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?