If you’ve just turned 65 or the label “senior” is just around the corner for you, congratulations.
Seriously. Although it’s natural to want to dwell on the past rather than think about the future as we get older, there’s plenty for seniors to look forward to in the so-called “twilight” years. Rather than worrying about “what could have been,” use this opportunity to get the most out of life.
Think about it. Morbid as it may seem, there’s a lot we can learn from the most common regrets of the dying whose last wishes included:
- Wanting to live a “truer” life, free of expectations and judgement
- Having not worked so hard and stressed out about the “small stuff”
- Staying in touch with their friends and have a strong social circle
By noting such regrets, you can understand how to make the most of time you have left and do so with joy rather than sorrow. The following tips can help ensure that you spend the rest of your days stress-free, ready to pursue the happiness that perhaps has eluded you in the past.
Get Your Personal Business in Order
Getting your personal assets in order isn’t particularly fun; however, it’s crucial to giving you peace of mind that your family is taken care of in the long-term. Besides, once you’ve gotten your legal business squared away properly, you won’t have to dwell on it anymore.
So, what sort of business are we talking about?
- Speak to a lawyer about writing up a last will and testament; likewise, you may want to speak with your family as well
- Make sure that you understand surviving spousal rights to ensure that your spouse is taken care of and doesn’t have to face a legal battle upon your passing
- Write up a letter of instruction to help your family once you’re gone: this may include simple personal wishes, clarification of anything in your will or a statement of comfort to your family in their time of grief.
Again, nobody wants to go through such affairs; however, they could be essential to securing your family’s financial future and ensuring that they’re taken care of.
Keep Your Mind Sharp
Chances are you don’t want to fit the stereotype of the senior stuck in front of the television, doing little to nothing day after day. While some degree of memory loss is common as we age, think about how you can keep your brain active including:
- Regularly making an effort to engage with others, whether it be meeting with friends or calling family members
- Playing games, which can have big cognitive benefits: consider a daily crossword, puzzle games on the Internet or a game of bridge with your neighbors every now and then
- Reading regularly, opening your mind to new ideas, habits and hobbies: from the news to fiction and beyond, constantly strive to feed your brain
Old age doesn’t mean that we have to stop thinking: just like you’d exercise your body, take some time on a daily basis to work out your mind.
Take Up a Physical Hobby
Speaking of exercise, make sure that you stay active by picking up a physical hobby. Becoming a senior isn’t an excuse to let yourself vegetate, especially since we become more prone to disease (both mental and physical) as we age.
From a daily walk to swimming or biking, even something seemingly simple and low impact can make a big difference. Additionally, physical hobbies can be a great way to connect with others in your community or spend time with your grandchildren, if you have them.
Getting older means making the most of the time we have left, so why not spend that time free of stress? By having your affairs in order and staying as mentally and physically active as possible, you set yourself for perhaps having some of the best years of your life to look forward to.