Starting over in your 60s 3

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Starting over at any point in your life can be daunting, but doing it after 60 is a whole new ball game.

For most over-60s, the two biggest points of change later in life come from financial difficulties or divorce.

More and more baby boomers are finding themselves struggling to meet the cost of living, which is causing them to have to either start over or do a major re-vamp on their finances.

On the other hand is the huge amount of boomers heading into divorce. This change can be incredibly difficult, but it also has a silver lining.

While there can be lots of tricky things to navigate through with both these issues, there are also plenty of advantages to starting fresh later in life.

Before you  start thinking it’s all doom and gloom, take the time to reconsider things with these ideas in mind.

Financially strapped

There are so many stories out there about people who have lost everything later in life and are forced to start over financially at a time they thought they’d be winding up their working life. Whether you’re struggling with money because of lack of income, a bad investment, or circumstances completely out of your control, there are ways you can help yourself get out of the downward spiral.

First, make a budget. It’s so much easier to sort through things and get ahead once you know exactly what you’re dealing with. Figure out where you need to cut back and where you can cut back. Look into what your paying for bills every month and shop around. Can you get a better deal on your phone and internet? Probably. Can you find ways to cut down your electricity costs? Definitely. Many companies, electricity included, offer discounts for people who pay online and pay on time. If your bank is charging you account fees just to house your money, go in and ask them for something better. Nine times out of 10, they’d rather cut a deal than lose you as a customer.

Second, take stock of your skills. If you find you need to start bringing in income again figure out how you can do this without stretching yourself too thin. Perhaps you’ll need to brush up on some of your skills thanks to new technology or changes in the industry, but there are plenty of places online you can do this for free. Do you know a language? Can you sew? Have you got admin experience or customer service skills? Whatever your talents are, there is a way to make money out of them — and it doesn’t necessarily mean you have to slog it out on your feet eight hours a day, five days a week.

Suddenly single

On the other side of the fence is the reality more and more baby boomers are facing these days: divorce at 60. Such a huge life change is difficult for many people to deal with, but it’s important to know there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. The first step for many is taking stock of your life. You’ve lost something, yes, but you’ve gained a whole lot, too.

Being single at this time in your life can be liberating and for many people it turns out to be a blessing in disguise. A life that was once full of routine and repetition is now open to all kinds of opportunities.

Get your affairs in order to begin with. With divorce comes financial change, so take the time and care to make sure you have a stable income or plan to sustain you (see above).

Surround yourself with the ones you love. Now is the time to lean on your closest friends and family. It’s easy to slip into sadness at a time like this, but ensuring you’ve got someone nearby to catch up with and talk to is a great little safety net to keep you sane and happy. Hey, if you don’t feel like being around anyone else try doing something that makes you happy. Whether that’s baking, watching old movies, crafting or going for a nice long walk, do the things that make you feel great.

Try something new, too. The best way to shake things up and get out of a funk is to do something totally different. Take a trip somewhere new — near or far — and explore a everything you can there, take dance lessons — experts say it’s the best exercise you can do for your health and happiness — and shake your booty till the cows come home, or do something you’ve been putting off for years. Mixing it up and adding a little variety is a great way to get started.

Have you had to start over in your 60s? How did you deal with it?

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. It is not just about the 2 topics covered it is also about death of your partner .Aftr 46 years of marriage I lost my husband to Cancer 41/2 years ago.Our business had to be closed,we had a mortgage and I lost our home as well.I now have to rent and it seems am to old to qualify for a home loan even though i have some income.Sometimes starting over again is nigh near impossible

    1 REPLY
    • Oh Lillian, how I can empathise with your situation.
      Life’s a s@&$ sometimes isn’t it?
      Keep going, as I have, one step at a time.

  2. At 63, I had to leave my beautiful home of forty years’ because my then-husband decided he wanted to be ‘a single, independent person’.
    I found out later he has AS, & not at all well mentally.

    It ripped me apart: the loss of my husband & home, of 40 years’, my children ceased to talk to me, my total, & utter upheaval in the circumstance was just numbing, having to deal with a Solicitor, something I’d NEVER thought I’d EVER have to do, & I found EVERYTHING extremely difficult.

    It’s now been a few years’ on, & I’m in a rental house, five times’ smaller than my original.
    Have got much in storage, as no room here.
    I just ‘exist’ from day to day. Sleep for hours’ on end.
    Took me ages to go out of the house to a movie, meet a friend for coffee, even go grocery shopping.

    My whole world had been shattered, along with my ‘usual self’. I’d no family to support me, only good friends’, thank goodness. I still find ‘life’ very difficult, & struggle constantly. My confidence had been ripped to shreds, to the point of non-existence, which was terrible, as I’d always been a confident person.

    A friend gave me a little cat, & he’s been a godsend.

    Amazing what the selfish actions’ of one person, whom I thought loved me, can do.

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