Survive and Prosper
How to enjoy your 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s and anything afterwards
The best years of your life? They could be.
When it comes to celebrating birthdays, turning 60 is the One We Didn’t See Coming. For many it can be the start of the most rewarding period of their lives, when at last they are free to think about themselves, instead of their offspring, for a change. For others, it signifies something that doesn’t sit quite comfortably; the concept of vanished youth and an unstoppable journey towards the inevitable, so it’s entirely unsurprising that, in your sixties, you start to focus on an assortment of issues that previously bore little relevance to your daily life.
It isn't, by any means, all doom and gloom though! Many over-sixties discover new freedoms that help them to enjoy life as never before. Hopefully this site can assist in some small way.
From the age of sixty, physical changes to the body means that maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle is even more important than it was previously. Loss of bone density and muscle can be the starting gun for mobility problems in later life, whilst a slower metabolism means that keeping to a healthy weight is tougher than before. Despite this, as many as 78% of over sixties do not engage in an adequate exercise routine, even though it can be crucial in helping you to retain your independence in your retirement.
Keeping fit needn’t be an ordeal but a lot of people are put off by the numerous myths that perpetuate about exercising in your later years. Be reassured that exercises need not consist solely of gentle activities such as tai-chi, but at the other extreme it really doesn’t have to be a matter of pain versus gain. Your level of activity is actually more determined by your fitness, rather than your age in numbers.
As for your overall health, self-awareness is always a useful ingredient. At 60+ you’re certainly not over the hill just yet, but understanding any changes to your body – and knowing when to seek professional advice, even just for reassurance – could help to stop problems in their tracks.
Later life is a time when many people can enjoy the benefits of financial stability, with the target of paying off the mortgage suddenly appearing to be within touching distance. Unfortunately, the global economic woes of recent years, and in particular; the 2008-9 recession, resulted in the middle age group seeing the largest percentage increase in unemployment across all parts of England and Wales. The sixties is also an age when many people, having reached the summit of their existing careers, still yearn for a fresh challenge or to fulfil a dream career which has so far not been possible. After all, the days when we were all forced to retire at 60 or 65 are well behind us and an increasing number of mature people still work on, or even start new businesses, until much later in life.
Being forced to change careers in later life can be overwhelming; a lack of qualifications or experience in a particular field of work, coupled with the apparent threat posed by younger applicants, may seem to be an impossible obstacle to enjoying a new career path. But the chances are you have something that your younger counterparts cannot offer: experience. With thorough research and the right approach to selling your skills to a prospective employer, you may be able to give your application the edge that only the benefit of time can provide you with.
Securing your financial future
In an ideal world we would all start thinking about our retirement plans when we enter the world of work in our early twenties, but the reality is that financial planning 40 or 50 years ahead seems pointless to many school or college leavers. Eventually reality hits in, despite the constant tinkering with the retirement age meaning that we’ll all be working longer before the State hands out the goodies (currently set to be 67for many of us, and this could actually increase with future legislation).
With the introduction of a compulsory company pension for all but the lowest earners, we’ll all be benefitting from more than the basic state pension in future. If you are still in work, however, it is well-worth obtaining the projections for your company pension (bearing in mind that the new compulsory pensions only benefit from an initial 1% contribution). Planning your pension also means knowing what sort of retirement you wish to enjoy and it is important to consider several questions so you know how much you need to be saving now:
- What is your preferred retirement age and will your current pension provision make this achievable?
- How much income do you anticipate needing (bearing in mind that lifestyle is often hard to change)?
- If you have had children and they still live with you (as an increasing number of over thirties and over forties now do), do you plan to downsize your home when they leave?
Knowing the answers to these questions will help you to decide whether your current pension provision is adequate and whether additional investment is both necessary and wise.
