The Decades: Cheers and Challenges (60-70)

You might hear people calling you “grandma” on the street, but that’s okay because at 60, you’ve still got a lot of life ahead of you.  In the early 1900’s, people didn’t live as long and so although you’ve got many years of experience under you’re belt, you’re really only two-thirds of the way through life (if you reach 90) or according to the average life expectancy you are likely to have about 20 more years left to live.  So on these hot and humid Monday, here’s what I imagine the 60’s would be like.

60-70

Cheers:

  • Did you say discounts? When I want senior discounts now, I have to drag my dad along with me.  I look forward to my 60’s because I love a good deal and I love discounts.  As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, in your 60’s you can claim a LIFETIME National Parks pass and many other discounts.  The 60-something who sat next to me on the plane last week told me that the key to getting these discounts though is “to ask” because sometimes they don’t give it to you! Who knows, you might look underage.
  • Grandchildren? My mom is convinced that the 60’s are the best decade.  Her take is that she can enjoy young kids again without having to deal with the burden of 24 hour care.  She now has five grandkids (none of them from me, of course) and she spoils them silly! 
  • Retirement? Many people in their 60’s experience retirement, at least their first retirement.  How nice it must feel to get to stay home and enjoy an unrushed breakfast after going to work every morning for decades.  While I’m sure it takes some time to adjust, the years of having to working really hard are over!
  • You still have energy!  Most 60 year olds may be considered old compared to those in their 20’s, but the truth is they still have a huge amount of energy to go to graduations, grandkids’ plays and soccer games, and they still have the energy and time to travel. I’ve met so many 60 and of course, 70 year olds who have been traveling the world and loving it.  It’s time to check off that bucket list of places to visit.
  • Who cares what they think? You’re at a time in your life where you can say what you think and not really care whether the people around you disagree.  
Challenges:
  • What to do now? While retirement must be nice, it’s also an adjustment to a new schedule and life. If you’ve been a doctor, teacher, or businessman for years, you can experience a loss of identity when you are no longer able to practice what you’ve done for so long. What are you going to do with your time now?  We often judge people by what they do and sadly when people retire not only do they start to feel they have less worth, but sometimes we in society consider them of lesser value.      
  • Caregiving is tough.  If you didn’t have to be a caregiver in your 50’s, you are almost definitely a caregiver for a parent in your 60’s. You may have more time because of retirement, but you now are experiencing the stress of not only caring but seeing your parent(s) decline. It’s draining and overwhelming as your parents, who once cared for you, are less independent.
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