“For the unlearned, old age is winter; for the learned, it is the season of the harvest.” ~ Hasidic
Here are some interesting statistics compiled by the United States of Aging Survey:
- 58% of older adults have lived in the same residence for more than 20 years.
- 75% intend to live in their current residence and not move again.
- While older adults agree that diet and exercise are important elements for retaining mental sharpness, the number one factor in doing so is maintaining a positive attitude, maintaining close relationships, and participating in social activities.
The last item is interesting.
Today’s seniors see a bright future for themselves and are generally optimistic about their lives. A majority of seniors are confident about continuing their ability to maintain a good quality of life. Seniors who focus on a healthy lifestyle tend to be the most optimistic about the future.
Staying socially active is vital to stave off feelings of loneliness and isolation. An important tool in this regard is computer technology, which in this mobile world, aids in staying in contact with family and friends who may live in distant locations.
Interestingly, a Yale study concluded that those seniors in the test group who exhibited a positive attitude about the aging process lived on average seven and one-half years longer than those that were less sanguine about getting older. While some aspects of aging are inherently genetic and, therefore, not controllable, there are health and aging factors that are controllable, e. g., diet, exercise, attitude, socialization. Making good near-term choices concerning the elements that we can control have profound effects in the long term. Successful aging, the study suggests, entails embracing a mindset to do whatever is feasible to continue pursuing one’s interests and loves to stay engaged, active, and remain a force in one’s own life.
The society also has a role in assisting seniors to embrace a positive attitude toward aging and the pursuit of passionate interests. Governments can legislate policies and install infrastructure to enhance the lives of their older constituents. While some may view the financial cost of implementing such policies and infrastructure as too costly, in reality, we should view such costs as investments. These policies and infrastructure improvements permit active seniors to continue contributing to the societies in which they live and pursue their dreams.
– Joe from Arizona, a FAR customer who is finding purpose in this new stage of his life.
* The opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors. They do not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of the Finance of America Reverse (FAR) LLC