I began my career back in 1985 when I was marketing and selling pre-retirees and couples who had already retired. Through the years we would market this large group of people known as the Baby Boomers. Data from the U.S. Census Bureau show that there are 76.4 million baby boomers.
There was actually a total of 76 million births in the United States from 1946 to 1964, the 19 years usually called the “baby boom.” Of the 76 million baby boomers born, nearly 11 million had died by 2012, leaving some 65.2 million survivors.
I have watched these people for over 35 years buy real estate where I worked. I watched them start new lives, meet new friends, join clubs, and thrive. Now I am in the Hilton Head and Bluffton area of South Carolina. This area is just booming with the same group of people. I thought I would take a moment and share what I have seen through the years.
Aging is a natural and beautiful process of life. You must be kind to yourself and age in a way that you live a long and happy life. Great examples of such people are the Blue Zone people. The Blue Zone people are limited to certain geographical areas, where they have a certain lifestyle that supports healthy eating. Currently, members of these communities live the longest lives possible.
For instance, Icaria in Greece is a hot spot for baby boomers, and their lifestyle includes a nutritious Mediterranean diet. Whereas the blue zone people in Okinawa, Japan are known to practice the art of Tai chi, which is a meditative exercise.
A 2018 study by the New England Journal suggested that the most productive age of a man’s life is between 60-70 years. Not to mention, ages 70-80 fall second on the chart, with ages ranging from 50 to 60 being the third most productive age. These numbers should be a wake-up call to seniors who think that the best years of their lives are long gone. It’s crucial that they make the most of this phase of life. Did you know that the average age of Nobel Prize winners is around 62?
Here are the important pillars of retirement you must focus on to live a productive, happy, and fulfilled life:
Spirituality plays an important role in coping with the process of retirement. Retirement is a big life change, and to cope with the changes; people need to have a support system. In many cases, spirituality acts as an anchor, and it helps seniors stay rooted to reality while pushing aside the reality of changing circumstances. Various studies show that the average age of popes is about 76. Pastors over around 100 churches in the US are aged 71 on average.
Spirituality doesn't necessarily mean being religious, but there can be many forms of spiritual awakening, such as mystical spirituality, authoritarian spirituality, and service spirituality. Choosing the right form of spirituality depends on the individual. For instance, many people believe in the spirituality that comes from within.
To have a spiritual connection, it is important to have a community that encourages spirituality. If you are nearing your retirement, you can move into a living society that can give you the peace to grow spiritually.
When we work as an employee somewhere, we wake up every morning with a purpose in mind. We know what our day is going to look like and what goals we must accomplish. However, when you retire, the sense of purpose vanishes. Since you do not have a job anymore, you may not know what to do with yourself and how to keep yourself useful. This is one of the biggest problems adults face when they age.
Once they retire, they tend to lose their sense of identity, which is why many people have to reinvent themselves after retirement. If you are a senior citizen who is retiring, a good solution to identity crises is to join a community that allows you to reinvent yourself. You can ask yourself what it is you want to do or can do and then put that into action.
Doing something you like will give purpose to your life, and you will be able to take the next chapter of your life head-on! Retirement gives you a lot of free time that you can use to do things you have always wanted to do. Remember to focus on your abilities and participate in any activities that you can. You can give back to your community by volunteering and making others’ lives better.
3. Physical Movement
Staying healthy should be your biggest priority when you age. A sedentary lifestyle mostly results in diseases and a lack of mobility. Staying active during your later years is a good way to keep your body in the best working condition and lead a life filled with happiness and productivity. It increases your productivity by battling fatigue and raising energy that you can use in other activities.
Make use of your available time to take care of yourself and your partner. Indulge in healthy physical activities like taking yoga classes and going for morning walks. It is even better if you plan a short workout session for each day.
When you think about physical movement, it does not necessarily have to be strenuous. Low impact exercises are a great option for older people. Walking, in particular, is one of the most common exercises that offer a lot of health benefits. However, to walk, one must have the right kind of space. Ongoing traffic or obstructions can hinder walking and might even be a health hazard. This is why you must look at a location when you plan to move where you can easily exercise.
Health is wealth. Living a life of poor health is not something people look forward to. When you reach a certain age, you must be very cautious of what you are putting into your body. Having a balanced diet with the right components can help you live without worrying about various health concerns.
Keep a check on your diet and consult with your doctors to learn what you must incorporate. There may be things that are not very healthy for you, and leaving them out will only contribute to your overall health.
5. Social Belonging
No matter what age you are, you are still a part of society. Humans are social animals, and it is crucial that we maintain a healthy social life where we can spend quality time with a group of people we like. Not all societies can be welcoming of seniors, which is why it is usually suggested that they look for communities with more retired people so they can talk to them and share similar experiences. Retirement can be a daunting time and isolating yourself can only make it worse. Social belonging can add identity and purpose to the next half of your life, making sure your days are pleasant and fulfilling.
Also, make sure to stay connected with your friends and family. If you live farther away from them or your schedules don’t allow for frequent meetings, joining support groups and frequently participating in social activities can help you make new friends. Being actively engaged in life can largely affect your well-being and productivity in a positive way.