Man Furious His 50-Year-Old Dad Decided To Go To Law School Instead Of Enjoying Retirement — ‘It’s Too Late For Him’

“I think it’s admirable, but he won’t live long enough.”

man practicing law at desk 89Stocker / Canva Pro

Nobody has any idea what they’re doing in life — let’s get that out of the way. Whether you’re turning 15 or 55, new challenges are always expected. 

What makes us unique is how we navigate those challenges and support ourselves in doing so. We each carve out these eccentric paths for ourselves — all searching for a sense of purpose, fulfillment, and happiness. It’s exactly what a young man’s father was looking for when making the decision to return to law school in his late 50s. Unfortunately, his son was far from supportive, and he took to Reddit to vent about it.


In a post to the “AITA” forum, he expressed his distaste for his father’s choices, stating, “He has a fat pension and benefits to enable him to do whatever he wants in the next chapter of his life … but I am heavily against these plans.” 

The young man is furious with his 50-year-old dad for deciding to go to law school instead of ‘enjoying his retirement.’ 

“His dream is to start his own non-profit to provide pro-bono support for domestic violence victims, which I think is admirable, but he won’t live long enough to do that.” 

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While the boy said he considers the age of 50 to “be one foot in the grave,” others under the post expressed their confusion with this man’s logic. “If he’s in his 50s, he has plenty of time to get a law degree. He’ll probably be able to practice for another 20 years.” 

The young man's attitude about his father's pursuits is not, however, shared by other members of his family. “My older sister is a law student, and of course, she’s so proud of Dad,” he wrote.

Despite the family’s support, the son thinks it’s a ‘waste of time and money’ to pursue, especially at his age. 

At 20 years old, it’s logical to assume that he is still financially supported by his parents — whether he’s living on his own, in college, or still under their roof. With his dad's possible retirement around the corner, he’s likely thought about the extra time he'd be able to spend with his dad — only to have that stolen away by dreams of law school and helping others. 

"Out of frustration at the thought of my dad going back to school when he could be enjoying his retirement, I kicked my desk pretty hard," he wrote. "My parents came in ... My dad was uncharacteristically angry." 


It’s in our nature to be slightly envious when the people we love divide their energy with someone (or something else) — and many commenters argued that might be the root of the young man’s anger. 

“I can understand if he was hoping to spend more time with his dad,” one person said, “but if you’re still at home, kicking things when you’re mad … you’re immature. Move on … it’s his life, not yours.” 

Son Furious At Dad For Going To Law School Instead Of Enjoying Retirement Photo: nemchinowa / Canva Pro


While it’s important to understand their family dynamics, the issue is that he’s trying to prevent his dad from following his dreams. He even acknowledged that it’s been “his dream” to do this, so why not support him in achieving it? Even if he's envious that his dad is close to retirement — something not many young people today can dream of achieving — he has no right to condemn his dad's pursuits.

Many commenters supported the dad in his quest to continue learning and to help others. 

“Is he worried his dad is going to spend his inheritance on school or a nonprofit, maybe?” 

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Many commenters agreed, arguing that his adult “temper tantrum” has sinister roots. “You’re never too old to learn something new,” another person added. “If my 70-year-old dad was looking to return to school, I’d 100% support him in doing so.” 


Studies show that people who take adult education classes or continue with “lifelong learning” achievements are less likely to develop dementia. Not only do educational pathways like this improve brain cognition, but they can also provide a sense of purpose and fulfillment that’s just as important in retired individuals. 



Retirement expert Paul Peixoto on TikTok said a longing to do “just one more thing” is unique to many older generations, like baby boomers or Gen Xers. If you didn’t find fulfillment in your career, your family has moved out, or you’re searching for “purpose” in a spiritual way, you’re yearning for an opportunity to find it now. 

“We’re aware of more need out there,” he explained, “and specifically how we can meet that need with our specific skills, gifts, and talents.” 


It’s likely what’s fueling this man’s father to re-enter a journey of higher education. Everyone’s living this life for the first time, and this man doesn’t owe anything to anyone. He should be free to pursue what he wants in his free time. Of course, supporting and maintaining a healthy relationship with his son is important, but it shouldn’t take precedence over what he needs to maintain his well-being. 

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Zayda Slabbekoorn is a News & Entertainment Writer at YourTango who focuses on health & wellness, social policy, and human interest stories.