10 Life Lessons From Yogi Berra Everyone in Their 60s Should Hear

Getty Images / Getty Images

Lawrence Peter Berra was born in St. Louis, Missouri in 1925. Better known as Yogi, he spent the majority of his playing career with the New York Yankees, where he was a key member of many a championship team. He is also fondly remembered for his witty and often paradoxical expressions known as Yogi-isms. At first, many of his quips seem little more than humorous malaprops, but a closer look reveals gems that rival the finest Buddhist koans. “It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.” and “If you can’t imitate them, don’t copy them.” are a couple of fine examples of Berra’s wit and wisdom. Keep reading to discover 24/7 Wall St.’s list of 10 life lessons from Yogi Berra everyone in their 60s should hear. 

Why It Matters

Laptop or computer with chart. Investment in business and financial concept of growth and success. Investor data analysis for planning in strategy of stock market fund. Invest for earning or profit.
Source: Koto Amatsukami /

Yogi Berra’s life lessons can offer valuable insights for investors navigating the stock market. His famous quip “It ain’t over till it’s over” reminds investors of the importance of patience. In the stock market, where uncertainty and volatility are constants, Yogi’s lessons underscore the need to stay focused, adapt to changing circumstances, and maintain a sense of humor amidst life’s ups and downs.

Dude, Where’s My Flying Car? 

Source: Public Domain/Wikimedia Commons

Whether or not they were intentional or off the cuff, and it’s likely they were a combination of the two, many of Yogi Berra’s quips offer rare insights into any manner of situations. When he said “The future ain’t what it used to be,” he was speaking of a completely different future – his.  But here we are in our future, and it sure as heck ain’t what we bargained for. Flying cars were all but promised, along with cures for disease and reverse aging. Seems like every generation upon reaching what they once considered the future is met with the realization that it’s not what they thought it would be.

  • Life Lesson: Live in the present.

Sunglasses For Sale 

Source: Kathryn Koehler/Courtesy of 24/7 Wall St.

Those of us in our 60s are no longer in need of the shades about which Timbuk3 sang. The state of the planet is nothing that we could have or would have imagined as the starry-eyed youth who came of age in the late 70s and early 80s. We were the tail end of the last generation to grow up blissfully ignorant of what fossil fuels were doing to our atmosphere and our planet, among other things. So, while it’s not the future we imagined, it’s the one we’ve been handed. Make the best of it. Because that’s what Yogi would do. 

Go Your Own Way 

Source: Courtesy of Kathryn Koehler via Flywheel Publishing

Of the 10 life lessons from Yogi Berra everyone in their 60s should hear this is one of my favorites. Yogi Berra’s quips are made all the more astounding by their brevity. “When you come to a fork in the road, take it.” He doesn’t waste time making his point, which is to take the fork which leads to your everlasting happiness. Yogi Berra radiated happiness and goodwill. Berra was not only a champion on the baseball diamond, he was also a champion of the people. His philanthropic efforts spanned a wide array of causes from education initiatives to environmental conservation and sustainability. 

  • Life Lesson: Follow your bliss.

Take The Fork

Source: XtockImages / iStock via Getty Images

As many of us approach retirement, we are going to encounter forks. And when we do the correct response is to ask ourselves “What would Yogi do?”  Untethered from the confines of the 9-to-5 routine, our choices stretch out before us into the vast unknown. Take time to assess your options and ponder your possibilities. And then, when you come to that fork in the road? Take it! 

Not Your First Rodeo

Source: Donald Miralle / Getty Images

The more things change, the more they stay the same, Aint nothin’ new under the sun, and “It’s like deja vu all over again,”  evoke the ennui and tedium that is adulthood. Ah, to recapture the wonder of childhood, a time in which we were encountering new experiences and ideas daily! In our sixties, it can be difficult to recall the fascination of life and its simple pleasures. Most of our firsts are distant memories. But we can be amazed by life’s new simple pleasures, like remembering why we walked into that room and the return of the afternoon nap. 

  •  Life Lesson: Never stop being amazed.

