You still feel 40, where did the time go and why are some organisations now classing you as a senior citizen?
You’re turning 60, so what should you be planning and thinking about as you hit the big six-zero?
Are you out of pocket?
Especially in this current climate of uncertainty, many people, not just the over 60’s are one bill away from financial disaster. According to Age UK, two million pensioners are living in poverty so make sure you are receiving all the benefits you are entitled to.
Each year up to £3.5bn of Pension Credit and Housing benefit goes unclaimed by older people.Age UK
The bus pass joke
The first thing people traditionally say when someone turns 60 is, “now you can get your free bus pass!” Actually, for most turning 60 from 2020 onwards and living in England, they are not eligible for a free bus pass until they are at least 66 years old, but check with your local council as the dates may be different in some areas.
At the time of writing, Transport for London offered a 60+ Oyster card for those living in Greater London. It seems that for those of you living in Scotland or Wales you can get a bus pass from age 60.
As a solicitor, the points I tell all clients to consider are:
What does your future look like?
Getting your personal affairs in order – is your will up to date?
Do you have a Power of Attorney?
Do you want to help your children/grandchildren on the housing ladder? How can you make tax efficient gifts?
Planning is better than crisis management – taking the time now to put some tools in your tool box to allow you to have a stress free futureHeledd Wynn – Gregg Latchams Solicitors
Financial planning for both yourself and your loved ones are certainly key and it’s definitely worth speaking to a expert to make sure your affairs are in order.
You may not get a bus pass, but prescriptions are free for everyone over 60 in the UK, so make sure you take advantage of this benefit. Free dental care is only for those on certain benefits.
If you are struggling to understand your tax situation, the charity Tax Help for Older People may be able to help you to deal with HMRC.
Do you remember when everyone who hit 60 retired? With state pension ages having moved, and with pensions impacted by divorce, for many 60 no longer marks retirement.
A phased retirement is becoming far more common, so maybe 60 for you will mark a change in your working pattern. Reducing days, taking longer holidays, all are common now in the 60’s age bracket, and for many this mix of work and life is a really positive slow down, rather than a stop.
What’s important is to just know how much your pension pot will fund, so you can work out a plan around it that really suits you.Ceri Griffiths – Willow Brook Lifestyle Financial Planning
Family days out
Don’t forget to look out for discounted tickets when you are out and turning 60. Marwell Zoo offer a £2.50 discount on tickets if you are 60+ whereas London Zoo classes a person as a senior from age 65+. Take advantage of the savings, you’ll have purchased enough full-price tickets over the years!
Health and fitness
If you have stayed mentally and physically active through your life so far that’s good news and something which you should continue with as you are turning 60. Everyone ages differently but keeping ahead of the game with daily exercise, eating healthily and keeping an eye on your alcohol intake will all help to preserve your health and zest for life.
As for any age, being over-weight and having low self-esteem can lead to feelings of depression and anxiety. Have good habits and keep up with them, as they are even more important as you reach 60.
Use this coming of age as a real milestone in your life and be grateful for what you have achieved so far, be that raising children, your career, thinking about the friends you have made or the challenges you have had to overcome to get where you are today. Focus on the positives and embark on a new healthier path if things have slipped a little on that front.
Weight bearing activities will stimulate the bones to grow stronger and denser which can protect you against fractures and osteoporosis down the line, so speak to your health professional about what might work for you.
Don’t forget sex, because apparently people who have sex at least three times a week can look up to 10 years younger. Emotional issues in your younger years can affect sexuality and many couples say that sex is better in their 60’s as there are less worries around children and jobs.
Never think that dating is just for the younger generations, plenty of people in their 60’s, 70’s and 80’s start dating and many go on to remarry. 55+ is an age on the tinder dating app! If you want to use a dating agency – search for one in The Hug Directory
If you were too busy in your 40’s and 50’s to have a bucket list, make the time to create one for your 60’s. Many people think that a bucket list is reserved for those who can afford fancy holidays and trips to amazing restaurants, but it doesn’t have to be like that at all. The best lists are the ones where the items on it can actually be ticked-off.
Maybe there is something you have always wanted to do, such as wine tasting or a trip you wanted to take to somewhere within a couple of hours of home. Have you always wanted to try yoga or take an art class?
Every birthday is a milestone and another year to look forward to.
Enjoy every minute of your life. If you need help or advice with any of the issues raised in this blog, reach out to experts in The Hug Directory.