We’ve explored many reasons why longevity is changing the face of the ‘elderly’. Aside from the fact that people are healthier, happier, and enjoying what feels more like a rebirth than retirement means that the ideal age for hanging up the suit and tie is getting lower and lower without moving at all. By 65, one can realistically expect at least twenty more years of general enjoyment, despite still having to deal with the slowdown that comes with the territory. Recently, authors Thelma Reese and Barbara Fleisher wanted to get some specifics from men on the benefits of retiring, even if they didn’t manage to do it at 40. The notion that 65 looking more and more like the new 40, seems to be just fine with them.
Reese and Fleisher sat down with over 100 men ranging in age from 65-100 to find a myriad of inspirational stories for their book, The New Senior Man, and they found a few common truths along the way. Let’s take a look at how men today aren’t just retiring, they’re retiring better.
They’re tech-savvy – Smartphones aren’t just for the grandkids, and more and more older men are just as adept at utilizing all of the benefits technology has to offer. More than 80% of people in the 60+ range utilize smartphones on a daily basis, for communication, knowledge, and entertainment. It’s a common misconception that tech is for the young, and that it’s moving too fast for older generations to keep up. While it’s true that there are some niche markets that will always be more appealing to Gen Z than to baby-boomers, across the board we’re all using technology, and we’re all using it to meet our own needs.
They feel better – For the most part, seniors today are not all wheelchair-bound. They don’t spend their days perched in a rocker by the window, or their nights in a bed that can be cranked low to the floor. On the whole, senior health is better than ever thanks to advanced treatment options. People live every day with conditions that were once terminal diagnoses. It’s true that even if you manage to avoid major illness growing older comes with its share of pains—but management options have also improved, and we’re aware of so much more in terms of health and safety. Men who retire today have the ability to adapt, rather than be forced to succumb.
They leave their mark – Being older gives the decided advantage of being wiser, and more and more men over the age of 65 are not only applying that wisdom, they’re sharing it to the benefit of others. No longer a generation of shrinking violets, more and more people are taking note of men of a certain age and seeing them for what they have to offer—which is often a lot.
They’re trailblazers – What other generation can say that they entered retirement with the bounty of opportunities retired men (and yes, women!) have today? None. The current generation of retirees is rewriting the book on the opportunities for growth, personal development, and reinvention that it offers. And luckily, like the many men who offered their voices for Reese and Fleisher’s book, they’re sharing the secrets of their success with those who will one day follow!