So you are looking forward to retirement. Roll on 65, you say. Over the six previous issues in this series we introduced this topic and looked at the Big Picture, Health, Finances, Changing Environment and Wounds of Life. This final article summarises our discussions on what can be a scary season of life for many men and women. As with any season of life you need a life plan, and the third age is no different. This season of life should be the most influential and rewarding.
So to WRAP IT UP:
LIFE PLAN. Make a life plan for the third age which may (should) include a budget (maybe the first time for many years).
FINANCES. You will probably never be as wealthy as the day you enter the third age, so plan your life well according to your income and savings.
SWALLOW PRIDE. There are many changes and potential challenges in the third age of life, but also great reward if the season is well-lived. To make this season the most influential and rewarding of your life, do not be slow to seek help or the wisdom of peers. Swallow your pride.
TIME. Use your increased free time wisely. Review recreational activities.
HEALTH. Monitor your health at least annually. Be proactive and have any concern checked so that you may grow old and full of years.
PHYSICAL. Increase your level of physical activity. You will need to do more to maintain your current level of fitness.
ISOLATION. Avoid becoming isolated from family and friends. Watch for any pattern of depression and be proactive in getting help.
ADDICTION. Deal to any area of addiction.
CHANGING ENVIRONMENT. Be prepared for changes. Be proactive in making necessary life changes including reviewing your location of living.
WOUNDS OF LIFE. Deal to the wounds of life so they do not control and define you in the third age.
RELATIONSHIPS. Leave a legacy in your relationships. Restore broken relationships. Invest in people as a prime focus of your third age years.
PREPARE TO DIE. Make sure you have all your affairs in order and tidy. Your Will, Power of Attorney, and Wishes.
WORLD VIEW. Review your world view beliefs. Make sure you are at peace with your choices, that you know who you are and where you are going. It will define why you are here and how you live out your third age years.
DON’T GO IT ALONE. Loneliness and isolation is a dangerous place to be. Making decisions without input from others can also be dangerous.
If you are in your fifties, now is the time to start thinking about your third age of life. If you are one to three years away from retirement (entering the third age) then plan for the third age. If you are in the third age and have drifted into it with little planning, it is never too late to review where you are at and where you want to go, within the limitations that are part of your reality. It is never too late to life plan.
Live the third age well. Plan to ‘grow old and full of years.’ Invest in relationships and build a legacy. Make this season of life the most influential and rewarding.
1. Am I having annual health checks?
2. Is there some area of concern that I should get checked out now?
3. Am I exercising enough? Do I need to get some advice?
Ramble Alert: I’m probably going to be ramblier than usual.
The genesis of these somewhat ambiguous ramblings is my growing awareness of how differently my children’s generation thinks and behaves, to how my generation thinks and behaves. There’s always been a generation gap, but I have a feeling it’s wider than ever before. It’s like they are a completely different tribe. This generation has been influenced like no other by mass media, including state education. It’s interesting to observe that this is not just here in our Kiwi corner, but all throughout the western world.
Personally, I do my very best to avoid being influenced by popular cultural messages without examining them for their validity or usefulness. It’s actually very hard to do because I’m not a hermit. I watch TV, listen to the radio when I’m driving, flip through Facebook occasionally. Plus, I’m an editor, so it would be silly to ignore what’s going on out there. I’d get fired. Wait, I’m self-employed. Yeh, nah, I’d still fire myself if I lived in a bubble and called myself an editor.
The popular ideas of our society are transmitted 24/7 through mass media, in a circular, self-validating fashion. As members of society we are all influenced in varying degrees by what we hear, see, and read, and even further by how widely-accepted the ideas are by our peers and those we look up to. We process these ideas through our own personal filters built up over the years since before we were even born. These filters are part of our ‘belief system,’ a very powerful force in the life of every single person on the planet.
In spite of being in charge of our very own belief system, it’s surprising that we don’t take more care in what we feed it. But with the pressures and stresses of everyday life, we unconsciously ingest ideas like our morning Weetbix, just spooning it in while watching the morning news on TV. We accept them as our reality, the new reality of modern times. Life as it is now. “Aah well,” we sigh, unaware that we have allowed our thinking to be infiltrated without too many checks and balances.
The difference in society is profound, from when I was a young adult to now (ok, yes, an old(er) adult). And not only in our little Kiwi society, but with the increase in technology we now find ourselves part of a global society. We can feel big and little all at the same time.
If you were around in the sixties, seventies and eighties you will know the difference I’m talking about. If you were not around then, you may remember this little editorial at some point in the future when you have your own “back in my day” epiphany. Don’t snigger behind your hand; I assure you, it will come.