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At 60, am I too old?
Plan your taxes, your estate and your will and unless you foresee serious issues or have made a contentious will, share the details of your will with the beneficiaries.
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The magical age of 60 is considered a major milestone. While on the one hand it is “only another number”, on the other hand it is an age beyond which one is normally expected to retire and change one’s lifestyle and either stop working or reach a stage where one is about to superannuate.
Given all the excellent healthcare, most of us who have a reasonably healthy lifestyle can expect to live up to 85 years of age. Therefore, the new paradigm would be that 60 years should now be considered middle age. Men and women who have reached this magical number of 60 have started to counter stereotypes that surround "old age."
Several questions need to be answered and many of the answers will lie embedded in the last three decades of your life. You need to sit down with your partner and do some serious thinking about your life ahead. Think about the following six questions.
* If you are employed and living in a rented home, decide on where you want to live. This should be your first decision if you have not already made this call.
* Decide on what you wish to do next with remaining one third of your life, remember that your “retired” life will be almost equal to your working life
* Decide on the lifestyle that you want to have post your retirement and agree with your spouse on the amount of money you need on a monthly basis to lead the lifestyle you want to lead
* Decide with your spouse on whether you want to spend your money on yourself or hoard it to be left behind for your children. This is important as it will help you to take a call on the lifestyle that you can afford but may or may not want to lead.
* Plan your taxes, your estate and your will and unless you foresee serious issues or have made a contentious will, share the details of your will with the beneficiaries.
* Decide on your exit from this world. Do you want to donate your eyes and your organs after you depart? How do you wish to be cremated or how do you want your last rites to be handled?
Once you have handled these questions, it is time to start planning on what to do with your life.
See your later years as a "time to begin a new chapter"
You have spent 25 years studying and 30 - 35 years working. Now is the time for you to begin to build your new career and a new life. Your new career need not be anything like the one you have just ended. It should be a function of what you have always wanted to do and what you are or could be passionate about.
Remind yourself of all the difficult times you have survived the challenges of your just completed career. With all your confidence and support from your family, you can survive your new challenges too.
Stay active, involved and engaged in new learning and goals
List out all your goals and look at these goals every day till you are on track. You have the experience and are secure within yourself to assess where you stand vis-à-vis your goals.
At each step, ask yourself, "What did I do today to move closer to my goal?"
View the retirement years as a time to find new challenges
Determine the small steps to get you to your goal. When you break it down, it is achievable. Every day take a step to your goal. Your goal can be as simple as walking 10,000 steps that you can count every day on your smart. An interesting challenge for people who love to read is to write a summary of each book in 1000 words. Soon your book summaries may well become much in demand among your family and friends.
Whatever you do, make a challenge out of it. Then say your goal out loud each time you look at it. Remind yourself, "I can do it."
Be socially, economically and civically engaged
We have the potential to become a potent social force in our communities by contributing to the social and economic means in the areas we live in. Become office bearers of your resident welfare associations, teach at various institutions, become mentors, support NGO’s. The moment you put your hand up, you will be surprised at how many people will reach out to seek your counsel.
As seniors, we are respected and if we choose to provide leadership in civic areas which the young feel a “waste of time,” this would be a win-win for our communities. We need to believe that we have the ability to influence events and be in control of their outcomes.
Increase your self-reliance
It is important to become self-reliant in all aspects of life to improve productivity for all older citizens. We are physically fit, have a large network of friends and associates, little or no debt and have enough financial resources to indulge ourselves.
Plug yourself into the digital age that is sweeping the World and stay connected. If you don’t know what is happening in the World or you don’t know how to communicate in this new Digital World you are starting your senior years with a huge disadvantage.
In summary, debunk all the myths that you are carrying about your impending retirement and think about what do you want to accomplish? What is your goal? Think about it. Visualize yourself doing what makes you happy.
The difference between goals and dreams is your action. So plan, take the steps, and turn your dream into a goal and your goal into an accomplishment.
Be the scientist. Be the subject. Analyze yourself.
Sit back and relax. Enjoy the next three decades. You are not old at all.