About how we feel, decide our thoughts and attitudes to life. Many older people are not particularly looking forward to retirement. This may be because they don’t fit into the common image of old age: they dress modernly, are on the go a lot and, above all, have remained young at heart. There are many positive aspects of getting older: when you retire, you are free to do what you want to do. Now you can live out your desires and fulfill your dreams. We have found many reasons to look forward to old age, here are some of them.
1. Free to spend time and enjoy it
Having more time for yourself is probably one of the main reasons to look forward to old age. Finally you can schedule your day freely. You have time to do things that used to get short shrift: Reading a great book, playing board games, walking in the woods, looking through old photo albums, or listening to music and singing for hours on end. Why not take a drumming class or a photography seminar? The adult education centers offer a wide range of courses. Even small short vacations broaden the horizon.
You also have time again to really take care of the garden, learn a new language, travel or rediscover abandoned hobbies and old passions. Or the digital possibilities of your smartphone: LINK. There are certainly many things that you have always wanted to try out. Look forward to now having time to catch up on all that has been lying around.
2. Try everything – live more intensively
Health in old age depends on your lifestyle on the one hand, and on the other hand, your attitude towards old age also plays a role. Who looks forward to old age, lives healthier. Maybe try a new sport for once? Those who try new things and do many things for the first time experience time more intensely and get more out of life.
It is not the years in our lives that count, but the life in our years. (Adlai Ewing Stevenson)
You always wanted to catch up on your school leaving certificate and study? Seniors are welcome guest students at universities – but you do not have to take examinations!
Keep your curiosity, keep an open mind, and throw out some of your favorite habits! Maybe you will change your home furnishings one day, rearrange everything and design your home the way you like it and the way it suits your personality.
3. Taking off with more serenity
Another reason to look forward to old age is the opportunity to let go of many old rituals now and change old habits or even eliminate them completely. You are free to organize your day as you wish.
Being able to plan your day more flexibly means sleeping longer in the morning, being free to choose appointments, and avoiding rush hour traffic. Even when shopping, a flexible schedule can be beneficial because you no longer have to shop at peak hours and have time to chat with vendors at the market or chat with neighbors in the stairwell. You have the freedom to run all errands in the middle of the day, instead of before or after standard work hours. Stop fretting about full buses and streetcars, just take a bus later!
Many people become more relaxed with age, they are no longer so easily upset, nothing can stress them more. Seniors are more relaxed in difficult situations. On the one hand, they can draw on a lot of experience that helps them solve problems, and on the other hand, they have fewer obligations as they get older. With fewer obligations come fewer expectations!
4. More satisfied and self-confident
Another positive side of getting older is increased self-confidence. Because as you get older, what others think about you is no longer so important. Studies confirm that people are happier and suffer less from negative feelings such as anxiety and anger as they age. You have surely also noticed that contentment and self-confidence come with age. After all, you have not only experienced and achieved a lot, you can also better assess yourself and your abilities. Many people over 60 are happy, healthy and cheerful, because they see the positive side of old age and look forward to the new opportunities that come their way. They have healthy self-confidence because they have developed strategies over the years to deal with difficult situations and overcome problems.
5. Take on a new role
With the years come not only self-confidence and serenity, but also wisdom. In old age, people can look back on more life experience and have learned and gone through a lot in life. You often emerge stronger from difficult situations and can draw on different coping strategies.
In addition, you are more capable of compromise and generally more understanding towards your fellow human beings. Are you also one of those seniors who, as they get older, become more understanding of different values and views? Then you and your relatives have certainly noticed that you have become better at negotiating or mediating between friends or relatives who disagree. This positive side of getting older is not only a benefit for your relatives; you, too, can look forward to old age and your new role with friends and relatives.
Developmental researchers say seniors see things more positively than younger people, so start right there!
6. The happiness of being a grandma and grandpa
The serenity gained in old age also makes it possible to enjoy time with grandchildren and family. Raising children no longer causes grandparents sleepless nights, they are much more relaxed and can be a great support.
You do not have grandchildren? Many families are looking for surrogate or godparent moms and dads. There is even the possibility to go abroad as an au-pair grandma or grandpa. Grandparents, even if they are only borrowed, support the family’s everyday life and are there to give advice and support. People who have raised their own children or have professional and private experience in dealing with children are not only a great support for the parents, but also the children are happy. For the social development of children, interaction with people of older age is enriching. The Caritas, the Diakonie or the Kinderschutzbund are happy to help with the mediation.
Spending time with family and friends, laughing, eating and sharing together is good for you. We need warmth and closeness of other people at any age! Socializing and spending time with friends and family is yet another reason to look forward to old age.
7. Matters of the heart
After family and work were often central in younger years, many long to give back in retirement. Only in old age do you find the time for social engagement and there are many opportunities to do so. That is why seniors very often do voluntary work.
You can pass on life experience and knowledge in various projects. For example, in voluntary work with children and young people as reading mentors, tutors or mentors for the transition from school to work. Especially for disadvantaged young people, seniors are a great support with this voluntary work. Nowadays, there are youth welfare projects or voluntary career entry assistance in every city.
Fit seniors also support other seniors, they go for walks with them, play cards together or help take care of pets. Sometimes an open ear is enough. Many seniors are also involved in helping the homeless, in clothing stores and in helping refugees.
All sides benefit from social commitment: voluntary work prolongs life, strengthens self-esteem and reduces feelings of loneliness and depression in old age.
8. Discounts and rebates
The many visits to theaters, museums and zoos that you finally have time for are among the positive aspects of getting older. With a pensioner’s card, seniors can take advantage of the cultural and recreational offerings in their area at lower prices.
You can look forward to discounts on admission to museums, theaters, the zoo, the cinema, soccer matches, and long-distance and local transportation. Also library visits and the Bahncard become cheaper. Seniors can also save money on financial products, sports clubs and swimming pools, because you get cheaper rates.
Train and vacation trips are not only cheaper because of your pensioner ID, but also because you are more flexible in terms of time. You can go to the mountains or the beach in the off-season. Traveling to the mountains in the spring or to the south in the fall will be worthwhile!
If you like group or bus travel, check with suppliers for senior rates. Bus travel is not only convenient, you can also save a lot of money!
Breathe deeply and take off
So there’s a lot to explore even as you get older. Take advantage of all the opportunities that are available to you! Feeling old has little to do with the years you have now been in the world. Your attitude to aging and imagination are the key to a fulfilled and happy life.
What matters is not the number of years, but what you do every day, the people you spend your time with and how you use your skills.
Do you have any other recommendations or "golden rules" for a happy time in old age? Feel free to write us more reasons to look forward to old age.
Share your thoughts and experiences with us in the comments or on Facebook!