Rules for Good Aging

Financial Advice for Every Decade:
Rules for Good Aging


A cousin of mine forwarded to me what I thought was a great list of “rules” to use as we age. Here is my version of some of those rules.

1 – It’s time to enjoy the money you have worked hard for.

Spend it and enjoy it, don’t just keep it for those who have no idea of the sacrifices you made to get it. Specifically, do not get lured into making investments in “sure things” even if they seem wonderful or fool-proof. They only bring problems and worries; this is a time to enjoy some peace and quiet.

2 – Stop worrying about the financial situation of your children and grandchildren. 

You have taken care of them for many years and taught them what you could, as well as given them food, shelter, support and education. It is now their time for them to pave their own way and earn their own money. This is how they develop self-respect, confidence and maturity.

3 – Take care of yourself and get in shape for the long haul. 

The older we get the harder it is to fix things that go wrong, so it just makes sense to do all we can to prolong the inevitable. No one lives forever, and our goal is to be active and healthy as long as possible. That means eating healthy, getting regular moderate exercise, keeping in touch with doctors and dentists and following their recommendations.

4 – Reducing stress goes along with taking care of yourself. 

You have made it this far and probably have had great joy and sadness and disappointments. Life seldom unfolds exactly as we might have imagined. Let go of past disappointments and feel good in the present. Small issues will soon be forgotten.

5 – Always buy the best, most beautiful items for your significant other. 

One day one of you will miss the other, and the money will not provide any comfort. Enjoy it together.

6 – You will probably retire sometime in your 60’s. 

Keep living each day purposefully. Make your bed and keep up your grooming as if you were still working. You will feel better about yourself and be ready for you new retirement activities.

7 – Stay up to date. 

Read newspapers, watch the news, go online and read what people are saying. Make sure you have an active email account and try using social networks. This is a good time to connect with old friends you haven’t seen in years. If you need help with technology, most libraries have classes and can help you get started. Libraries are also great places to read current newspapers and other periodicals. Keeping in touch with what is going on and with the people you know is important at any age.

8 – If you don’t have a hobby, find one and/or learn a new skill. 

It will help keep your mind sharp as well as be fun. Some suggestions are travel, hike, cook, sew, read, dance, garden, play cards, learn a musical instrument, golf, fish…the list goes on. You could also volunteer; schools, hospitals, churches and other organizations can always use a helping hand. Many colleges and universities have classes geared for the retirement group. Find something you like and spend time having fun with it.

9 – Never use the phrase: “In my time”. 

Your time is now. As long as you’re alive, you are part of this time. You may have been younger, but you are still you now, having fun and enjoying life.

10 – Respect the younger generation and their opinions. 

They are the future! You can still give advice and remind them that yesterday’s wisdom still applies today. This goes along with not using the “in my time” phrase! If you want their respect, know your facts and know history. This might require a little brush-up on junior/senior high school history. It might mean a trip to the library.

11 – Accept invitations, even if you don’t feel like it. 

Go to graduations, birthdays, weddings, baptisms, conferences. Get out of the house and meet people you haven’t seen in a while and new people. Don’t get upset when you’re not invited. Many events are limited by resources and not everyone can be invited. Host a birthday lunch for a friend. Join a club or organization. Just get out there.

12 – If you’ve been offended by someone, forgive them. 

If you’ve offended someone, apologize. Don’t drag resentment around with you. It only makes you sad and bitter. It doesn’t matter who was right. Someone once said: “Holding a grudge is like taking poison and expecting the other person to die.” Don’t take that poison. Forgive, forget and move on.

All That to Say

Remember, this time of life will be enjoyable if you live by these rules, and you can always buy 90-point wine for $12 or less to make it even more lively!

– Carolyn Hoffman