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Is Now the Right Time to be an Entrepreneur?

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Is Now The Right Time to be an Entrepreneur?

Is now the right time to take the plunge, back yourself and start your own business?  This might sound crazy at a time like this, but I bet it’s crossed the minds of many.  The economic impact of COVID19 has meant that lots of people are being furloughed, retrenched, made redundant or forced into early retirement, and lots will be thinking about what’s next for them.  The prospect of a drawn-out job search, perhaps long-term unemployment or accepting lower pay and benefits could be just too gloomy for many, especially those who were looking to do something different before all this mess happened.

Research in 2019 from Penn State University found that older people are an underestimated source of entrepreneurial flair! They found that people like us often have a wide variety of interests and these stimulate and feed ideas and innovation.  In addition, our ideas often have community interests at their core. 

The perception that innovation and entrepreneurial behaviour is the domain of the young is unfounded – research from MIT and Northwestern University highlighted that entrepreneurs 50 years and older are nearly twice as likely to achieve success than those in their 30s.

The reasons for this success are likely to include things like a richer network to tap into for suppliers, co-founders, new hires and financial supporters. Older entrepreneurs are also likely to have their own money to invest in the venture and we can’t overlook the years of experience they bring to the equation.  Even better if the startup business is in the same industry because then we can leverage all our experience and knowledge. 

If you are considering the bold move to your own business, maybe you should! Carefully consider the need for your business idea.  While it might sound contradictory, it is clear that recession hits small businesses the hardest.  However, it also creates a fertile ground for innovative startups. For example, I recently saw an online start-up where the service being provided was the set up and facilitation of wonderful online events e.g. birthday parties, 50th wedding anniversaries, etc.  Not an idea that perhaps would have gotten much traction in 2019, but 2020 is a whole new ballgame! 

In addition, research suggests that it’s the things we don’t do in life that we regret the most! So, if you do want to start your own business there are some important steps to get busy on:

1) Get clarity on your idea

Try to understand what you want to do and why you want to do it.  Getting clarity here is critical.

2) Conduct your research

Is there demand for your idea? Do the research to make sure that you have support for your assumptions; check that people will pay for what you’ll offer, understand who are your competitors and what will you do that competitors aren’t doing already?  You’ll also need to explore likely pricing, costs and profitability. Also review what skills you will bring to the enterprise and where you might be lacking. Is it realistic for you to bridge those skill gaps yourself or can you fund buying these skills in?

3) Create a business plan

This will help you test profitability, understand your financial needs, and give you a roadmap for bringing your business to life and growing it. There are some helpful business planning tools online to help with this.  Over estimate how long it will take you to begin to earn income, can your finances carry you through that period?

4) Obtain registration and incorporation

This step usually includes things like choosing a name, deciding on the legal structure for your business, obtaining a bank account, obtaining a domain name for your website, getting a tax number etc.

5) Corral the team

Round up the people with the expertise you’ll need for success, for example marketing, customer service, technical support, accounting, banking etc.  To keep expenses down at the outset while you test your concept, can you do some of this yourself, or do a barter agreement for something you can provide? OR this could be rewritten to say identify what you can do yourself and what you MUST outsource at the outset. Those you must outsource, can you do any form of barter agreement with the provider or pay in installments?

6) Financial Resources

There are multiple sources of funding and interest rates are at their lowest in years.  However, take time to explore the costs and benefits of each potential source of funding, such as your own cash, a loan, an overdraft, cofounders, friends and family etc. 

Don’t get me wrong!  I am not advocating that this is a great time to set up a business. Ultimately, with the world and domestic economies in a state of uncertainty, it’s probably a difficult time to summon the courage and follow your dreams in terms of starting your own business.  However, whether it’s by choice or not, more people than ever will be questioning the merits of the standard employer/employee relationship and thinking strenuously about what’s next for them.  If you took the plunge, what would you do?

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Yes, Its Stressful, but You’ve Got This!

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Yes, Its Stressful, but You’ve Got This!

By: Tracy Stodart

There’s no denying, this is stressful time for most of us. COVID-19 is changing the way we work, socialise, travel, access healthcare, exercise, shop and live. Many people are feeling anxious, stressed and worried.

Our fight or flight response is doing its utmost to protect us, triggering a cascade of hormones including adrenaline and cortisol, that surge through the entire body.These hormones increase heartbeat and the circulation of blood to support quick action, mobilize fat and sugar for immediate energy, focus attention

to track the danger, prepare muscles for movement, and more.