Not Your First Rodeo

Source: Donald Miralle / Getty Images

XXXThe more things change, the more they stay the same,  Aint nothin’ new under the sun, and  “It’s like deja vu all over again,”  evoke the ennui and tedium that is adulthood. Ah, to recapture the wonder of childhood, a time in which we were encountering new experiences and ideas daily! In our sixties, it can be difficult to recall the fascination of life and its simple pleasures. Most of our firsts are distant memories. But we can be amazed by life’s new simple pleasures, like remembering why we walked into that room and the return of the afternoon nap. 

  •  Life Lesson: Never stop being amazed.XXX

It’s Not Over Yet

beach+sand | Terrigal beach
Source: learnscope / Flickr

When the tide is at its lowest point, it begins to turn, speaking to another of Yogi Berra’s astoundingly direct quips: “It ain’t over ’til it’s over.” Though he was undoubtedly speaking of baseball, his advice is practical across a vast array of life experiences. The attitude the winners never quit and quitters never win is another way of suggesting that patience is a virtue if you’re in it to win it! 

  • Life Lesson: Never Give Up 

Not until the Bell Rings

Khan v Alexander
Source: Getty Images / Getty Images Sport via Getty Images

If you’ve reached your sixth decade without a scratch or a dent? Congratulations! Most of us have our share of dings at this point, but we’re still alive and kickin’, are we not? There’s a lot to be said for tenacity. And optimism. So, the next time you find yourself in a sticky wicket, (with apologies to Sammy Cahn) like the little ant trying to move that big old rubber tree plant? Have high apple pie-in-the-sky hopes.

Nothing Is

Source: TokenPhoto / Getty Images

Of the 10 life lessons from Yogi Berra everyone in their 60s should hear this is one of the more prescient.   “A nickel ain’t worth a dime anymore,” humorously states that the value of money isn’t what it used to be, as it highlights the concept of inflation. Sound familiar? It’s kinda like deja vue all over again. Folks aren’t even interested in nickels and dimes anymore. The consumer price index is on the rise, as the costs of living skyrocket to unprecedented levels. Things are tough all over, Charlie. Again, ask yourself, WWYD? He would adapt. And possibly pick up an extra shift or two.

  • Life Lesson: Adaptability and resilience will see you through tough times.


Professional, cunning magician, illusionist, gambler in casual outfit, showing two empty pockets out, standing over red background, looking down
Source: Roman Samborskyi /

Just when we thought we had crossed the threshold to Easy Street, inflation comes along and knocks our retirement plans for a loop. That’s where adaptability and resilience come into play. There’s no need to change horses in mid-stream, but making adjustments to either your portfolio or your plans might be in order. Because, you’ll need to prepare for the future, which is “like the past, only longer,” according to YB. 

Also Known as Spying

Concept of private life. Curious senior woman with binoculars spying on neighbours over fence outdoors
Source: New Africa /

“You can observe a lot by just watching,” so sayeth Mr. Berra. Writer Ela Melo penned A wise man lends his ears but not his thoughts. And so it goes. Observation is the key to understanding. Whether it’s at the ballpark or in your own backyard, being attentive to your environment is one of the best teachers. We learn from doing, but we also learn from watching. 

  • Life Lesson: Watch and learn. 

Wisdom Listens

Male spy holding newspaper with holes on brown background
Source: Pixel-Shot /

Having weathered over half a century on planet Earth we have observed a lot already. And just when we think we’ve seen it all, something comes along that makes us change our tune. And while it’s tempting to want to bloviate our accrued wisdom, if we resist that urge and watch and listen instead, we might learn something new. 

Theory vs. Practice

Concept of theory and practice relationship or connection. Wooden blocks with the words theory and practice on yellow background.
Source: Cagkan Sayin /

Of the 10 life lessons from Yogi Berra everyone in their 60s should hear, this is one of Yogi Berra’s more astute quotes, “In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice- in practice there is,” speaks volumes. Practicing a skill is the route to mastery. Repetition strengthens neural pathways, improving accuracy. And while the experts are bandying about theories for shortcuts to mastery and perfection, successful folk are just doing it. 

  • Life Lesson: Practice makes perfect, or at least proficient. 

