Old-line companies such as Caterpillar and Rockwell are reporting profits. The major factor in that during these difficult times is that they reduced costs, especially fixed ones.
Cutting costs, fixed and variable, is also a core career strategy for those over-50.
First of all, we really are less desperate and that shows. After I sold my house and rented, I became better at pitching. After I got the rent down to $620 monthly I became known as a "genius" in marketing.
Secondly, we can take on more professional risk, even in terms of debt. High fixed costs can lock us into what we assume will earn us enough money.
Third, spending that money usually is a distraction. Think how much energy goes into the wealthy shopping around for pleasure.
In terms of costs, less frees us up for more creativity, quality and productivity in our work.