This response to stress has served us well in the past; helping us to resolve short-term, life-threatening problems.  However, prolonged or repeated stress, common in times like these, can have harmful physical and psychological consequences, including heart disease, diabetes, anxiety and depression.

Fortunately, while we’re not that familiar with COVID-19, we are no strangers to stress and lots of great research exists to help us mitigate its negative effects. Melanie Greenberg, writing for Psychology Today, outlined 6 proven ways to reduce the negative effects of stress;

  1. Slow Down 

With everything happening so quickly, we’re not always getting time to relax, rest and recover before the next challenge appears.  One way to compensate is to take 5-10-minute mental breaks throughout the day and try to notice any signs of tension and worry in your mind.  By consciously asking ourselves what the wisest thing to do isand progressing toward this helpsus to be more mindful and this is great for managing stress. Meditation is another tool; there are some great apps to help with this, e.g. Calm or Headspace.  Research shows that mindfulness interventions can lower your blood pressure and help your brain deal with stress more effectively.

  1. Exercise

Walking, or any other aerobic exercise Aerobic exercise, has many stress-relieving benefits. Studies show that it combats the effects of chronic stress by enhancing mood, helping you sleep and lowering blood pressure.

  1. Connect with Nature 

A recent study by Stanford researchers showed that walking in parkland reduces anxiety and worry more than walking on a busy street and had cognitive benefits as well. In another study, stressed students that were shown pictures of empty pathways and trees had faster cardiovascular recovery from stress than those shown pictures of urban scenes with cars and people.

  1. Smile 

A study by Kraft and Preston at the University of Kansas showed that smiling, even a fake smile, helps you resist stress. The researchers found that moving your facial muscles to form a smile sends a message to your brain that can influence your mood and lower your heart rate.

  1. Stand Upright

Standing in an upright pose, as opposed to slouching, can help manage stress.  A study in the Health Psychology Journal showed that great posture helped those under stress perform better, have less fear and have a more positive mood.  They were also less self-conscious. So, the next time you’re under stress, get tall.

  1. Think of Stress as a Positive Challenge 

A study in 2012 found that our attitude to stress is important and that we can learn to be more positive.  Managers from a large bank were shown either a video showing the negative effects of stress while the other group saw a video promoting stress as positive. Those who viewed the positive clip reported 23% less stress and were more engaged, happier and healthier.

So, if you’re feeling stressed, here’s the thing to do;

Walk tall through a park for 5-10 minutes, smiling to yourself whilst trying hard to see the stress as positive!

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Sports for all – at all ages!

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Sports for all – at all ages!

By: Michelle Sabti

As of 2008, there were 506 million people in the world older than 65 years; in 2040, there will be 1.4 billion (Kinsella & He 2009). Subsequently our population health is expected to decline.  Yet in research by ScienceDirect, when older adults play sport it can contribute to theexperience of positive and successful ageing.

Although it is well known that doing physical activity and engaging in sports in later years has compelling health benefits, the decline of people aged 55 yearsand above engaging in exercise is still widely reported. 

Why do some older adults continue to play sports in later life? What are the driving factors?

 

In order to understand more, a significant review of tglobal reseach by Elsevier B.V. on behalf of Shanghai University of Sport,leveraged the results of 30 studies.

Not surprisingly, the findings identified that maintaining health and well-being are the main reasons people gave for participating in sports.

However, sport participation also provided three additional benefits:

(1) Opportunities for having social interactions, being a part of a community, developing relationships.

 

 

 

The importance of this factor should not be underestimated, given the increased risk of isolation and loneliness that older people experience and the negative impact this can have on their experience of ageing.

(2) Experiencing competition and achieving goals.

It was interesting to read that ‘competition’ still plays a role in motivating us to do sports in our older years, albeit maybe not in the traditional sense.  It seems that as we get older, our spirits mature and, may I suggest,we are more comfortable in our skin.  It seems the ‘competition’ factor is driven by a desire to test our own limitations, setting goals and achieving them!  This reminds me of one of my favourite quotes from Ken Doherty, “The five S’s of sports training are: stamina, speed, strength, skill, and spirit; but the greatest of these is spirit.”

 

(3) Contributing to the overall sense of successful ageing.

