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Six Ways to Prepare for a Great Life After 60

 

If someone asked, here are my top 6 ways to prepare for a great life after 60….

Now that have celebrated my 65th birthday and have my Medicare card, I am enjoying being a gray-haired, older woman who has learned a lot and has arrived at a pretty good place.  

I’ve made a lot of mistakes and learned from most of them.  I’ve had my share of successes with business and family and marriage and friendships.  I’ve been through some rough spots with business and family and marriage and friendships.  I have good ways that I can continue to learn and to grow in my ThirdThird (ages 60-90).  

I’m mainly smiling and enjoying life.  I enjoy good health and am blessed to have a long-term husband who “gets” me and who keeps me moving and trying new things.

If someone in their SecondThird (ages 30-60) were to ask me for advice on planning their best ThirdThird, here are a few things that I would tell them.

A few simple life adjustment to prepare you for living well in your ThirdThird (ages 60-90):

 

Think About Living To Be 90

We are the first generation that can plan with confidence to live into our 80’s and beyond. Medical support and knowledge of health makes living longer the norm.  My parents planned to retire at 65, travel a few years, then die around 72 since that was as long as anyone else in their families had lived.  I, however, realistically expect to live into my 90’s (which my mother did, surprising her a lot!).

It can catch you by surprise if you aren’t thinking about a longer life.  An extra 20-30 years brings a lot of opportunity and a lot of responsibility, so it is good to be preparing for it.

Stop Gaining Weight

When I was 40, I realized that I had unwittingly, been gaining about 3 pounds a year. Noticing someone I knew to be 10 years older than me had unwittingly put on about 30 pounds made me pause.  3 pounds a year, 10 years….yikes!  I was going to have that 30 pounds if I didn’t consciously keep those 30 pounds off.  

The older we get, the harder it is to lose extra weight, so it makes more sense to consciously keep it off.  I remember hearing an interview with Jimmy Carter when he was in his 70’s. Asked how he kept so fit, he talked about riding a bicycle and said that he weighed himself daily.  If he was a little heavier that day, he ate a little less.  

Whatever works, halting weight gain in the SecondThird will have benefits in the ThirdThird.

Save Some Money

Decide to put some money aside and let it become a habit.  As you stick with it, watching it grow is pretty encouraging.

However, you can find a way to put some money away for your longer life.  Direct deposits from your paycheck is a pain-free way to save since you don’t really see those dollars.  Taking advantage of matching savings plans if you are so fortunate to have an employer who offers it will pay off in the long run.

If you are planning to live longer, you will need more money, so save some while you are making it.


Eat At Home More

Cooking seems to be a dying skill, but it can be a lot of fun and is satisfying to produce a tasty meal in your own home.  And if you are eating at home more, you can control those things that are not beneficial and that you probably want to avoid. Less fried food, less sugar, fewer empty calories.

How to get started cooking at home? A subscription to a magazine with recipes gives new ideas and inspiration. Taking a risk on a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) and having weekly ingredients delivered to you opens new doors.  Joining or creating a “supper club” with friends provides motivation and accountability.

Eating at home more can help you with those first 2 suggestions, too, saving money and keeping the weight off.

Move Every Day

If you are going to live into your 80’s and/or 90’s, you will be glad if you have kept moving in your 40’s and 50’s.  Make it a habit to walk the stairs or to walk around the park at lunch or to walk around the block in the evening.

And after making moving every day a habit, find a way that you will occasionally stretch yourself a bit. Classes at a gym? Kayaking on the town lake? Walking or running in 5K’s? Yoga videos? Tennis or swimming or softball?

It can seem like there isn’t time for exercise, but as it is often said, “Use it or lose it.”  If you move every day, you will help ensure that you will be able to move along well into your 80’s and 90’s.

Clear Up Relationships

Clearing up doesn’t always mean being able to reconcile or to come to an agreement. It might just mean being realistic about the relationships you have had and investing in the ones that are helpful to you.

By the time you are in your 50’s, you have known a lot of people.  Some you have enjoyed, some you haven’t.  Some have enjoyed you.  Some haven’t.  It’s okay.  Life has seasons and seasons bring change.

Learn in your SecondThird to have quality relationships.  Keep a short list of offenses. Apologize when you are wrong. Allow people to come and go in your life but keep clear relations.  Forgive and move on.

Go forward with no regrets.

 

Hindsight being 20-20 vision and all, those are the things I would tell someone younger than me to do in their SecondThird to make their ThirdThird, after age 60, great.  

What would you say if someone in their 40’s and 50’s asked you for advice on living well in your sixties and beyond? What did you do in your SecondThird that you are glad for now?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Doing Their Best

I’m always on the lookout for people who are doing their BEST ThirdThird.  I am drawn to people who are doing what they want to do, choosing intentionally how to spend their years.

Dave and I were recently camping in the mountains of Colorado.  He was doing what he loves to do…. run.

This time, he ran in a 50-mile ultra-marathon, a trail run traversing rocky trails with a 3,000 foot elevation change. His BEST ThirdThird definitely involves running. Acclimating to the altitude had him out there for 2+ weeks prior to the race, I came in for day of and day after the race.

http://runrabbitrunsteamboat.com/courses/50-mile-course-description doing best

Part of my BEST ThirdThird involves supporting Dave’s keen interest in pushing himself physically as a runner.  I “crewed” for him…ultra-speak for meeting him at the 2 aid stations possible with dry socks, hot tea and soup, and encouraging words.

Camping at 10,000 feet, the mornings were cold, we had no electricity, and the “amenities” were a stiff hike away. I didn’t mind… I was there to support and to experience.

We met a couple who were traveling in their pickup /camper. They were there, enjoying nature, for a week. Then, they were heading west to more mountains for a few days. Eventually, they’ll make their way back to Utah and home.

They take two trips a year. The other trip this year that they took in their camper/truck? Alaska! For 3 months! They love to travel and have found a way they enjoy traveling.  No cruises for them, they said.

 

Being the not-shy person I am, I asked them their ages.  Dave and I had both thought them to be mid-seventies. I asked when they told me that have a daughter my age (well, 62, actually, slightly younger than me).  They are 82 and 84 years old! Hiking around at 10,000 feet every day. Walking to the lake and around the trails. Sleeping in their bed above the cab of the truck that crawling into can’t be a small feat. And enjoying one another’s company.

doing their best

We found out their 64th anniversary was the day after Dave’s race. We took a bottle of wine over to their campsite along with our chairs and we heard of their family, their year long separation (unexpected, one week after their honeymoon) when he was drafted to Korea, a few of their other trips. They had blue collar careers, raised three children and have grands and greatgrands. It was such an unexpected joy to sit with them and watch the sun set up in the Rockies.

Mark and Bobbe. We won’t forget them. Living simply. Figuring out how to enjoy their (unexpected) ThirdThird into their 80’s! What great inspiration they were to us spring chickens on our 60’s!