2. Tips for birthday speeches
  3. Milestone birthday quotations

Milestone birthday quotations

Quotes for 20th, 30th, 40th, 50th & 60th plus birthdays

By: Susan Dugdale 

These milestone birthday quotations mark reaching those significant ages: a 20th, 30th, 40th, 50th or 60th plus birthday.

And depending where we are on the time-line of life and what we think about being there, we may not be entirely welcoming of our new status. ☺

The quotes span the spectrum of thoughts and feelings associated with gaining years. Each offers an insight into the particular characteristics of the milestone age they mark.

You'll find some wise, some sentimental, while others are witty and wry.

Image: montage of 5 round birthday speech buttons: 20th, 30th, 40th, 50th, and 60th, each with different retro wallpaper backgrounds. Text: Milestone birthday quotations

20th birthday quotations

Image: Round blue vintage wallpaper button saying 20th birthday

"At 20 years of age the will reigns; at 30 the wit; and at 40 the judgement."
Ben Franklin

"Live as long as you may. The first twenty years are the longest half of your life."
Robert Southey

"At twenty-one, so many things appear solid, permanent, untenable."
Orson Welles

Get help to write your speech

Image: silhouette of children holding a birthday cake with lit candles. Text: Make a wish. Make a speech. How to write good birthday speeches.

Click the link to find lots of useful tips and suggestions to help you prepare a good birthday speech

There's ongoing links to three birthday speech examples too: an eighteenth birthday, a fortieth, and a fiftieth birthday speech.

Reading these is a great starting point to writing your own.  Go to tips for writing birthday speeches.

"It is through the idealism of youth that man catches sight of truth, and in that idealism he possesses a wealth which he must never exchange for anything else."
Albert Schweitzer

"When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished by how much he had learned in seven years."
Mark Twain

"Youth has no age."
Pablo Picasso

"At 20, everything is possible and tomorrow looks friendly."
Jim Bishop

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30th birthday milestone quotations

Image: Round lavender vintage wallpaper button saying 30th birthday

"Everything I know I learned after I was thirty."
Georges Clemenceau

"Time and Tide wait for no man, but time always stands still for a woman of thirty."
Robert Frost

"Thirty-five is when you finally get your head together and your body starts falling apart."
Caryn Leschen

"After 30, a body has a mind of its own."
Bette Midler

"Thirty five is a very attractive age; London society is full of women who have of their own free choice remained thirty-five for years."
Oscar Wilde

"When you turn thirty, a whole new thing happens: you see yourself acting like you parents."
Blair Sabol

"Women deserve to have more than twelve years between the ages of twenty eight and forty."
James Thurber

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40th birthday quotations

Image: Round red vintage wallpaper button saying 40th birthday

"Life begins at forty."
W. B. Pitkin

"The lovely thing about being forty is that you can appreciate twenty-five-year-old men." 
Colleen McCullough

"You're not forty, you're eighteen, with twenty-two years worth of experience."
Author Unknown

"What most persons consider as virtue, after the age of forty is simply a loss of energy."

"This wine is forty years old. It certainly doesn't show its age."

"The first forty years of life give us the text: the next thirty supply the commentary."
Arthur Schopenhauer

"Every man over forty is a scoundrel."
George Bernard Shaw

"Be wise with speed: A fool at forty is a fool indeed."
Edward Young

"Forty is the old age of youth; fifty is the youth of old age."
French Proverb

"When I passed forty I dropped pretense, ‘cause men like women who got some sense."
Maya Angelou

Read an example 40th birthday speech 

Image - woman wearing a circlet of roses. Text: At middle age the soul should be opening like a rose, not closing like a cabbage. John Andrew Holmes

Here's a 40th birthday speech from a mother to her daughter. I wrote it to show the result of following the step by step guidelines I put together to help write a speech.

