The issue of an aging population is a global challenge. Average life expectancy is increasing every decade. Most likely you will live longer than your grandparents. This demographic shift is presenting challenges to governments, companies, and individuals. The French government recently raised the retirement age to address this problem, but it has faced strong opposition from citizens who feel that they are not being supported in continuing to work. People need to be healthy and prepared for a longer working life.
France is not the only country who is tackling this aging population issue, Japan and China are also facing the similar crisis. India has more young population, but in next 20-30 years they’ll age. To make sure that we don’t face the similar crisis we need to age well. We need to plan for our life post-retirement and invest in our future. Ageing well and health is a huge part of how we are going to spend rest of our life. According to a study, how we age depends 20% on our genetics while 80% is based on our behavior and environment. This 80% factor depends upon our lifestyle choices which we can control.
1. Health: Give your health the top priority. Take care of your health when you are healthy. No amount of money can buy you the comfort of good health if you fall sick.
2. It is Just a start: Don’t look at your retirement as the end of your productive years. It’s the start of a new era when you have more wisdom and choices to lead your life. Age is merely a number, and it doesn’t determine your productivity or ability to contribute to society.
3. Experience Matters: Companies need to change their view towards age. Firms generally don’t consider older people as productive workers, but I feel that they underestimate their capability. While I understand that in a populated country like India with limited job opportunities, older generation must make way for the next generation. Having said that, just think about this – you are giving 100% to your company and are equally skilled as others and then you turned 60. The company brings a hard stop and gives you a warm farewell and best wishes. Next day you are wondering what to do with your restlessness. It’s not just about making money but also about having a purpose in your life. As a human being our brain needs constant stimulation which comes through daily challenges.
Conclusion Have a plan, exercise discipline, and save your health and money for your future. Working in late years is not a taboo but rather see it as an opportunity to remain engaged and purposeful. Good health, upskilling and having a purpose in your life is important for ageing well.
As Mr. Andrew J. Scott quoted “Sexism works against other genders, racism targets other races but ageism is prejudice against your own future self. We are all growing older, and we must shed these damaging prejudices now.”
Author: Preeti Grover
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