“I am retiring in 1month and I do not know what to do” says Mr. Matrubhootam who worked as a Sr. Manager in a Public Service Undertaking (PSU). Mr. Matrubhootam is like a typical person who is going to retire and is clueless on what is to be done after. Surely, he has his financial independence through his Provident Fund (PF) saved meticulously over a long period. His daughter and son are settled now with their families in a different part of the country. He has served close to 5 decades in the same company in a transferable job which has taken him and his family to different parts of the country. Mr. Mathrubootham is in perfect health at his age except for diabetes which is being controlled through regular exercise, eating habits and medication.
Mr. Mathrubhootam represents the growing population of elderly population in India which is staring at an unknown future after retirement. The dynamics of the occupation, savings, etc might differ, but the question remains pertinent even today. Ageing population is affected due to downward trend in fertility and mortality. Life expectancy in India (as per worldometers.info) for both the sexes is 70.4 years. In 1950, it was 37 years(source: worldometers.info). This is a result of better health care facility and education which has made fertility rates to decrease and life expectancy rate to increase.
It is also a known fact that the odds of reaching 90 years is 1 in 10 if luck and good health are with you. That gives a good 2 to 3 decades of life after you retire. For India, or even for the world, this has never happened and this is unchartered territory for everyone. There are no SoPs or models which one can follow. Everyone is a trendsetter, if you age gracefully and happily.
Health first, Enjoy each day, be a continuous learner & surround yourself with positive people abbreviated as H.E.L.P is not an exhaustive framework but it definitely is some point to start looking at the beginning of your golden years.
I would like to share these pointers which I concluded through my interactions with the Geriatric population and experts in the field:
– Health first: It is no rocket science that if you take care of your health, it will take care of you. Studies suggest that people who have cultivated better eating habits in their late 30s or even 40s tend to have healthier later years. Eating right, Exercising & Emanating positive Energy (3Es) are some of the known ways to keep good health.
– Enjoy each day: Start the day with gratitude and enjoy each day as if it was a blessing. Help someone each day so that it makes you feel happy. Be active, cultivate your curiosity
– Be a continuous “Learner” and make your brain work: There is no age for learning. Pick up a hobby, learn music, instrument, poetry, a new magic trick, play a game, gardening, being in the company of children, cooking, whatever keeps your brain at work and keeps you happy. It is also important to use your time wisely and productively.
– Surround yourself with “Positive people”: Positive people emanate positive vibes which in makes you feel good about yourself. There is also a lot of learning you can have from people who are positive.
The word retire comes from the French: “to withdraw,” or “to pull back.”. No wonder we find the idea of retiring uncomfortable. On the occasion of World Elderly Day, lets not look at retiring in the French sense but reorient ourselves and move forward for the wonderful future which awaits us.
So Mr. Mathrubootham, HELP yourselves to help others..