He: Can you imagine what it will be like to retire?
Me: Because I don’t plan to. I’ll work for as long as I possibly can!
He: *laughing* Me too!
And we both laughed again, together.
We just cannot imagine life without work.
Nevertheless, there’s nothing we can do to stop Time – although we wish we could – and it is also a fact of life that there will come a day, sooner than we’d like, when we’ll be called *cough* – “Seniors”. If there’s one thing we’re sure of, it is this: we definitely want to be independent and active.
But why all this talk about the future?
My brother in law retired from work recently and moved to our city. As they had to vacate the housing allotted to them anyway, they decided they may as well move to a different city and enjoy the change. What did he plan to do now that he was no longer employed, was the focus of our conversation and that’s what got us thinking.
He is in a senior-care housing colony now and is thinking of a home equity conversion mortgage or HECM, as it is called, to help him with additional funds post-retirement. In case you didn’t know, such loans are more commonly referred to as reverse mortgages. To enter into such an agreement you must approach a reverse mortgage lender and set up a loan agreement. Under the terms of that agreement you will be able to retain ownership of your home and you will receive funds from your lender each month for a set time period without the immediate repayment obligation on your part. But if you ever vacate the home, you must repay the loan in full; if not, the lender will sell your home to recoup the funds owed by you.
So anyway, we put ourselves in his shoes. And here’s what we decided we’d like to do when we were “seniors”. It is freaky to think that day is not at all far off! All the more reason to make the most of what there is!
After all, at 60+ it is practically like the beginning of a new era. It is a time for renewal and reflection and when we’re finally at least a little free from the hectic life we’ve been leading, it’s another chance to start over and pursue our passions with more zeal.
How do we plan to enjoy active senior living?
Here’s what we expect to do:
Make a daily routine
I’ve always been a fan of the daily routine. It structures our day and steers our every day activity, while keeping us occupied. This means making meal plans, eating on time, getting enough sleep, make an exercise regimen and make time for our hobbies and leisure activities. This is also the time to explore things we have not tried or perhaps not had the opportunity to try. In short, make each day a brand new day filled with possibilities.
Be active, exercise
It is important to get your daily dose of exercise if you want to lead an active lifestyle. As one progresses in life, mobility is the key to a healthy body, and physical exercise makes this possible. While we have our own activity schedule via sports for him and walking for me, it is heartwarming to see active senior home care communities offering seniors an opportunity to indulge in plenty of physical activities. These include exercising in a gymnasium, going for a swim, morning yoga, enjoying a session of Pilates or simply taking a stroll in the beautiful green open spaces. Nothing like taking a deep oxygen rich breath every morning away from the hustle of the city life to make you feel thoroughly invigorated every day!
No question about that! We will cherish each moment and live mindfully. Laugh a lot. Practice tolerance at what is and what isn’t. Let go of worry. Enjoy every minute as if it were our last. We will take even more time to smell the flowers. So what if we have to sniff harder!
Read. A lot
Hectic lifestyles are not kind when it comes to making time to read. It is not that we lose our love for reading, but we find it tough to make as much time as we’d like. We hope for days when we don’t have anything more important to do than read that favorite book. Ah, now will be the time to indulge! Reading is an excellent brain stimulant and keeps those creative juices flowing. I love how the hours disappear when I am immersed in a book or three. And of course, the added bonus is a boost to our cognitive health while keeping us happily occupied. I am eyeing our vast library in gleeful anticipation!
We’d definitely like to explore new places and spaces and check them off our wishlist while keeping them in our hearts as treasured memories. We’ll make up for all those times when we couldn’t take time off work or family responsibilities to travel to our dream destinations. And oh yes, we will take our time to enjoy the sights. I can see us admiring the beauty of the sunset from a hilltop or lulling ourselves to dreamland listening to the sound of the waves as we unwind from a lazy day. I hear that services at Antara Senior Living in Dehradun with their dedicated concierge, can assist in planning individual itineraries and booking tickets and even helping with a travel companion.
During the years of juggling active parenting and work, the high point of my social life was a visit to the local supermarket. Each time we stepped out of the house, we clubbed various errands. Now that our son is away at college, I am starting to take time off to walk around just for the sake of walking and enjoying my “me” time. Over the years, I can see us spending even more time interacting with people, sharing thoughts, memories and experiences. We will slowly phase out the phrase “so sorry I can’t make it” and look forward to time with our peers.
Of course, I saved the best for last! Helping others brings a sort of gratification that cannot be found elsewhere. We will definitely invest more time in our community and our local welfare homes to help their cause. We already do this as best as we can through monetary support, but you know what they say – presence is important. Spending time in the service of others and doing our bit to make the world a better place is so fulfilling.
So that’s my plan for an active life when I enter the “senior” threshold. I’m pretty sure it is going to be enjoyable as I’m already practicing some of the mandatory requirements – laughter, kindness and mindful living. I hope that if I live to be 80, I can be like my grandmother, who would sit erect and read without glasses in the afternoon rather than nap.
Have you ever imagined your future? How do you see it? I’d love to know in the comments!
