Every man needs essentials to live the best life possible. Some things are tangible, while others can’t be held or touched. Perhaps it’s something to make the most of your free time, tools that you need for repairs, or they could even be things to help you advance your career.

Some guys love the bachelor life with modern furnishings, while others prefer a more rustic approach and skip the fancy stuff. Whatever the things you’ve collected, they’re there to enhance the quality of your life.

NOTE: Women also have certain things to achieve by this age. However, their goals often differ, so we address women separately.

Almost Every Man Needs These 40 Things by the Age of Forty

Do you wonder where you measure up with other men and their collection of essential items? Below are forty things that most men have acquired by the time they hit 40. Some items are popular gadgets, while others are things you’ve achieved through growth and wisdom.

As you read, understand that these are suggestions, not a rule. There’s no direct path to success, nor do the items you acquire necessarily reflect your place in life.


1. A Man Should Have a Steady Career

By reaching 40, you need to have a steady career path. Your focus should be on retirement, as you’re closer to retiring than the start of your journey. If you don’t have a stable career path, it’s still not too late to find your niche and start.

2. Men Need Retirement Savings

Retirement is just 25 years away, so you need some savings to sustain yourself in the golden years. According to Forbes Advisor, 21 % of the American population has no retirement reserves, while 75 % doesn’t have enough. This means that only 4% of the population has adequate savings.

As a rule, 15% of your yearly salary must go into a retirement account. Starting now will be beneficial if you don’t have this nest egg.

3. A Man Needs Companionship and Connection

When men reach their 40s, many have a committed relationship, finding value in sharing life’s journey with a partner. This might mean being married or cohabitating, being in a steady relationship, or creating a family. But there is not a single  universal rule. Companionship extends beyond romantic relationships. Some find it in deep friendships, strong community ties, or meaningful bonds with family. Regardless of one’s relationship status, having strong, supportive connections in one’s life can be incredibly enriching.

4. Sense of Purpose and Direction

You spend the first 25 years of your life trying to find your direction. You usually know where you’re going when you hit your fourth decade. Having a purpose and going the right way can bring satisfaction and fulfillment.

5. Education or Lifelong Learning

By the time men reach the age of 40, many have completed formal educational or training programs. This could mean holding a degree or finishing vocational or technical training. It might also mean accumulating years of hands-on experience in a chosen field. However, remember that learning is a lifelong journey. Some 40-year-olds might still be pursuing formal education, seeking new certifications, changing career paths, or investing in personal development in various ways. Life’s a journey, and every man will choose a unique educational pathway.

6. Men Need a Strong Network of Friends

What would life be without friends? Having a solid inner circle can be the very thing that helps you make it through the day. You may be one of the lucky ones that still has connections from your school days.

7. Control of Your Health

You know the importance of eating healthily, having regular check-ups at the doctor’s office, and exercising. Controlling your health is imperative to live another 40 years.

8. A Place to Call Home

Owning a home is a dream for any man, and whether it’s an apartment, condo, or modular doesn’t matter. When you reach middle age, you need a space to paint the walls the color you want and have pets.

9. Men Need Self-Control and Emotional Regulation

One of the most significant things you learn in life is emotional regulation. Learning to control your emotions is not obtained overnight, but it’s an asset for your career and personal life.

10. A Man Must Embrace Growing Older by Forty

Around 40, a man realizes he’s no longer a spring chicken. While you’re not a senior citizen, you become more comfortable seeing a few wrinkles and your changing appearance.

11. A Man Needs Hobbies

Hobbies are important because they help you escape the daily grind, meet new people, and enjoy life. It gives you something to look forward to, and you get some exercise in most instances.

12. Spiritual Mentors

Spiritual mentors, or someone like a Yoda in your life, are who you turn to in times of trouble. Now, you should have some trusted people who you know always have your back and give sound advice.

13. Bucket List

A bucket list is something most people start when they’re younger. By now, you should have crossed off many things from this list, and your goal should be to continue to achieve these dreams.

14. A Higher Purpose

Having a higher purpose means you know that your journey on earth isn’t to work the 9-5 shift and come home. You have things you should do and choose to work within your callings.

15. Men Need Cherished Memories

A collection of memories is among the most cherished. These are holidays spent with family, the birth of your first child, and seeing the love of your life on your wedding day.

16. To Know What True Love Feels Like

Whether you’re in a serious relationship or taking a break, every man should know what love feels like once they reach this milestone. You’ll feel like you’re floating on cloud nine.

17. A Man Should Embrace Aging With Confidence

As men reach their 40s, changes in physical appearances, like graying hair, become more apparent. The salt-and-pepper look can be a stylish statement for many. How one chooses to embrace these changes is deeply personal. Choosing to let the grays shine or coloring them is a personal choice. But what truly matters is feeling comfortable and confident in one’s skin. Age brings wisdom and experiences worth celebrating, regardless of one’s outward appearance.

