Redefine Your Life
We may never know why some people seem immune to the slow, forward march of ageing. All we can do is admire their mind-boggling youthfulness from afar. It seems impossible, but “Full House” heartthrob John Stamos is 57 years old.
If not for those few white beard hairs, it’d be tough to guess that Keanu Reeves is 56. In fact, there’s a conspiracy theory that states Reeves is an immortal time traveller.
Our very own Anil Kapoor is an example of ever-young actors of Hindi cinema.
My perception of old age is inexplicably coming from my grandmother. When I was a kid, I thought a 55-year-old, grey-haired woman whose whole body swayed when she walked, was old. Now as I am reaching that age slowly my personal perception- or misperception- of old age is changing.
Many of us think while everyone our age is ageing, the person we see in the mirror every morning is magically ageing at a slower pace. 😃 Jokes apart, a 2018 Michigan State University online survey of respondents ages 10 to 89 revealed that most people think middle age begins at 30 -and that old age begins at (OMG!!!) 50. 😎
Really? Is 50 years that old? Let us do some research on how old is old?
We often find people around us saying that they don’t feel old and feel younger than they are. People who feel young tend to live longer and active as compared to their peers. According to the Michigan State study of more than 500,000 people, generally, people feel 20% younger than their actual age.
As life expectancy is increasing due to healthier lifestyles and better medical treatments available, the perception of old age is also changing. The statement of “age is just a number” is proving itself right.
So back to the question: how old is old?
In different parts of the world, views are different about old age. In America, one researcher found that you are considered old at 70 to 72 years of age for men and 73 for women. Just a decade back people in Britain believed old age started at 59. Turkey considered 55 is old age. In China, the retirement age is 60 for men and 50 for women workers. India has the lowest retirement age in Asia, with 58 considered the age to retire.
However, my answer to- how old is old- is that just the number of years, usually called as ‘age’, can’t define the age. Age must be defined by the state of mind and the state of the body. People who are in their 50s or 60s as an example, and are healthy and independent, aren’t really old. If anything, some of the most impactful people in the world today – both in business and public services – fall within this age group, or even beyond!
In different societies, there was consensus that older people are more respected and perceived wiser than young people. I would like to replace ‘older’ with ‘seniors. ‘As we do in our office…senior positions are considered more authoritative and respectful so should be for seniors in real life too.
In my view, when people are considered old after retirement, that’s the actual time for them to feel ‘young’. Since most of the big responsibilities and tensions so to speak are behind us, and money matters hopefully are taken care of, there is nothing left but to enjoy life with full fervour!
After retirement, most people have enough money invested in different instruments and their future is safe. This state of mental peace was not there in their 30s or 40s. Now with age, they have gained wisdom, money, and control of their lives. Why should they not feel young and do things which even the younger generation can’t do due to their hectic lifestyle?
Therefore, in my mind, instead of ‘old’ or ‘aged’, I consider this age group as a Young Senior.
Young seniors can live their lives productively if they choose to. They can be happier than their younger counterparts.
The reason: More experience, more money to spend with lesser liabilities, no social pressures and so on.
If health is taken care of from a young age and you can reach retirement with good health, you are definitely considered a young and resourceful young senior not an old or senior citizen.
For that, you must remain active after retirement too. Going to the gym or for long walks and doing a little bit of weight training will help keep you fit and healthy. Even mental and physical declines can be pushed away with an active lifestyle.
It is a U-turn to happiness. Remember when we were in our 20s how happy we felt over petty things. After that, all the pressure started to build-up in our lives. Job, marriage, kids and so many responsibilities to mention a few. Now we are in the same state again. Just like in our 20s.In a way, it’s more enjoyable now after midlife crises and all that goes along with that.
When you don’t feel old and already have achieved your financial goals, this is the time to do whatever makes you happy. Pick a hobby as you are not going to die soon. If there are still 25 years to live, how would you like to spend that time? Some even go on finishing their dream educational qualifications!
You can’t pray all day as people did earlier…going to places of worship and spending hours at length there. You can use this time creatively. There are so many things that can be done online now. Life is easier than it was 10 or 20 years ago. Taking advantage of technology and improving active life on even social media is healthy for mental health. When people are connected, they feel secure and happy. How is age a hindrance in doing online activities if you cannot travel long distances?
Therefore, from today onwards I would suggest :”you rename yourself as young seniors.” Forget old age and bounce-back with full energy and enthusiasm within you. Maybe you are already influencing the next generation in your family. Your wisdom and life experience are invaluable in helping your grandchildren navigate difficult social times.
Our, young senior’s, commitment matters to the future of the next generation.
Do something which can be left as a legacy to the next generations. Set an example and offer a fresh perspective to youth.
None of the blogs or opinions expressed within is meant as advice to you or anybody else on any matter, including but not limited to, personal finance, health, or other matters of life. If you need advice, speak to a professional!