Rowe & Khan, authors of ‘Successful Aging’ defined this as, “Multidimensional, encompassing the avoidance of disease and disability, the maintenance of high physical and cognitive function, and sustained engagement in social and productive activities.”More recently, the definition has been expanded to include emotional health and well-being.

For those of us not exercising currently, to leverage these benefits, the World Health Organisation (WHO) suggests that older adults should:

  1. Engage in 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week or at least 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week or an equivalent combination of moderateand vigorousintensity activity.
  2. Aerobic activity should be performed in sessions of at least 10 minutes duration.
  3. For additional health benefits, older adults should increase their moderateintensity aerobic physical activity to 300 minutes per week, or engage in 150 minutes of vigorousintensity aerobic physical activity per week, or an equivalent combination of moderateand vigorousintensity activity.
  4. Older adults, with poor mobility, should perform physical activity to enhance balance and prevent falls on 3 or more days per week.
  5. Musclestrengthening activities, involving major muscle groups, should be done on 2 or more days a week.
  6. When older adults cannot do the recommended amounts of physical activity due to health conditions, they should be as physically active as their abilities and conditions allow.

WHO : Information sheet: global recommendations on physical activity for health 65 years and above

 

Bottom Line – for so many more reasons than physical health benefits, we need to ensure that physical activity, to whatever level that we can is embedded into our lives as we get older.  How could you incorporate some/more of the WHO’s recommendations in your exercise routine?

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I Could Just Kick COVID19’s Ass!

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I Could Just Kick COVID19’s Ass!

By: Tracy Stodart

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, we’ve followed the progress of what started as something happening in China to what is now a full-blown pandemic with over half a million people infected across the world.  In the same way that the World Wars and 9/11 changed the world forever, this is one of those moments!

For all involved, it’s stirred up a lot of feelings.  Each of us is struggling with all sorts of challenges and emotions; fear for the health of our loved ones and ourselves, perhaps a sense of panic over potential and actual job cuts.  Many are worried about their savings, their financial commitments and their ability to get through the next few months, let alone the wider and longer-term implications for the world’s economy.

Frankly, we’ve never really experienced anything like this, so with nothing to compare it to, it’s hard to know where or how to begin when sifting through and sorting out all of our feelings about what’s going on.

Even if your encounter with COVID-19 has been minimal so far, it seems we’re all experiencing some sort of loss, whether it’s our personal freedom, security, connection with friends and loved ones etc.  Aside from the immediate worries, e.g. my job and elderly parents to name a couple, I even find myself sad for the loss of my plans in the short to medium term.  It feels like it will take ages for things to return to any sort of normal.

When we lose something, there is a process to get through to the other side.  The famed psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross outlined five stages from the initial loss itself all the way through to acceptance.

Let’s take each of the stages and relate them to how we might be feeling as this can be really helpful in finding our way through this really challenging time.

Stage One is Denial.  Just a few short weeks ago we rationalized the new threat with comparisons to SARS, H1N1 etc. and because it seemed unlikely to affect us, we didn’t take it too seriously.  I think most people have moved past this now!  If you have, what was the turning point?

Stage Two is Anger.  I’ve felt really angry about the Corona virus.  I’m angry that so many lives have been lost or completely tipped upside down, that I need to cling to my job and that so much has changed in such a short space of time. How are you feeling?  Frustration, worry and anger are really common at this stage.

While Anger is an acknowledged stage of the journey, it doesn’t last forever and we will eventually move to Stage Three, Bargaining.  During the Bargaining Stage we tend to make promises to ourselves for when things return to normal.  We also bargain by agreeing to uphold things like social distancing, self-isolation and pay cuts in return for things going back to something close to normal.  What bargains have you struck?

When the anger turns to sadness, you have probably moved into Stage Four, Despair.  Staying at home and having little interaction is hard on our mental health.  To get through this stage, try to stick to the routine of getting up, getting some exercise and of keeping in touch with friends and family.

Stage Five is Acceptance – finally!

This is where we get some perspective, understand what happened and start to work with what we’ve got.  It’s about accepting, what Debs Lloyd from the Living Well Consultancy is calling this the “Strange New Normal” and doing the best we can for ourselves and those around us. I think Acceptance is when the plans and dreams start to formulate again and when we can visualize taking positive steps forward. There is no set or prescribed time for this but like you, I hope it’s very, very soon! I know we’re all looking forward to the chance to say, “We kicked COVID19’s ass!”

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Not Knowing is the Worst!

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Not Knowing is the Worst!

