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Life After 60 Might Be Your Best Life

Life After 60 Might Be Your Best Life

Who Knew 60 and Onward Can Be the Happy Years

While it is true that deteriorating health might cause some to be depressed, if health conditions are disabling enough, some superagers and healthy seniors find that life after 60, their retirement years, are some of their happiest.  This is not a picture we see advertised very often.  No, the stereotypes that go along with growing old can often be very negative.  We picture bitter old women that yell at “darn rotten kids” passing by in the street.  We might picture nothing but deterioration and loss.  And if we’re lucky, we think maybe we’ll at least endure the process with a spouse or lover; someone to keep us company in the misery.  I haven’t seen the best examples of happy senior living myself.  My own grandmother had osteoporosis that kept her bedridden often.  My other dear grand aunt has Alzheimer’s and no longer remembers me.  But we ought not resign ourselves to expecting such outcomes as an inevitable part of age.  This is especially so, because a story in The Guardian, titled “Could your 60s and 70s be the best decades of life?”, showed us that many seniors are far happier than their younger counterparts.

 

Change In Responsibility, Freedoms, and Perspective

Guardian reporter Amelia Hill interviewed men and women across Britain and noticed a surprising pattern.  Even if you don’t plan ahead about just how you intend to spend your senior years, whether it’s swimming laps in a lake or playing with grandchildren, you’re still going to be happy in whatever you choose.  Research bolsters the idea that retirement can likely improve your happiness (and health as a byproduct of happiness), with long-lasting effects.

The Guardian also interviewed author Caroline Lodge, who co-authored The New Age of Ageing: How Society Needs to Change.  The book kept tabs on more than 50 people age 50 to 90.

“Most of our interviewees are amazed by the fact that they are enjoying life and that they feel young and normal, sometimes into their 90s,” Lodge told The Guardian.

“It’s the loss of angst about what people think of you: the size of your bum or whether others are judging you correctly. It’s not an arrogance, but you know who you are when you’re older and all those roles you played to fit in when you were younger are irrelevant,” said 69-year-old Monica Hartwell in The Guardian. “That makes one more courageous.”   

To sum up, imagine a life where you have the time to engage in activities you haven’t been able to do for a long time while working full time.  Also imagine being able to do things without embarrassment.  Life experiences and knowledge often lend themselves to greater confidence.  You truly know who you are as a senior and you’ve had decades to get comfortable with it.  And you also are aware that as a senior, you’re not in the spotlight anymore and this slight anonymity can provide an abundance of carefree feelings.  You’re truly not as worried about what people think of you anymore because you realize that all of the reasons you used to care, have become largely irrelevant.  It also helps that those who consider themselves life-long learners, are more likely to be super-agers.  There is much to learn in life and much to try your hand at.  Retirement doesn’t have to be the end of learning new things but for many, can be the beginning of another learning epoch.  For these reasons, retired life can be something to truly look forward to, rather than something to dread.


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