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Once you enter your Third Act all kinds of different thoughts start entering your consciousness. Here are some of my concerns I never had to consider before. I’m sure you have even more.
Will I have enough money to live comfortably?
Not everyone has retirement savings and social security is not enough to live the lifestyle you want. I can attest to that as I am on social security plus have no retirement savings so it is clear that you will need to prepare yourself with other revenue streams you might not have thought of before.
I’m so passionate about wellness that I’m always creating new initiatives that can bring in more money (like the new book I wrote Too Busy for YOU? which targets busy professional women based on what I know about that lifestyle)
What creative ideas do you have for generating more income?
Will I eventually be disabled and dependent?
I have been extra healthy since most of my career has been wellness focused and I have practiced what I preach. It has certainly paid off as I feel years younger than many my age, but that doesn’t mean some things are starting to deteriorate. For me it is little skin lesions that keep popping up and needing to be biopsied and excised. Or the cartilage in my knee needed to be trimmed due to wear and tear from all the exercise I do. So no matter how healthy you might think you are, there are things that may occur that could impact your quality of life.
What are your thoughts about what you would do if you became disabled as you get older?
What if my partner/spouse is gone and I’m all alone?
It’s a fact that women will live longer than men so odds are you will be living alone at some point. The average American man will live to age 76, according to the latest CDC figures, while the average woman in America will live to age 81.
What ideas do you have for dealing with the issue of being alone?
What will I do with my time if I’m not going to work every day?
Imagine having all the time in the world with no demands on your time. You’ve probably been dreaming about that for a long time but once you retire it will be a reality. Based on my experience with other friends who are retired, they seem busier than ever and I often hear this: “I can’t believe how busy I am, even more now than when I was working”. Additionally I hear some of my nurse friends who do enjoy the freedom for a short while are then itching to do some work again.
What would fulfill you when you have plenty of time for YOU?
What kind of living arrangement should I consider as I age?
Remember the TV Show Golden Girls where 3 women shared a home together to share expenses and support of each other? That idea is starting to take hold. Online home-sharing websites, workshops and meetings for prospective housemates are booming. I’ve even been giving it some thought as an option.
What examples of living arrangements have you considered as you get older?
When should I consider down-sizing?
It’s never too soon to start clearing out all the stuff we accumulate. This issue has really been on my mind because it takes a lot of time and energy to live with and deal with all the possessions we manage on a day to day basis. And why do we have all this stuff? In my case I have a large county property with several out buildings that are full since we live on a hobby farm. Every day I think “how long can I keep up with all this?” And wouldn’t life be simpler if I had less “stuff” to deal with.
What surrounds your life that you know you could live without and how would it make you feel if you had less to deal with?
Should I have a pet, and who will care for it if I die?
This one is big for me because I have always had multiple pets and I know how important they are to my wellbeing. After I lost my last 2 dogs within one week I thought maybe I’m too old to have a pet, and what if I die and leave it behind. Who would care for it? So what did I do? I got a puppy! But the caveat was it is a breeding dog from another nurse who breeds dogs and needed this little stud to be farmed out to a great family to be raised (that’s me) and just go back to her for breeding purposes. Before I accepted that offer I said to her “What if I die?” She said “I’ll take him back”. I got the answer I wanted and now everyone is happy – especially me!
What are your thoughts about having a pet as you get older and what is your strategy?
The bottom line for all these concerns, and I suspect you may have other concerns as well, is to not postpone thinking about them but face them head-on and create an exit plan. I often wish my parents had done that for me instead of leaving us in a state of confusion about where everything was that needed to be tended to. And then having to make decisions about what to do with everything that they left behind.
It is a daunting task but for us who might be more aware we can take charge and create a plan. It’s easy to remain in denial about the fact that we will die at some point so the more responsible approach is to get your act together and make those tough decisions while you can.
I know planning isn’t everyone’s “thing” and I’m not great at it either, but when I do put a plan together it actually reduces my stress and gives me the feeling of being back in control. And your family will love you for it!
Why Do Women Live Longer Than Men?
House Sharing for Boomer Women Who Don't Want to Live Alone
Benefits of Elderly Owning Pets
The Upside of Downsizing
What ideas do you have for making life in your Third Act as stress free as possible?