By: Tracy Stodart

Part of being human is our ability to think, and therefore worry, about the future.  We know the future existsbut especially in times like these, we don’t know what the future holds Some are estimating that COVID19 will deliver economic, social and political carnage. Is this true? What does this mean for us as individuals and what can we do?  The unknown can be a huge source of distress.   

I for one, much prefer certainty to uncertainty, and I’m not alone.  Research has shown that most people would rather get an electric shock now than maybe get one later.  Its apparently more stressful waiting and not knowing when the shock will arrive than the actual shock itself.  It’s the uncertainty that impacts us the most and we’re hardwired to react to it with fear.  

In a recent study by the California Institute of Technology, scientists imaged subjects’ brains as they were forced to make increasingly uncertain bets.  The less information the subjects had to go on, the more irrational and erratic their decisions became.  As the uncertainty of the scenarios increased, the subjects’ brains shifted control over to the limbic system, the place where emotions, such as anxiety and fear, are generated. 

This tendency lingers from when cavemen worried about what might be about to pounce out of the bushes, a time when overwhelming caution and fear ensured survival. Today, this tendency can be a hindrance, especially in times like these wheimportant decisions need to be made yet there is so little information to support our evaluation of risks.(nice!) 

In recognizing and minimizing our tendency toward a fight or flight reaction, we might be able to cope better in times of extreme uncertainty.  By acknowledging the source of any irrational thoughts, we might be better able to pack them back into the box where they belong and focus on the information we do have to go on.  To manage uncertainty, we need to let our rational brain take charge!    

When we’re stressed, our minds are flooded with negative thoughts, and these escalate the worry and anxiety.  In contrast, positive thoughts help reduce the fear and irrational thinking and can refocus our attention.  Take time to think of a positive and affirming memory and go to this when you find yourself stressed and worried by uncertainty.  Also, try to focus all your attention and effort on what you can do, despite the uncertainty, to better your situation. 

Also, in times like this it can seem like nothing is certain.  However, one tool that may help you manage thisis to make a list of what is known, gather all the facts you can, acknowledge that there are things you don’t know and make the best damn decision you can!  Doing this will give you confidence and will turn down the volume on the worry. When things are as uncertain as they are, there is no such thing as a perfect decision – we’re human and we’re fallible.   

When caught up in worry, we often find ourselves stressing over things that really don’t matter in the big scheme of things.  Working out what the big, hairy issues are can help us prioritise issues and park the irrelevant ones.  In the recent days, I’ve dragged my children through about 9 time zones to sit out COVID19 in rural New Zealand.  We’re in lock-down now and its serious, yet I found myself worrying about the kids missing a day of on-line schooling and me not being able to go to town to buy gas! Good grief!  

When things are as uncertain as they are, we hope for the best, but we need to be open to the fact that we might get it wrong.  If we can accept this, then we’ll also be open to making contingency plans and leveraging our rational brain in the process.   Considering what-if scenarios is importantas long as we manage any catastrophizing.  Ultimately, try to take charge, make a plan to the best of your ability and focus on taking action! And for inspiration consider this; you’ve already survived 100% of your worst decisions, why break the trend?! 

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Hard Times to be Happy!

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Hard Times to be Happy!

By: Tracy Stodart

20th March is International Happiness Day; launched in 2013 by the United Nations to advance happiness as a fundamental human right.  7 years on and COVID-19 has meant we don’t have much to smile about on the 20th March, 2020.  As I write 100 million people are on lockdown as countries battle the virus and there have been over 6,000 deaths.

As I’d planned to write on happiness, I reached out to Dr Louise Lambert, editor of the Journal of Positive Psychology and a positive psychology and happiness expert, for a great quote on brushing off these challenging times.  Instead, she was far more realistic and commented, “To downplay the seriousness of the situation is to insult people’s intelligence.”    Perhaps rather than happiness, she said that, “This was a time to focus on resilience and for people to keep walking” to get through this.  Essentially, Keep Calm and Carry on!

So,it seemed I was somewhat back to the drawing board in my quest for upbeat content to help celebrate International Happiness Day.  However, then Dr Lambert and I discussed some great research that I had planned to use in this article; a massive study of life satisfaction, involving 1.3 million randomly sampled people from 51 countries showing that happiness follows a U-shape over the course of a lifetime.  Those in their late teens and early 20s report high levels of happiness – perhaps they’re just thrilled to be past all that early teenage angst!  According to the study though, it’s a downward trend after that, with people reporting being progressively more miserable until their late 40s and early 50s. 

