I believe our “After Fifty” years can be wonderful, productive, and rewarding. In fact, we at After Fifty Living like to say that these can be our best years ever. But we also believe this doesn’t happen by accident. So, we turned to our members and asked: what is it that really counts as we age? What makes the difference and turns the tide from a life in retreat to a robust life punctuated by vigor and vitality?
Much of what we heard was not surprising. Maintain your health, exercise regularly, eat colorful foods and do so in moderation, nurture relationships. But five additional tips emerged that round out a recipe for robust living after fifty. We believe embracing these tips can help transform, enlighten, and delight you.
Stoke the Flames: Stay Sexy after 50, 60, 70, and Beyond!
Why “stay sexy” as we age? Because sexual activity is good for you. Pure and simple. Sexual activity enhances your health as well as your perception of your health. This finding comes from a national survey of over 3000 people between the ages of 57 – 85 regarding sexual attitudes and behaviors (published 2007, New England Journal of Medicine). Staying sexy as we age may be more of a challenge than when we were younger. If there’s a physical issue holding you back, see your doctor. And if your doctor doesn’t help you, get a new doctor. Joint replacements, erectile dysfunction medications and more may be enormously beneficial.
Pursue a Passion!
Find that one thing in your life that really excites you and sparks your enthusiasm. Pursue it … become your own “expert.” Master a musical instrument, learn about the dances native to your ancestors. Try a new language, visit new lands. Take on technology. Volunteer in your local schools or your church or the hospital. Figure it out. You’ll meet new people, exercise your brain cells and your muscles, and you’ll develop a sense of achievement and accomplishment all at the same time. It’ll help ward off depression and will lighten your spirits!
Adjust Your Attitude!
Massage your mental health and your outlook on life. Put simply, lose the negativity. One study of people over 50 says that those with positive self-perceptions live 7.6 years longer. Researchers also conclude that pessimism about “elderly decline” becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. “Feeling” younger than you really are is linked to better health, life satisfaction, and cognitive abilities. Can’t beat that!
Live It Up with Laughter!
Laughter is a positive, beneficial elixir. It may help us relax and sleep better, give a boost to our immune systems, enhance our blood flow. And, most important, it makes us “feel” better. The willingness and ability to see humor in life’s situations enhances our social attractiveness. Other people are more likely to be drawn to you if there’s a smile on your face and laughter in your heart!
Watch Your Wallet!
Schemes and scams from the unscrupulous are annoying for most of us, but when they’re targeted to those in the “senior” part of the After Fifty years, they can be most alarming. The National Crime Prevention Association says that fraudulent telemarketers direct 56-80% of their scams to senior citizens. Why? Because scammers know that this age group is vulnerable, “more susceptible to their tricks.” So, arm yourself – and your loved ones – now! Start by checking your credit report. Make a list of all assets and liabilities. Identify all financial accounts – and don’t forget insurance policies. If you don’t have estate planning documents in place, find yourself an estate planning attorney and get going! You need to decide – now – about who will make financial and health care decisions for you if you become incapacitated. Life events can happen fast and unexpectedly. Don’t let failure to plan and protect your finances result in future distress.
So, embrace these tips. Celebrate your After Fifty years – and help assure that they will indeed be your best years ever!