18. Healthy Self-Esteem

You live the first part of your life trying to fit in and be a part of the crowd. By now, you know that people will love or hate you, and you can do nothing about it. However, you’ve learned that you’re special, and there’s so much to love.

19. Men Should Possess Basic Cooking Skills

While you might not be Robert Irvine or Bobby Flay in the kitchen, you have a few skills. You can cook a few good meals and may feel comfortable throwing dinner parties and showing off your culinary skills.

20. A Passport

A passport is more than just a document, as it’s your ticket to see the world. If you love to travel, you need these documents to help you make more memories and have fun stories to tell. Plus, consider all the exciting places you can visit and take pictures.


21. Knowledge of Basic Household Repairs

Every man needs to know how to do a few basic household repairs. You can do more than change a lightbulb, as you’ve been through the school of hard knocks. You embrace DIY projects and the ability to save money.

22. A Man Needs a Tactical Flashlight

Every man needs a good flashlight, as the one on your cell phone isn’t that bright. An LED flashlight is necessary for power outages and all those unforeseen events when you need a light.

23. Toolbox and Power Tools

All guys should have a toolbox to tackle those home projects. Whether it’s something simple like hanging a picture or something significant like repairing the plumbing, you can’t do anything without the proper tools.

24. Signature Cologne

A signature cologne is something special for a man to acquire. When you walk into the room, people know you’re there from the delicious smell of your fragrance.

25. An Understanding of Quality Over Quantity

When men reach their 40s, they often realize the value of investing in quality items that stand the test of time, over accumulating numerous lower-quality ones. This could be anything from a reliable piece of tech, a well-crafted tool, a favorite piece of clothing, or a cherished book collection. Whatever it might be, these quality items often serve a dual function. They are practical and add personal value or style to one’s life.

26. Men Need Good Socks

There are socks you buy by the dozens in a department store, and then there are ones that are pure luxury. It would help to have a few pairs of elegant socks free from holes to compliment your clothing. Even for the man who generally dresses casually, life occasions arise that demand a suit and tie – and those gym socks won’t do the trick.

27. Nice Cookware

By now, you’ve thrown out the aluminum pans that stick and opted for a nice cookware set. To create healthy meals, you need a nice set of dishes and cookware to accomplish this task.

28. A Pet

A pet can brighten your day and calm your blood pressure. A study by Harvard University found that having a dog can improve your heart health. There’s nothing like a pet to come home to. Even if it’s a goldfish, you can still enjoy being close to animals.

29. Quality Luggage Set

You need a quality luggage set to cross off your bucket list and use your passport. The seasoned jet setter knows you need a specific size to get through airport security, so you have an excellent set that works for your travels.

30. Good Skin Care

Who says skincare products are just for women? A man needs plenty of grooming supplies too. You’ve learned that maintaining soft and smooth skin comes down to your skincare routine, and you should stick to it diligently.

31. Manscaping Tools

Grooming is part of living, so you need the proper tools to manscape. Whether you’re growing a beard or just making sure your pubic areas are well-quaffed, you know that having poor-quality tools can be a disaster.

32. Fashionable Sunglasses

You want to make a fashion statement, and sunglasses are essential. These glasses can enhance your appearance and make you look GQ regardless of age.

33. Plants

Plants are an excellent addition to any room and can improve your home’s air quality. Even if you don’t have a green thumb, you should have a few artificial plants around your space.

34. Comfortable Mattress

A good night’s sleep is essential, so having a mattress that doesn’t cause back or neck aches is imperative. By now, you know that you need to rest to be fresh the next day, so you don’t mind investing in a comfortable mattress.

35. Art

Art makes your home come alive, and they become good conversational pieces. You should at least have one nice piece of art by 40.

36. Cash On Hand

While you likely have bank accounts, you always need a little cash on hand. You never know when a card will be declined due to an error, and you’re in a sticky situation. Cash can be a lifesaver.

37. A Suit

Men need a good suit, whether for funerals, weddings, or business meetings at work. If you’re only going to have one, get black or navy, as you can wear these colors to almost any occasion.

38. Collection of Jokes/Funny Stories

Think back to your grandparents and the stories they told. Once you reach 40, you should also have a collection of jokes and funny tales. You use these stories to break the ice when meeting new people or to bring humor to an otherwise dull occasion.

39. Gym Membership

Your age will start to catch up with you, and you may see love handles and a full belly. Thankfully, having a gym membership will help you to stay healthy. Gyms are motivating; nothing says you can’t look your best over forty.

40. An Established Routine

Going into your 40s, you usually have settled nicely into a routine. You don’t like to party on the weekends and prefer your dinner at the same time every night. You’ve become more systematic with age, which is good, as your predictable routine brings comfort.


Final Thoughts on the Things Every Man Should Have

How many things on the list have you acquired? Are there any things you don’t have that you think are essential? Reaching 40 is a significant milestone, and you should celebrate your achievements, but you still have plenty of time to adjust where needed.