The apparent reason why people hit their lowest at this time is because they are often wrestling with the most senior job of their lives and all the challenges this entails.  Many also report the challenges of obnoxious teenagers and aging parents as particularly impactful on reported happiness. 

Anyway, this U-shaped curve suggests that if you’re on the high side of 50, things are looking up!  The best part is that happiness continues to increase well into our 60s and longer, especially if our health holds up!  In fact, in 2016, research from the UK Office for National Statistics concluded the most joyful age bracket was 65-79. A similar research study in the United States pegged the peak years for overall satisfaction with life between age 60 and 69.

Apparently, connectedness and physical activity are two big influencers in the happiness we report.  Sedentary activities like watching television and staying at home impact happiness while being more active and socializing, volunteering, walking and exercising support higher levels of happiness. 

So, the research tells us that people our age are happier than we’ve probably been in decades!  It also tells us that happiness is a journey, and that the tough times of our late 40s and early 50s pass.  Perhaps here we can draw parallels between the U-shaped curve of happiness and our current and very real crisis with COVID-19.  I sincerely hope that we reached the COVID-19 equivalent of our 40s and 50s and that we can all quickly move into some better times. In the words of Dr Lambert, if we keep walking and remain resilient, we’ve got a lot to look forward to!

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Are you psychologically ready to retire!?

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Are you psychologically ready to retire!?

By: Nanette Fairley

The end of full-time employment can trigger enormously liberating feelings,but it can also cause anxiety and fear.  If you type ‘retirement planning’ into Google, it almost exclusively comes back with articles on financial planning for your retirement.  Sure, this is important, but the psychological aspect of retirement is just as important and one we often neglect.Set aside any financial concerns for now, and ask yourself these six critical questionsto determine if you are psychologically and emotionally ready for this transition. 

 

  • Do you have a plan in place for how you will spend your life post full-time employment?

We plan our weddings and the birth of our children.  Planning what you will do after you retire is just as critical.  You’ll no longer have the structure that employment brings and this can create a void that some find difficult to fill after the initial honeymoon period is over.  Thinking through your plan prior is really important to making the most of this time of your life.  What will you do?  How will you spend your days?  If you are not sure how to progress this, consider completing a course specifically designed to help you develop your What’s Next plan, or work with a coach who can support you to think it through. 

 

  • Have you thought about your new identity post full time employment?
    Leaving a job also means leaving a job title and this can cause feelings of loss. If you have been saying you are an engineer or a nurse, what do you say now?  What is your new purpose?  How will you contribute?

Visualise who you want to become once you are no longer working as a teacher or lawyer.  Write it down and then build it into your plan for the future. 

I like what one author, Ken Dychtwald, has shared in his book ‘Age Wave’. He said, ‘the storyline of retirement will be less about winding things down and more about transforming oneself.  Rather than becoming elderly, we become elders – wise, well-travelled and deeply experienced.’ How can you build that wisdom and experience into your new identity?

 

  • If in a relationship, have you both discussed your plans with each other and found a happy medium?

Agreeing on how you will spend your life,post employment, with your spouse can be challenging.  One may want to retire, and the other work for several more years.  One may want to travel and the other spend time closer to home and grandchildren.  The research shows that those couples that plan together, and better still, retire together, find retirement significantly more satisfying. 

 

  • Are you ready for the upheaval that this transition will bring?
    While the initial euphoria of ditching your 9-5 may last weeks or months, life will change dramatically and any change, even good ones, can make us feel out of sorts for a while. One individual I met said it took him a good three years to ‘find his feet’ after being retired against his wishes. 

Think about what you have done to help in the past when managing big changes (new job, arrival of a baby, loss).  What strategies helped?  Perhaps looking after yourself a bit more or not doing everything new at once.  I remember once I started a new job, moved house and bought a new car, all in the same month!  While these were all good things, I felt totally out of sorts at the time.  You might like to introduce one new thing at a time and, once it feels comfortable, try something else new.

 

  • Do you have a network outside of work?

Having friendships and community is critically important post retirement as they contribute to our positive mental health among other things.  One study has found that retired men are 40% more likely than employed mento experience depression. 

