If that latter description sounds like you, or someone you know, you’re in very good company. Many of today’s over-60s are living life in a way that has a lot more in common with 20-somethings, despite four decades of age gap. Being part of a circle of close friends, catching up on social media and even the odd spot of online dating; they’re enjoying life to the full in a way that previous generations would hardly have dared to dream of.
Why has there been such a seismic change in how the over 60s live? We’re all (mostly) living longer and healthier lives and hitting our 60s means many of us have 20 years or more of freedom when we don’t need or want to work any longer. We like to feel good, look good and enjoy ourselves. We also have the financial clout – the power of the grey pound has never been stronger or better catered for – and there’s growing recognition that life in your 60s and beyond can be just as much fun and just as fulfilling as it was in your earlier decades. (The world’s oldest supermodel is the much in demand 87-year-old Daphne Selfe, so there’s plenty of time to live out our dreams, no matter what age we are.) It’s little surprise then that turning 60 is often called the new 40… but should it even be known as ‘the new 20-something’?
With the daily routine behind us, over 60s are free to do the things we’ve always wanted, whatever that looks like. Following in Michael Palin’s footsteps and trotting across the globe, becoming a social butterfly, getting fit or taking up voluntary work are what we really, really want to do (to steal a line from the Spice Girls) when we’re in our 60s. There might just be time to fit in a hobby or two, but sitting around and relaxing just isn’t something that floats our boat.
Of course, this much fun doesn’t often come cheap and having enough money to last through your 60s and beyond is one sure-fire way of making the most of your life. Cruising round the Med or taking a once in a lifetime trip to the Andes isn’t something you can do if you’re relying on the State Pension to see you through. The good news is many of us have done our planning, saved hard for our retirement and are able to reap the benefits so that we can live the life we want. And with recent pension reforms allowing people to access their pensions from the age of 55, planning your finances has never been so important.
As Julie Hutchison, Consumer Finance Expert at Standard Life, says:
“Retirement can be one of the most liberating and exciting life stages. The recent pension freedoms have opened up new possibilities in retirement, allowing more of today’s recent retirees to enjoy the sixty-something socialite lifestyle.”