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Retirement: What's It Like to be in Your 70s?

Edd here and going solo for this one.

“Septuagenarian” is your word for the day. It means “someone in their 70s,” which is what I am.

To be exact, 71 as of a few days ago.

You may wonder, “What’s it like to be that old (careful with that ‘old’ word 😉)?” Not because you care what it’s like for me. What you’re really curious about is what it might be like for you.

Of course, I can’t help you with that one. But I’d like to share what my world looks like at this age as a possible glimpse into your own future. Let’s run through the trifecta of mind, body, and spirit.

Mind ~

Yeah, I can’t remember stuff sometimes. Not important matters like “Who/where am I?” 😵 

Usually it’s someone’s name or when an event happened. Or I’ll use the wrong word and think, “Did I just say that?”

Guessing I’m not the only one with a paddle in that rowboat.

But the old “steel trap” is still functioning pretty darned well. I attribute this to two things: 1) eternal curiosity, and 2) challenging myself to learn new skills.

This time last year I was in the weeds trying to figure out how to create videos of the 30+ Lessons in our Master Course, Retirement Reimagined! Zero experience, and this was a pretty complicated task---mixing & editing photos, slides, and movies into a professional package.

An intense and at times frustrating three months later it was done! Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks?  

Body ~

Overall I’m in really good shape for my age, and it’s not an accident. Strenuous physical activity is an important part of daily life at Casa Staton---strength work, HIIT (high intensity interval training), yoga. 

As a result I take no prescription medicines, have 20/20 vision, wear the same size jeans I wore in my thirties, and according to my physician display the blood work results of someone living in that decade.

I’ll get to other important aspects of fitness a little later when I fill you in on our plans for the future. Yes, someone my age can still have plans. Why not?!?

Spirit ~

Retiring abroad to Ecuador, or more importantly getting out of the North American rat race, has given me an entirely different perspective on life. In this “más tranquillo” environment it’s much easier to live a present moment existence. Which when you think about it is truly the only existence there is.

As a result I’m a calmer version of the Type A madman who arrived here almost 10 years ago. I tend to focus on what’s important and ignore trivialities. And I’m better at withholding judgment of people and circumstances. 

Not as much “good” or “bad”. “Hard” or “easy.” Labels are so limiting, aren’t they? More recognizing that things simply are and deciding what to do next.

Honesty time ~

I feel blessed to share this glowing progress report with you knowing that a lot of my septuagenarian (or younger) brothers and sisters are struggling with all manner of infirmities and debilitation. Or they’re no longer alive.

But the truth is what it’s like to be this age has come as a total surprise. A happy one, yes, but a surprise nonetheless.

What’s your vision from your youth of what people my age were like? Really old, right? I mean like ancient!

Bald. Wait a minute---scratch that one! Dorky looking. Physically inactive. Deeply wrinkled skin. Feeble.

That’s what I thought too! So to look in the mirror, feel vibrant, pretty much have my wits about me and know I’m 71 is this HUGE disconnect. 

Cynthia and I both aspire to become Super Agers with the intention of living at least 100 years. As the birthdays roll on, our vision is to continue enjoying a robust quality of life. While there’s no “master plan” for accomplishing that lofty goal, we are acutely aware we need to do our part and not depend on medical science to carry us across the goal line.

So we eat a healthy diet with reasonable portion sizes. We exercise. Get plenty of rest. Schedule regular appointments with our doctors and dentist. And we live a stress-free life.

H-m-m-m, come to think of it, maybe we do have a master plan. And it’s nothing more magical or revolutionary than consistently practicing common sense and taking care of ourselves.

What are your 70s going to look like? I encourage you to be responsible for your life and proactive in designing a happy and healthy future for yourself. Because guess what? Nobody’s going to do it for you.

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