While there may be some aspects of growing old that worry us, there are some real positives too. Here are a few of the many things to look forward to in old age.
1. Being Happier
We may think that we will get more miserable as we age but actually studies suggest that we are often happier in old age than in middle age. It’s possible that we have less to worry about and fewer responsibilities in old age than in our younger years. In addition, we have probably developed good strategies for keeping happy such as feeling grateful.
2. More Time for Friends and Family
In our busy lives, when we are working hard and taking care of a home and perhaps children, there never seems to be enough time to spend just enjoying the company of our loved ones. Most older people get to spend more quality time with friends and family. The relationship with grandchildren or great-nieces and nephews can be particularly rewarding. As a grandparent, you get to enjoy the little one’s company with less of the responsibilities and exhaustion!
While there are many stories about people becoming isolated in old age it doesn’t have to be that way. There are plenty of opportunities for older people to socialise including clubs, societies and day centres.
Our older years are also an opportunity to develop new friendships and even romances.
3. Opportunities to Volunteer
Many older people relish the opportunity to do good in their local communities. When we are busy working and raising a family there often isn’t time to do volunteer work. However, in retirement, there is more time and volunteering can be a great way to socialise, keep active and experience the rewarding feeling of helping your community or those in need.
4. Opportunities to Pursue Your Dreams
The extra time that comes with retirement provides a great opportunity to accomplish a goal or passion or invest in a hobby you have always wanted to try. It’s never too late to start a new hobby or pursue a dream whether that is climbing a mountain or writing a memoir.
You also have more time to do the things you longed to do when you were busy working such as travelling or learning a new language.
5. Accepting yourself
When we are young we spend a lot of time worrying about what others think of us. The pressure to be, do and say all the right things seems to lessen with the wisdom of old age. Most older people are comfortable in their own skin and happy to be themselves without worrying so much what others think of them.
6. Financial Stability
When we are younger we often worry about earning enough to pay the bills. For most older people there is more financial security in old age. Older people who have worked hard all their lives now get to enjoy more financial freedom as they have a regular pension and don’t need to worry about hustling to pay the bills. In addition, there are many senior discounts available on things from haircuts to travel, so the money stretches that little bit further.
There is a lot to look forward to about getting older but it can take a while to adapt to the change of pace. Planning a balanced and fulfilling life with plenty of social interaction is a key way to get the most out of our golden years.