Today's seniors are a growing population.

A New Look at Today’s Seniors

The population of America is aging. According to one report, 10,000 adults hit their 65-year-old birthday every day. It is estimated that by the year 2050 the U.S. senior population will be over 20%. With such a large and growing population, it makes sense that today’s seniors are different than seniors of the past. 

Some consider themselves a senior citizen when they hit a certain age. Others choose to define themselves as one of today’s seniors when they retire from work. Or when they begin to collect Social Security payments. 

Considering Your Future

Whenever you enter your senior years, on paper or personally, take some time to think about what you want. For example, if you are leaving the workforce after spending decades dedicated to your career, it can be helpful to think about ways to stay engaged and social. Also, looking over your finances and thinking about how much money you will need to live the life you want to live. 

There are financial benefits to being a senior, such as the following:

  • Age 50 and older, you are eligible to become an AARP member.
  • Social security benefits can begin at age 62, though may wait until their late 60s.
  • Individuals qualify for Medicare at age 65.

Assessing your situation after working these new benefits into your financial plan can lead a person to see their senior years in a new light. 

Many find it beneficial to talk over changes with a personal counselor. Because when an individual is going through life changes, including career and relationship shifts, downsizing a home, or reviewing values, there can be feelings of confusion or emotional upset when acclimating to a new lifestyle, even when the changes are positive.

Things Today’s Seniors Need to Keep in Mind

It is common for individuals who are over 50 to not be where they anticipated they would be financially. But anxiety and stress around money is not helpful for today’s seniors. Instead, take stock of where you are and set up a plan. There is still time to learn how to spend less and save more, if needed. 

Also, care for your physical health. Make small daily shifts that lead to lasting life changes. This could be adding more plants to each meal and heading out for a brisk walk each afternoon. Focus on feeling good. Bone health is essential as well, so be sure you are consuming calcium and loop some strength training into your fitness schedule. 

Love Your Senior Self

One of the kindest things you can do for yourself when you enter your senior years, however you define them, is to embrace your age. It can be freeing to let go of the battles you fought with your younger self. Pay attention to the positives in your life rather than focus on negatives.

Today’s seniors are a mixed group of people. Some are taking on new challenges, such as returning to school or starting a business, while others are enjoying being home with family and pursuing hobbies. Whatever you choose to do, treat yourself with care and compassion.

Kendall Van Blarcom is a senior helping seniors. Contact Van Blarcom Consulting today for help with your personal problems. Or, reach out to provide support for an older adult in your life.

 

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Kendall E. Van Blarcom, Psy.M. Licensed Psychotherapist (Retired)

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