We always see an ant carrying several times the weight of their weight and continuously saving for rainy days. They have an amazing system from workers to queen. That is it. Normally nobody notices what is their life span, nobody cares whether they are living or dead etc . There is no difference between ants and us. We take several times the mental burden to survive and in a way more than our body weight as it cannot be measured. Humans are not able to invent a mental weighing scale to compare their body weight till date. We die and disappear like an ant, at the most remaining in the family chart or in the minds of a few, till they live. Family chart also survives for a while except very very few good or bad names will be reproduced in history books.
Even in our sixties some of us start living in history, we need to understand that very few are interested in our past story and that too out of respect for age or to please us, and sometimes learn a few things here or there from you. Some of us look forward as we are still working and some are always looking forward just as the way of life. The important issue here is that we need to have meaning to our life as age progresses. Some, to keep their mind active, play cards, Sudoku etc. or have physical activity like swimming etc. This is being positive rather than troubling people who are around you. Children will be busy with their career and family. So allow them to have their space. The attitude should be that you are young . Never say when I was young. Always say when I was younger. This attitude in life will allow you to enjoy the best of both. One ,when you feel young mentally you are always looking forward. The mental maturity will balance out the mental weighing capability. We have to enjoy living our new life, rather than what we lived in our past glory. Otherwise you are the script writer and you are reading your own book. Sometimes you want to be a scriptwriter whose movies or plays people will enjoy watching. (one has to come out of the phobia of “showing off”to people around you.) Even otherwise life is like a movie. Three hours & forgotten or remembered in bits & pieces. Try to count good or bad ,sixty incidents of sixty years of life which you can remember straight away. It is not easy to be able to count sixty good / bad incidents. When you cannot remember your own sixty incidents of life which are so dear to you, how can you ever expect others to even think about you. Nature has everything to teach you all the time,from the little ant and the weather and people around you. But at the same time it is important to take care of your physical & mental health so that you are able to enjoy life. Its important to take care of the following things.
- When you notice that you tend to forget a few things here or there, go to the doctor and check your mental health. There are programs which are known as memory clinic or similar names. It’s important to take care at the onset of any noticeable changes.
- Physical check ups are important at regular intervals so that we are not late in detecting
- Creating active habits in our sixties if missed earlier.
There are two kinds of individuals who have planned life after sixties and the others who have thought about it but not been able to plan due to various reasons. Does life after sixties really differ than what one has lived till sixty. There is Yes & No. Life in the mind of the person turning sixty is not a switch which turns on & off the minute one turns sixty. But in the eyes of others, Govt. etc. one be suddenly becomes a senior citizen.
He / She starts enjoying various benefits due to the belief that the earning capacity has ceased or decreased & he/she have started living on savings /pensions etc. There can be financial, health, social issues which one may face when earning capacity reduces.
There are about 100 million elderly people in India. India’s overall population is expected to grow by 55% between 2000 to 2050 & corresponding increase in population of 60+ & 80+. As per census of 2011, 9% of population is 60+ is expected to be 19% by 2050. There are certain Govt. Schemes which support the elderly population. But the support systems are so poor in direct financial aid that it hardly takes care of any requirement of an older person. This is for a different socio-economic elderly population. Let us look at different levels of the socio-economic elderly population, which is relatively smaller in size. Again they are divided mainly into three categories : Govt. employee, Pvt. Company employees and businesses employees. All of them have different issues related to retirement.
At 60+ in the Indian context we may have a social support system. If you are living with your children or you may be living only as an elderly couple, make life better after 60+ considering you are living with children. Few things are important .Do not interfere in the children ‘s life. Financial burden upto a point may be bearable for your children as they have their own family to support. Be supportive as and when required. At the same time live & enjoy every moment as a couple. Do not talk about that ‘I had built this’ etc. do not ever impose your ideas & thoughts on your spouse and family. Be a friend. Find activities to spend time together & alone which will help you to improve your physical & mental ability. One needs to be secure through health insurance, life insurance & some kind of fixed income earnings. As new earnings are disappearing and interest rates are falling and inflation rising ,costs related to aging and other costs sometimes will make you scrape through your savings, which you need to be careful. So have safe, and comparatively less risk prone investments & earnings. Take care of your spouse and make your spouse aware that he or she will have to be alone. Man has to tell his wife about bank/finance/investments etc and wife has to inform him about things in house / bank lockers and to a certain extent house management. Two example s of a real incident . The husband was so tired running the house on the demise of his wife that finally he sold everything and moved to an old age home.A very Senior Officer of a Government Company passed away after retirement .As they had no children,the wife had to move to an Old Age Home for the rest of her life.
One may have to consider if required to move to an old age home where one is taken care of ,as either one is alone or children do not have time or resources to support.
If one has the resources and ability to support themselves start enjoying your golden years as this will be the last phase of your life as husband & wife. Enjoy as best of friends & also spend time with your family & friends who want to spend time with you.