(Photo credit: https://bit.ly/2M3UwjH)
Remember the days when 30 was over the hill? When you were young and you met a 30 year old person, they were a real adult, someone who knew exactly what was what. Well, soon it changed to 40. Then you become forty yourself, and before you know it 50 comes knocking on your door. The reality of 50 is quite something. You’ll find yourself falling into one of two categories.
- Those looking forward to retirement
- Those really not knowing what retirement is because as far as you are concerned you are still 37 and have a lot to learn!
In ancient times, to turn 50 meant you were considered elderly or even close to death. No one over 50 ever became anything of any significance. Now the tables are turning, but not without some unfortunate fall out.
I think we can all name some names of people who literally ‘stopped’, somewhere in their 30s or 40s. That means they decided that they knew all they needed to know and wanted to simply go through the motions work-wise and hold that light of retirement at the end of the tunnel right in front of them. They had a routine that they followed, it always worked before and so would continue to do it again eternally, and if someone was to challenge them to start getting into the modern world, they would simply say, well, that’s not my thing, or try to downplay any change as just a fad.
These people are unfortunately slowly pulling themselves out of the loop and falling by the waste-side. These people have decided to block themselves off to any change as life is for enjoying what you have, because you aren’t going to be getting anything more from here on in.
On the other side, there are the people who have never stopped reading, watching, questioning, and searching for meaning. These are the ones who are forever interested in the new things coming out and are well aware that the world of the future is for them also, not just the young ones. These are the true life long learners, who love the idea of something new and can’t wait to be a part of it. Life long learners of a joy to be around, they are eternally optimistic and seem ageless.
These two varieties of 50 year old’s are quite distinctively different, however the gap between them is getting wider and wider, mainly due to technology. The ones who embrace technology are zooming ahead at a rate of knots, bringing all their worldly experience to the fore and using it to leap themselves into the future, while the others who are blocking the world in front of them are sinking at a faster rate than ever before.
But the most important thing to note is that we are all living longer, working longer and are often healthier in our 70’s and 80’s than ever before. This means that if you turn 50 and are thinking of retirement, you had better take a short break and review your mindset because it’s going to be a long haul until the deathbed. Perhaps even another 40 years. That’s a long time to be ‘just enjoying life’.
At the same time, if you are thinking of retirement at an early age, the financial cost of deciding not to work or learn anything new, can be catastrophic. Most people in the past could pretty much say that by 75 they would be on their deathbed, but now it’s more like 85-95. And up until that time you will be active, fit and mentally very well.
So the question is, what are you going to truly do with all that time? My suggestion is that you continue to work, it doesn’t need to be in the world you did before, but begin a second profession, something you have always wanted to do, and something that will be giving you an income as well, and of course, propelling your mind into a new learning state.
It’s easy for me to say this, but I’m suspecting that due to this new phenomenon of technology in all that we do, and the constant demand on us to keep ourselves up to date, it could just be that those ‘blocked 50 year olds’ could end up being a dying breed.
Minds were meant to be used, right up until the end. My belief is keep everything ticking for as long as you can as you only have one shot here on planet earth!