I loved your points, ma’am. I would like to trade in stock market, travel, pray and socialize.
This post made me happy and got me into that futuristic state ☺️
Reading, try and be independent & write a lot is what I plan to do…Let’s see how that turns out 🙂
What a beautiful post 🙂
When I read the title I stopped for a moment to think what would I like myself to do when I touch 60. I wasn’t quite sure, but as I read on, I was delighted to note how much I agree to your line of thought 😀
Loved your little list that pretty much rounds off all one needs to lead a content & active life.
It’s my first time on your blog & I’d love to be back to read more 😀
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I love it when I feel “ditto”! I am very glad I “met” you today, too! Thank you. It seems like these days we’re being nudged to contemplate more and more on what we’d be doing in the next ten years, thanks to what’s going on in the lives of the people we’re connected with. It is fun to imagine – regardless of what we’ll be doing in reality! Looking forward to seeing each other more often ♥
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What a lovely and positive post Vidya ji. I was just having this thought the other day and realized that working is like oxygen to me. Being a 30-somethimg, retirement from work is a far away story but your post brought smile to my face. 🙂
Ah yes, my lovely young friend, Vidya. Of course, 60 is another 39 years away for you.
What you state resonates with me. I add that when you stop learning, you stop living. Now then, I have a young, inquisitive heart. I take the time to notice the small yet significant things that are all around. I’m 62 and I can skateboard with the best of them! 🙂
Hugs, your way,
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Though it will be a while till I reach sixty, (I am 51 now), I already feel the need to plan what to do with the rest of my life. Not because it will be empty, but because there is so much I can do! Yes, Vidya I plan to read and walk and listen to music. Like Peter Drucker, I want to learn new things and try to master them, specially Indian languages. Oh there is so much to look forward to!
This is something we all need to practise every day and not get so negative. I love that quote that we are the oldest and yet the youngest today. My hope is to be active and enjoy life even more than I do now despite my severe pain. I am hoping my pain will lessen. I want to live to be100as long as Iam in a good state of mind. Yet, when I visit my mom and see people younger than my mom(she just turned 88 on Feb. 10th) as well as much older, they truly live in the present. We look at them and feel bad because we know they had much better memories than they do now and they are dependant on others but they truly live in the now…we can learn from that.
The post has a halo of cheer and positivity around it Vidya. I feel almost the same. Also I love music and sing so I hope to have regular Mehfils, with my school friends back in Whitefield, which is what we would do regularly in our early twenties 😀
Such a thoughtfully written post. Guess all of us have to plan for such time. I love that quote and that surely brought a smile..
I think we writers are a blessed lot. Our mind is always active. Half the battle won 😀 Life is a present .. when we realize that our future is settled and our past is a happy memory. Lovely positive post as always Vidya. 🙂
I keep asking my parents, what are their retirement plans and they always smile and say we’ll figure out as the time comes. I however feel they need to plan now. After 60, sure is a whole new life. I love your plans and that there is much positivity and mindfulness in them. 🙂
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Loved this — for many reasons. 60 is a good age to start living. I started my new career at 66 and never been so busy in my life. My brother is 78 and works over 50 hours a week – hard labor. My sister is 73 and just started a new job. My dad was 79 when he died — at work! I have always said “I will relax and sleep when I’m dead.”
I can’t imagine life without working and my hubby (although he is disabled) is thinking about his next venture which he wants to start this year.
Working keeps you young physically and certainly mentally and emotionally.
Oh yes, Vidya. I can also not imagine a time when I won’t work but yes when you are 60+, one may need to slow it down a bit. I had written a post about my bucket list of things to do which are very similar to yours. Reading, traveling, volunteering, writing and perhaps opening my own eatery. 🙂
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not older, but more AWESOME!
I like that perspective.
Love you more than melting snow in March! xxxx
I am looking forward to all the ‘senior citizen’ discounts and other perks 🙂 Will come in handy for the rail travels for sure! But seriously, retirement in the old sense of the word is so passe these days as more people are using this stage to discover a new side to themselves, new interests, new activities, etc. I heard a talk recently by an economist in which he said that the economic conditions of the world will also make sure that more people will need to work beyond their so-called retirement age. That’s how it once was, that’s how it will be in the future, according to this economist.
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I am sure that I want to retire early… I dont want to work till I die… As you have mentioned, I would love to travel around the world and be involved in some social activities…
This seems like a great list Vidya. I’m only in my late 30s, but I changed my lifestyle – and country, from Britain to Thailand – a few years ago so I could create a little more of this in my life today rather than wait too long 🙂
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A relaxed life, more time to read, write and walk, may be travel. Ah! Such dreams 🙂
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It is so wonderful that you have so much planned. I am still completely clueless as to what I would do when we retire. Maybe I will take pointers from here 🙂
This is exactly what I would love to do at 60. So well written, as always.
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I liked that thing about getting awesome! I plan to read more, travel and work on something different when I get there!
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Even I don’t want to retire ever. A nice post Vidya Ji. A routine is so important for everyone.