While we all have the best intentions of staying in touch when someone moves on from work, but this is not always achieved.  If many of your social connections are people you work with, this may leave a gap.  So before retirement, think about where you would like to build connections and begin to do so.  Join a rock choir or sports club if you have always wanted to but never had the time.  Foster these relationships outside of work as they will remain once you’re no longer working full-time. 

 

  • Are you ready not to have a monthly pay check?

This question is not so much about how much money you have but more aboutyour need for security.  It is very definitely a mindset we need to shift from working and saving to retirement and spending.  A friend was well set up financially when beginning to think about retiring but he felt very uncomfortable about never having a pay check again. If you think this could be an issue for you, think about moving to part-time work initially.  You will then still have the ‘safety’ of some income whether or not you need it. 

 

Remember, finding your new normal takes time.  However, if you have thought through the above questions prior, and you have a plan for your what’s next, you will be more psychologically ready to work through the transition and enjoy your what’s next after full-time employment.

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Life After Work: Understanding the Third Age

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Life After Work: Understanding the Third Age

By: WhatNextology Team

The Third Age is a term that’s gaining more and more traction. But what is it, and what does it mean for you?
The WhatNextology Team

What Is the Third Age?

We tend to look at life as comprised of three stages: childhood, adulthood, and old age.Childhood consists of our formative years, wherein we get our first knowledge of the world and all of its beauties. Adulthood, on the other hand, is where we are put to the test — we take on more and more responsibility, attain more independence, and mature. Lastly, retirement is the period when we can finally dedicate all of our attention to ourselves and our loved ones.

While this three-part perspective aligns roughly with all of our lives, it lacks nuance. And this triggered the concept of the Third Age.

How the Third Age Came to Be

The Third Age is a term put forward by Peter Laslett in the ’80s. He was an English historian active throughout most of the 20th century’s latter half. He coined the name to capture a phenomenon that has been becoming more prominent in more developed countries in the 1900s.

Namely, the average lifespan has been on a steady increase for the last century or so. That is mainly due to improved healthcare, nutrition, and working conditions. Whereas once mortality rates were highest in one’s fifties, reaching one’s sixties, seventies, and eighties became more common. Nowadays, someone passing away in their sixties feels too sudden and unjust, like a life cut too short!

While the average lifespan improved drastically, the retirement age remained pretty much the same: around 65although it is moving and is 67 in some countries. As a result, those who retire have much more life to live than was previously the case. As it turns out, our old way of categorizing life into three segments doesn’t acknowledge this period of freedom from work-related responsibility combined with great health and the ability to lead an active life.

But the Third Age addresses it well. It describes that time in people’s lives, mainly after leaving full-time employment or family responsibilities, when they are vital and active and live independent, vibrant lives.

What Is the Third Age Like?

Those in their Third Age will almost always tell you that it’s a wonderful stage of life. It basically captures the best of both worlds: you enjoy all the freedom of an adult while experiencing none of the burdens of working. It’s the payoff for the nine-to-five grind you’ve been putting yourself through for decades. But unlike the old days, when you enter your Third Age, you have the energy to engage with the world.

Not all older adults speak so highly of this part of their lives, however. The sudden change in lifestyle, one from daily work to great freedom, doesn’t sit well with all. Some feel like they have plenty of work left in them. Others might love their job too much to give it up while they’ve still got wind in their sails.

Eventually, though, most do settle into their new way of life. They pick up hobbies or pursue passions they’ve never had time for before. Such a different lifestyle may feel uncomfortable or strange for them at the onset, but they eventually like any change it becomes the new norm.

The Most Important Lesson About the Third Age

If there is only one thing that you should keep in mind about the Third Age, let it be this: preparation goes a long way. The more you plan, the less you need to worry about when crossing into this stage. Saving up money, investing in projects, relocating, whatever — set all the pieces in place so that you can make the most of this time.

However, no amount of planning can prepare you for your upcoming journey if you’re missing the essential element — the right mindset. Seeing the Third Age for what it can be — the perfect opportunity to dedicate time to yourself and your dreams with no 9-5 to hold you back. Hopefully, it is a time when you can finally do all the things you wanted but never got the chance.

With all that in mind, if you begin thinking and planning early, you’ll make the most of this part of your life. There are plenty of resources that you can rely on for help. For instance, WhatNextology specializes in exactly that: helping you create an inspired plan for your Third Age.

All in all, this part of a person’s life could prove to be one of the most fulfilling! All you have to do is put a bit of forethought into it and maintain a positive mindset. Get ready to make some more fantastic memories!

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