Read it aloud to get the flow of the language.
40th birthday speech example

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50th birthday quotations

Round pink vintage wallpaper button saying 50th birthday

"Nature gives you the face you have at twenty, but it's up to you to merit the face you have at fifty." 
Coco Chanel

"The years between fifty and seventy are the hardest. You are always being asked to do things, and yet you are not decrepit enough to turn them down."
T.S. Eliot

"Looking fifty is great - if you're sixty."
Joan Rivers

"At age fifty, everyone has the face he deserves."
George Orwell

"The man who views the world at fifty the same as he did at twenty has wasted thirty years of his life."
Muhammad Ali

"From birth to age eighteen, a girl needs good parents. From eighteen to thirty-five, she needs good looks. From thirty-five to fifty-five, she needs a good personality. From fifty-five on, she needs good cash."
Sophie Tucker

Read an example 50th birthday speech

Image: Happy 50th birthday to you" in vintage fonts on charcoal background.

This speech is a gentle roast. It's been prepared with love and humor and celebrates a 30 year long friendship between two men. They've been there for each other through the good, bad and indifferent experiences life brings all of us.

Read a 50th birthday speech sample

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Milestone birthday quotations - 60th birthday plus

Round floral vintage wallpaper button saying 60th birthday

"A man of sixty has spent twenty years in bed and over three years in eating."
Arnold Bennett

"One starts to get young at the age of sixty and then it is too late."
Pablo Picasso

"I'm sixty years of age. That's 16 Celsius."
George Carlin

"Old age is like everything else. To make a success of it, you've got to start young."
Fred Astaire

"What I wouldn't give to be seventy again!"
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

"At seventy-seven it is time to be earnest."
Samuel Johnson

"You know you are getting old when the candles cost more than the cake."
Bob Hope

"Birthdays are good for you. Statistics show that the people who have the most live the longest."
Reverend Larry Lorenzoni

"Age is not measured by years. Nature does not equally distribute energy. Some people are born old and tired while others are going strong at seventy."
Dorothy Thompson

"A man over ninety is a great comfort to all his elderly neighbors: he is a picket-guard at the extreme outpost; and the young folks of sixty and seventy feel that the enemy must get by him before he can come near their camp."
Oliver Wendell Holmes

"The advantage of being eighty years old is that one has many people to love."
Jean Renoir

"In a dream you are never eighty."
Anne Sexton

"Each ten years of a man's life has its own fortunes, its own hopes, its own desires."

"Once I was looking through the kitchen window at dusk and I saw an old woman looking in. Suddenly the light changed and I realized that the old woman was myself. You see, it all happens on the outside; inside one doesn't change."
Molly Keane

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"The first hundred years are the hardest."
Wilson Mizner

"I still have a full deck; I just shuffle slower now."
Author Unknown

"Youth is the gift of nature, but age is the work of art."
Garson Kanin

"My candle burns at both ends; It will not last the night; But, ah, my foes, and, oh, my friends - It gives a lovely light!"
Edna St. Vincent Millay

"There are days of oldness, and then one gets young again."
Katherine Butler Hathaway

"A friendship counting nearly forty years is the finest kind of shade-tree I know."
James Russell Lowell

"We grow too soon old and too late smart."
Pennsylvania Dutch proverb

"An old man loved is winter with flowers."
German proverb

"Friendship is the shadow of the evening, which strengthens with the setting sun of life."
Jean De La Fontaine

"Wrinkles should merely indicate where smiles have been."
Mark Twain

Image: Sumi-e (black ink wash painting) background of mountains and clouds. Text: Chines proverb - A diamond can not be polished without friction, nor a man perfected without trials.

"A diamond cannot be polished without friction, nor a man perfected without trials."
Chinese Proverb

"Old age: A great sense of calm and freedom. When the passions have relaxed their hold, you may have escaped, not from one master but from many."

"One of the signs of passing youth is the birth of a sense of fellowship with other human beings as we take our place among them."
Virginia Woolf

"Neither fire nor wind, birth nor death can erase our good deeds."

But wait, there's more!

If you haven't found the perfect quotation yet try these:

Image: cartoon like drawing of a retro 50's woman smiling and pointing. Text: Droll
  1. witty birthday quotations  -  50 droll, funny, amusing, jocular, ha-ha-he-he bits of commentary on the inevitable process of growing older. 
  2. wisdom themed birthday quotations - These are mostly thought provoking and  philosophical in approach.