There exists an unspoken diktat in India that says once you cross 60, you should ‘behave’ like a senior citizen. What is implied by this is that people should retire, sit at home, run errands, play with or babysit their grandchildren, etc. That is said to be bliss in the silver years!
However, you may also have come across many active and independent seniors who firmly believe life begins at 60. And this number is slowly increasing. So, what do these people do? They plan, travel, pick up a hobby, look at a second innings of their career, and try to achieve their dreams which hitherto looked impossible.
Many single individuals in this age group are now seeking out companions to spend the rest of their life with. Therefore, it is not pilgrimage and babysitting alone that is on the minds of India’s silvery population. Times are changing, and so are they. Believe it or not, positive ageing is here to stay, and it is contagious! Perhaps, all this is aided by technology and social media too. While there was a reluctance among the ageing population to adopt technology that is also slowly waning. So, what can you do once you hit the 60s?
Follow your heart
Perhaps, one of the best things to do once you retire would be to follow your heart. There is always a possibility that you might have had some societal or family issues that prevented you from doing what you earnestly wanted to.
Hence, this is the best time to lay all the demons to rest and do what you feel. Maybe, it is travelling the world, writing a book, starting a venture, exploring a second career in a different domain, or pursue a career in performing arts, and so on. If you can continue to earn while following your heart, there is nothing like it. In many ways, it means ‘self’ should be given more priority, and you should not give in to too many compulsions. Maybe, it is good to believe that you have less time on earth so that you get motivated to spend it exactly the way you want it.
Set an objective
Ambitions and goals are not prerogatives of the young alone. Try setting a goal at 60 on what you would like to do for the next five years. Uncertainty of life does not change much just because you are 60. So, there is no harm in setting a fresh objective and working towards it. It could help keep you active and young, both physically and mentally. You could even become a role model for many others, especially the youngsters.
Leverage your skills
The biggest asset that senior citizens carry with them is a lifetime of experience and honed skill sets. A youngster cannot reach that level despite the best education or internship as easily. Hence, one of the best things that seniors can look at is sharing this knowledge with the people around them. It could be done as a paid service or as a free service if you can afford it. However, if you prefer to earn from these coaching sessions, it could become your second innings.
The learning and judgment skills that seniors gain can be of immense value, and many organizations engage them as consultants for this purpose. They could easily give a run for money to AI algorithms as well! After all, algorithms need to be trained by feeding years of data, but for seniors, it is internalized.
Learning and Socializing
One way or the other, it is essential to socialize in this age, as it keeps you fresh and agile and also helps keep depression away. The pandemic will wane sooner or later, enabling people to meet up, have get-togethers, travel together, etc. The socializing groups could be based on interests and hobbies such as reading, gardening, cooking, music, travel, etc.
This is also the best time to pick up new skills for which you may not hitherto have had time. So, it could be to play an instrument, learn cooking, or set up an organic terrace garden. Every new skill you learn gives you energy, positivity, a sense of purpose, and an excuse to socialize. There is no question of not having time for such things, and it should be part of the regular schedule, just like exercising.
Take care of finances
Without a doubt, managing finances is a must that people in their 60s should do. It could be keeping track of income and expenses, investing, philanthropy, and more. Making provisions for emergencies, ensuring health and life insurances, etc., must be done without fail. Another important activity would be to make a WILL, and ensure that all assets have stipulated nominees. Death is the only certainty in life, yet we refuse to acknowledge this. It puts our family members in some unwanted hassles after we die. Keeping a list of important things handy for other family members is crucial to ensure that they can easily handle our assets post our death.
Another important thing not to be missed is the health check-ups. Even if we are healthy, getting a health check-up done once a year is advisable. A good physician would advise on the basic tests to be done, like some blood tests, ECG, etc., to pick up any common anomalies. The check-ups are more important if you have diabetes, blood pressure, heart issues, etc. Even periodic eye check-ups are important as they can catch any problems that can turn serious. Most issues can be easily identified and addressed due to the advancement of medical technology today. Being healthy means being independent, and that is an important aspect of living as a senior citizen.
The bottom line is not to allow anyone to tell you what you cannot do. Nor is there a need to prove anything to anyone by going beyond. However, it is important to add life to the years, and not vice versa. Ensure that each day is providing you happiness, contentment, and something to look forward to.