s where the sincere part comes in. Telling someone they look amazing or have a lot to be proud of when you know they’re struggling might actually make them feel worse. In that case, go back to focusing on the day and the future. Otherwise, let the 50th birthday compliments fly!

  • If you’re the new face of 50, then it’s going to be a BEAUTIFUL year!
  • You have so much to be proud of at 50. Congrats and enjoy!
  • You don’t look a day over fabulous!
  • You’ve created a wonderful life and a beautiful family. Congrats on 50 amazing years!
  • Fifty never looked so good!
  • You’re the youngest 50-year-old I know!
  • You look great for any age— and incredible for 50!
  • 50-years-old and at the top of your game. Well done!
  • 50 is only a number when you’re forever young.
  • Happy 50th Birthday to one of the greatest creations of this century!

Humorous
If you know someone well enough to joke about their age, then funny 50th birthday wishes are certainly the way to go. Odds are, you might have already chosen a humorous card, so feel free to play off that theme. Otherwise, there’s plenty of funny fodder for a 50-year-old—from desperately hanging on to their youth to blowing their teeth out with their candles. But you still might want to end on a positive note to keep the mood light with a happy wish or compliment. There’s a lot more time for age jokes in the 50+ years ahead!

  • Happy 25th anniversary of your 25th birthday!
  • Whoever says 50 is the new 30, let’s hang out with them!
  • Turning 50 may be mandatory, but growing up is optional. Happy Birthday, kiddo!
  • I would joke about you getting old, but I’m afraid you’ll laugh your teeth out. Happy 50th!
  • Let’s see…50 in dog years would make you…famous! For being the oldest dog EVER.
  • Buy the sports car, get the tattoo, take a trip, learn something new. Let the midlife crisis ADVENTURE begin!
  • You only turn 50 once. Make the hangover worth it!
  • If getting older means getting better…you’re approaching perfection!
  • Don’t think of it as 50. Think of it as 21 with 29 years of experience.
  • Fifty is the new “Who cares?” Relax, enjoy and have fun!

Of course, there are so many more choices you can make for your 50th birthday greeting, such as adding a famous quote or funny saying about 50 that can be found online. But hopefully you’ve gotten some ideas of how to add a personal touch, too. In the age of texts, tweets and posts—which are still great ways to add to someone’s day—there’s nothing like getting a handwritten note in a card. Every birthday is special, but 50 is truly a memorable milestone that deserves some extra attention. Whatever you write will make their birthday even better, simply because you took the time to let them know they’re on your mind.

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Wendy Bomers has been a greeting card writer since the age of ten. Okay, maybe not professionally until her mid-twenties. But way back when kids were planning to be vets and teachers and firemen, Wendy wanted to write cards when she grew up and “make people happy every day.” Now Wendy feels incredibly lucky to be doing just that—helping American Greetings create happiness, laughter, and love every day…for over twenty years and counting!