By Carol Marak
“Growing older isn’t easy.” I hear those words from my friends and family. It’s hard to see them suffer physically, strain mentally and emotionally, and most of all struggle financially.
It’s common for us to reflect on the past and see our mistakes. We all have regrets. And if we look back long enough, we’d say, “If I could do it all again, I would…”
I’m sharing with you what my older friends and acquaintances would tell their younger selves about life, taking care of the body, saving for retirement, and staying emotionally balanced. A short primer on life advice.
1. Take care of your teeth. Plan for retirement. Stay physically fit and exercise forever.
Enjoy the stamina you have now and don’t take it for granted. Talk to people over 60 the same way you would talk to anyone. Take a yoga class, drink water, find people to travel with.
2. Ask, “Where do you want to be in 5 years, 10 years,” and stretch that out to 20, 30, and 40.
Review the realities of life; you may have a great paying job now, but that can and does often end. Prepare for ending up alone. Watch out for insincere people, your health, and know you are your best advocate. Enjoy life!
As for the folks over 60; don’t talk down to them, they didn’t grow up with computers, cell phones, etc. And, they’re taking advantage of ‘slowing down and smelling the roses.’ They’re neither stupid or lazy, but have different priorities.”
3. Save for the future.
I was self-employed, so I made a habit of saving and investing. Compound interest is no joke. I set financial goals and worked toward them. But, don’t forget to enjoy life along the way!
4. Respect your elders, one day you’ll be one.
Pay it forward. Get to know a person by personal contact; visit them, call them, write to them, send cards. Texting a smiley face emoji is not bonding. Listen to the wisdom, write it down, pass it on.
5. Watch out for people who sap your joy.
Surround yourself with people who inspire you and lift you up. People who are 60 often feel 40 in their mind. They just move slower. Engage and ask them for advice. They have ‘been there, done that.’
6. Enjoy other people’s families.
I’m an adopted Grandma and love it. I can do things for kids that their parents can’t. Sometimes, it’s just being listening ear. Sometimes it’s to introduce them to Times Square, theater, and fine dining experiences.
7. Find a mentor.
Find someone who’s living the life you want and listen closely to their advice.
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Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC (LRPC) is a Milwaukee, Wisconsin-based independent, objective Registered Investment Adviser (RIA) providing investment advisory, fiduciary compliance, employee education, provider management and plan design services to employer retirement plan sponsors. The firm specializes in Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) strategies for retirement plans and is a pioneer in the field. LRPC currently has contracts in place to provide consulting services on nearly $475 million in plan assets. For more information, please contact Robert C. Lawton at (414) 828-4015 or firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the firm’s website at http://www.lawtonrpc.com. Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC is a Wisconsin Registered Investment Adviser.
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