Caring for elderly relatives
With the UK population growing older as our ability to detect and treat illness improves, it is more likely that today’s sixtysomething generation will have increased responsibility for ageing parents, relatives, spouses/partners or friends. With grown up children often still at home the pressure of supporting infirm people, who have their own complex needs, can be overwhelming. More challenging still is the need to support a parent who has health or mobility issues for whom independent living is becoming more impossible by the day. Knowing where to seek help in this situation – and when to accept your own limitations – are important, though potentially challenging, decisions.
At your age you probably feel you understand life that little bit better, you have a clearer picture of who you are and what you want to achieve, whilst family life and your career are more likely to be settled and prosperous. In our sixties we face more challenging questions around the issues that now concern us, but with the hindsight of experience, we are in a far better position to be able to negotiate a solution than ever before.
The benefits of being over 60
Any person who is over 60 years of age is entitled to receive certain cash benefits in the UK. Unfortunately, over one million people fail to claim this benefit every year. In this light, more than £3.1 billion goes unclaimed according to the department of Work and Pensions. Fortunately, there are many other benefits that older people can enjoy. Here is a look at some of the benefits of being over 60 years of age.
Free prescriptions and fee sight tests
Older people in the UK are entitled to free prescriptions and free sight tests. To be eligible for this benefit, you will have to show proof of age and fill some details in the back of your prescription. You are also allowed to receive bowel cancer screening for free after every two years.Eye testing is free but you will have to pay for glasses if the doctor recommends that you buy one.
Free bus passes
Free off peak bus pass is available to people who were born before the 5th of April 1950 and live in England. Off peak here refers to any time between 9:30 a.m. and 11:00 p.m. on weekdays. When it comes to weekends, you can only use your free bus pass during the day.
Winter fuel payments
At the time of writing (Summer 2017) this benefit is tax free and you need to meet certain requirements to be eligible for this payment. Many people born on or before May 1954 are eligible (this date keeps on changing every year). It’s worth applying because you can receive up to £200 or £300 if you are 80 years old and above.
Cold weather benefit
In the UK, people receiving pension credit and certain other benefits may be entitled to a payment of £25 for every week when the local temperature falls below zero degrees Centigrade for a whole week. This benefit is known as cold weather payment and is payable during the cold weather season (November to March). This benefit is different, and additional to, winter fuel payments.
Older people who are on a low income or have a savings of below £16,000 may be eligible to receive council tax benefits. This benefit is highly recommended since you can get up to 100 per cent reduction. In other words, your council tax could be reduced to zero.
More reasons to be cheerful
At age 60, many people don’t have any serious financial problems. Chances are you have already cleared your mortgage and educated all your children. In addition to your own savings, the government also provide numerous benefits. So, financial worries are rarely a major concern for older people.
Developing new hobbies
There is life after retirement. Once you are retired, you have enough time for family especially your grandchildren. You can also find an activity that interests you, like fishing, watching your favourite TV program, going to the museum, travelling abroad etc. The truth is you have plenty of time to develop new hobbies and have fun.
Making new friends
The good thing about being age 60 and over is that you have experienced a lot and know exactly what you want. Older people don’t let anything compromise their happiness. They know that they deserve to be happy and be surrounded by people that they love. They are also good at making new friends.
One thing about getting old is that you realise life is getting shorter every day. This is why older people are always willing to live in the moment and enjoy life every day as if it were their last day on earth. Many of them are not concerned about the past or worry about the future. They only care about waking up each day and have fun while they are still able to enjoy themselves.
In this regard, this could be the best time for you to travel or even live abroad. The good news is if you choose to live abroad, you will still have access to your state pension; this subject to certain complications and you can
get more information here.
More leisure time
Older people usually have a lot of free time. Chances are many of them have nothing to worry about except taking good care of themselves, having fan and enjoying the moment. So, if you had difficulties finding time to do what you love when you were still young, this is the right time to do it. This is your time to experience everything that you have ever dreamt about. No more excuses, have fun and live your life to the fullest.
Copyright © 2017 Peter Meyer and OverSixties.co.uk All Rights Reserved.
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