What a Surprise Encounter in Paris Taught Me About Dating Over 60... November 21, 2014 | Margaret Manning
We’re Looking at Retirement Planning All Wrong and a Lot of People Are Going t... November 20, 2014 | Margaret Manning
It’s Not Too Late! How to Break Bad Habits and Improve Your Health After 60... November 19, 2014 | Margaret Manning
Most women are natural storytellers. After all, we’ve had plenty of practice with our kids and grandkids over the years! But, when it comes to writing a dating profile after 60, we often find ourselves lost for words. We may not even be able to describe the kind of man that we are looking for. Well, for those of you who are struggling to find your words, I have good news and bad news.
When I ask the members of the Sixty and Me community what is holding them back from building their dream life after 60, poor health and excess stress are the two most common answers. It sometimes feels like, by the time we reach our 60s, we have a lifetime of tension locked in our bodies. On the inside, we feel young and vibrant. On the outside, we feel more than a little stiff, tired and out of shape.
Christmas dinner at my house features a symphony of different languages. Over turkey and stuffing, it’s not unusual to hear German, Russian, English and French being thrown around. So, perhaps it’s no surprise that I have come to understand in a very personal way the value of learning a second language – or two or three – after the age of 60.
Like many women over 60, one of my biggest goals is to keep my brain in great shape so that I can enjoy everything that life offers in the decades to come. While I occasionally do something stupid, like leave my keys in the freezer, for the most part, I think that I’m doing a pretty good job. I get plenty of exercise, write for several hours a day and even try to keep up on the latest research on the aging brain.
Women of our generation have a reputation for being willing to try new things. Through six decades of life, we have embraced new fashions, challenged the status quo and reinvented ourselves more times than we can count. Now, as we reach our 60s, we are once again challenging stereotypes and refusing to “age gracefully.” We want to stay active, flexible and healthy. Perhaps this is one of the reasons that so many women our age are taking a second look at yoga.
Most people would find the idea of completing 75 triathlons in 75 days daunting, but, this is exactly what Daphne Belt did to celebrate her 70th birthday. Daphne’s experience is inspirational, not just for her personal triumph, but, also for the message that it sends to other women over 60. You see, Daphne was not a born athlete. According to The Guardian, by her 50th birthday, Daphne was struggling with her weight to the point that she had difficulty climbing the stairs. Now, 25 years later, she is living proof that life after 50 can be filled with vitality, energy and new experiences.
Loneliness is a terrible emotion. It steals the fun from life, hurts our health and prevents us from following our dreams. Unfortunately, it is also a taboo subject, which few are willing to discuss in public. So, we let it sit quietly in our hearts and convince ourselves that we are alone in our loneliness. I want Sixty and Me to be a part of the solution and, as a first step, I reached out to the members of our community to ask them about their own experiences with loneliness.
In recent years, a lot has been written about the fact that divorce rates among Boomers are rising, while other generations are staying married longer. Regardless of the reasons for the surging divorce rate among Baby Boomers, one thing is clear – the fact that we are separating so late in life is going to have a major impact on society. This is not a simple matter of who we decide to spend our time with. The rise of divorce after 50 will shake our health systems, social relationships, and housing preferences to their very foundations.
When it comes to money, us Baby Boomers are in an interesting position. On the one hand, we hear over and over again that we are the “wealthiest generation in U.S. history.” On the other hand, the great majority of us are simply not prepared for retirement. To make matters worse, according to a recent report by TransUnion, nearly one in three Americans over 60 has debt and the average amount that we owe is $60,000. Ouch!
If you have been following Sixty and Me for any period of time, you already know that I am not a big fan of the term “anti-aging.” In fact, I would go as far as to say that the pressure that women feel to look younger is one of the key psychological factors holding us back after 60.
As a rule, women over 60 don’t like to follow trends. Every season we are bombarded with suggestions for new products that we mostly ignore. When it comes to fashion, ignoring trends is usually a good thing. After all, most “trends” are not designed with the older consumer in mind.
You can’t get to age 60 without making a few mistakes. These range from small missteps, which nibble at us to larger errors, which keep us up at night. Perhaps the most harmful memories are of the times when we have accidentally hurt someone else – or ourselves for that matter!
It’s natural to have occasional regrets about the past. Some of us lament the end of a marriage, while others wish that we had had the strength to end a bad relationship earlier. From my conversations with the Sixty and Me community, I can tell that almost all women have at least some level of regret about how they prepared for retirement. What is your biggest regret?