The senior years, like all stages of life, have their challenges. But aging also comes with its fair share of benefits. Here are 10 great things about getting older.
1. Wisdom Comes with Age
With age comes wisdom, and it’s not just because older adults have more life experience to draw on than younger generations. As the body ages, it produces fewer hormones. Lower levels of estrogen, testosterone and adrenaline make it easier to make rational, rather than emotional, decisions.
2. Seniors Report Being Happier
Research suggests that seniors are the happiest generation. In a 2008 University of Chicago study, adults who were 57 or older reported a higher level of contentment than younger respondents, and many said they were pleased with how their life turned out.
3. Seniors Often Pay Less
Many organizations offer senior discounts, which is a nice way of showing appreciation for the elderly. Although some senior discounts may seem small, with so many companies offering them, these price reductions can add up to significant savings.
4. Others’ Opinions Matter Less
While you probably value the opinions of close family members or friends, many older adults say they stop caring as much about what acquaintances or strangers think of them. Chances are, you’ll feel more comfortable sharing your thoughts as an older adult than you may have in years past.
5. Getting Older Brings Fewer Major Decisions
By the time you reach your senior years, you’ll probably have already made most of the major decisions in life. All of the questions you faced as a younger adult -- what career to pursue, whom to marry, whether and when to have children --- are mostly behind you. Not having to figure out these major life questions can mean less stress overall.
6. With More Years Come More Hours in the Day
Retirement and old age tend to bring a blessing that most people don’t enjoy from the time they start kindergarten: more time. Retired seniors have more time to spend with the people they cherish and take part in the activities they love.
7. Grandchildren Are a Blessing
If children are a blessing, grandchildren are a double blessing. Grandparents typically enjoy spending time with their progeny, while being able to send them home when visits are over. Many seniors who don’t have grandchildren even choose to invest in kids by volunteering or being involved in other younger relatives’ lives.
8. A Second Chance
As George Eliot once wrote, “It’s never too late to be what you might have become.” With the time that retirement provides, seniors have a second chance to be whatever they want to be. It’s a rare opportunity to invest a lot of time in a project or cause, or to learn something new.
9. Government Programs for Seniors
Not all seniors are independently wealthy, but all qualify for Social Security and Medicare. These government programs provide at least some guaranteed financial provision and health insurance for seniors.
10. More Opportunities to Give Back
The senior years provide plenty of opportunities to give to others. With more time, greater wisdom and in some cases more disposable income, there are many ways older adults can give back. Whether passing on a family heirloom, imparting advice or volunteering with a local organization, giving is one of the most rewarding things you can do in your golden years.
Contrary to popular belief, getting older has many benefits. If you’re approaching your senior years, there’s no need to view them with dread. Instead, why not embrace this time for the many advantages that come along with it?