Practice Is as Practice Does

Concept of Practice, Practice, Practice write on sticky notes isolated on Wooden Table.
Source: bangoland /

Good work takes time and nothing worth having ever came easy. If you haven’t learned this lesson yet, if you’ve been the type that avoids putting in the necessary work, it shows at this point. So, get up off your duff, and focus on that one thing you wish you had accomplished. There’s no time like the present to become what you might have been. However, if you’re not feeling it, take comfort. Yogi also said, “If you don’t set goals, you can’t regret not reaching them.”

Yours Truly

Man sit at table opens envelope with letter or post card inside, close up view over male shoulder. Paper correspondence with information, bank notification, paperwork at workplace, invitation concept
Source: fizkes /

Among Yogi’s life advice, “Never answer an anonymous letter,” is an outstanding piece. Think about the ridiculousness of the idea. Now apply it to all of the insignificant situations you allow to live rent-free in your head. Don’t waste your energy or time in pursuit of the unattainable which can lead to a perpetual cycle of disillusionment and dissatisfaction. 

  • Life Lesson: Don’t waste energy.

Direct Your Energy 

Sign at the James V Forrestal Building for the headquarters of the United States Department of Energy in Southwest Washington DC
Source: JSquish / Wikimedia Commons

The older we get, the fewer worries we should have. We’ve made it this far, after all. We’re in the home stretch of life, rounding third toward home. So why be weighted down with unnecessary worries that zap our energy? Not giving our time to anonymous letters (aka situations over which we have no control) will free us up to pursue goals that are worthy of our time. 


Sunrise shining through the clouds on Pine Knoll Shores, North Carolina
Source: Cameron Brosnan /

Sunset is simply sunrise in reverse. When we were younger we got up as the sun was going down, but these days we more than likely agree with Yogi’s observation that “It gets late early out there.”  Being on the sunset side of life changes one’s perspective. Early is defined in ante meridiem instead of post meridiem, and the only 12 o’clock we’re likely to see is noon. But we get a lot accomplished while today’s kids are still dreaming.

  • Life Lesson: Time waits for no one.


Lake sunset
Source: Steve Jamsa /

Does anyone ever consider that they’re going to be old and out of the loop when they’re young and vibrant and in the moment? I don’t recall dwelling on the march of time which seemed to be moving at a much less intense pace back then. From the grey hairs and crepe paper skin to weather-related aches and pains (So that’s how Gramps always knew it was gonna rain), it’s harder to deny the passage of time. Live each day with intention and compassion and spread kindness, because that’s what Yogi would do. 

Faulty Logic

Source: izusek / E+ via Getty Images

Even the yogi-est of the yogis gets it wrong occasionally, but unless he was using reverse psychology,  Berra’s quip “Why buy good luggage? You only use it when you travel,” is one of those times. Apart from the very concrete meaning, when taken in the abstract this advice simply doesn’t hold up: Why eat a quality cut if you don’t partake in beef that often? Why buy a warm coat if you’re only gonna wear it when it’s cold?  Why toast with quality champagne? You only get married once (if you’re lucky like Yogi, who was married to his sweetheart for 65 years). I’m guessing you can come up with a few of your own. 

Life Lesson: Use your critical thinking skills. 

Don’t Think More- Think Harder

Luggage holder tag blank label on suitcase / baggage put letter "Travel insurance" word for display your products near combination locks for traveling luggages in airport terminal, copy space for text
Source: smolaw /

In our sixth decade, we have surely come to appreciate and understand that simply because someone we revere says something doesn’t make it true. Speaking specifically of luggage, a sturdy roll-around is a sound investment for air travelers. Generally speaking, buy the warm coat (even if you’ll only wear it in January) and splurge on the finest champagne (even if it’s not your first rodeo). And for gosh sake, buy the soft toilet paper.

ALERT: Take This Retirement Quiz Now  (Sponsored)

Take the quiz below to get matched with a financial advisor today.

Each advisor has been vetted by SmartAsset and is held to a fiduciary standard to act in your best interests.

Here’s how it works:
1. Answer SmartAsset advisor match quiz
2. Review your pre-screened matches at your leisure. Check out the advisors’ profiles.
3. Speak with advisors at no cost to you. Have an introductory call on the phone or introduction in person and choose whom to work with in the future

Take the retirement quiz right here.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us?
Contact the 24/7 Wall St. editorial team.