I recently turned 60, hard to believe, but as I enter my golden years or silver ones to match the evolving color of my hair, figuring out who I am and what should I be doing for the rest of my life has taken on a new meaning. You see, I never saw myself at this age. I still have the optimism of a child, the attitude of a teenager & the drive of a mom responsible for feeding a brood of little ones. Here I am however, a 60 year old embarking on the third trimester of my life.
Through the years I have always had a defined role; daughter, wife, mother, entrepreneur, philanthropist, caretaker, neighbor, friend & countless others I found myself in. Life throws things at us & navigating these challenges, surviving them & hopefully learning from them is God’s plan. Everyone’s life & experiences are different. Many of my friends believe their lives have been a bit calmer compared to my own, but I assure them, where they are today is exactly where they are meant to be. Their past has delivered them to this moment. Who knows why some of us face more adversity versus others. Who knows why things happen & people come into & out of our lives. As my peers are all converging upon the fifty & sixty something era though, we are all facing a similar question & future. What shall I do with the rest of my life?
A fan of old sitcoms, The Golden Girls is a favorite of many of us & now we can relate. We joke & laugh that Rose, Blanche & Dorothy, who were younger than we are now, seem much older than we do. Why is that? Maybe that’s our minds eye being kind to us. Divorced & widowed ladies trying to live their best lives sharing exploits, adventures & history that makes being this age entertaining & maybe not so lonely.
So now comes the big question of this age, what should I do with the rest of my life? At what age can I retire? Should I downsize & move? Do I want to be closer to my children & grandchildren? Will I run out of money & what will my future look like? While some have worked outside of the home, there is an equal amount of ladies who were stay at home moms. Others were forced into the workforce after a divorce, but now it’s time to take stock & figure out what the next decade or two (or maybe even three) will look like. Financial stability is a key in that it can mean freedom. Hopefully being debt free has been achieved, but knowing what a financial future looks like should be tended to by a trusted financial advisor. If you don’t already have an estate plan in place, this is of utmost importance. It’s best for you to make decisions about your estate so that a court won’t be deciding. Downsizing a home means getting rid of lots of ‘stuff’ that at one point seemed very important, but now has been relegated to the attic or spare bedroom. The cathartic experience of getting everything in order is rewarding & downsizing on your own terms before you children need to make that decision for you is empowering. A new home, new community & a new purpose. If not retiring completely, working part time can be a wonderful way to transition into our senior years. Who knows, you may learn some new things & make some new friends.
No one stays young forever & seriously who would want to? Our lives are what we make them & it’s a culmination of all our yesterdays that delivered us to today. So as another day passes, more birthdays are celebrated & more of us move into the third trimester of life, I urge you to take control of your life. Do the things you have been putting off or didn’t want to address. Start making those plans & then doing those things that will make the last trimester of living your best. The choice is up to you!