One thing is certain in this life - we begin to get older the day we are born. Rich or poor makes no difference, we get older by the day and then one day we realise that people see us as old.
I took early retirement from teaching at 50, so have now been retired for almost thirty four years. Very difficult to realise I can tell you.
My mobility is not brilliant. I tell you this because yesterday's post chronicled how I fell on the path in the front garden (when I told the farmer that I had gone down with a real bang, his reaction was to say he was not surprised because when I fell I always went down like a bag of muck) (and yes, I do love him dearly in spite of his choice of words).
I have a badly arthritic ankle on my right leg and ditto knee on my left leg. Other than that I am reasonably fit for my age I believe.
My advice for staying young, for what it is worth:-
1. Never, never, never sit around doing nothing, or reading all day, or being alone.
2. Take an interest in everything that is going on in the world, in your town/village, in your street.
3. Build up a large circle of friends and meet them regularly - for coffee, for afternoon tea, for outings to various places, anywhere so long as it involves GOING OUT. Staying in the house day after day is soul-destroying.
4. You might find your old hobbies become harder to do, or you might lose interest in them. This happened to me with my music. For some years in my 'previous life' I was a semi-professional keyboard player (piano, organ, harpsichord) and accompanied , took part in shows, occasionally actually putting them together (Variety shows in the large school where I worked), taking leading parts in the Gilbert and Sullivan productions of The Pirates of Penzance (Ruth) and HMS Pinafore (Buttercup) then after retirement playing early music in concerts around the Midlands where I lived. When I came up here and my musical husband died I gradually lost interest in piano and the other early instruments I played. Eventually I gave my piano to my son (it was a much better one than his), who teaches music.
That doesn't mean I didn't fill my time with other things - like this blog for instance.
5. Have some friends from younger age groups - they help to keep you young and to put a different slant on your way of looking at things.
6. Above all - get involved.
Don't moulder away into old age and antiquity while you have your faculties. The time may come when they begin to leave you both mentally and physically. So while you have them, make full use of every minute.
Reading through this a couple of hours later I think I might have suggested that reading was not an activity for the elderly. Far from it. In fact I myself read at least three books a week. The thing is that reading in isolation is not making contact with others, so I feel it is better to discuss with others what you have read. A lot of my friends belong book groups, I go to a poetry group.
There are so many activities to get involved in these days. U3A (University of the third age) is big news up here - possibily because it is an area a lot of people retire to. I have friends more active than I who walk a lot - the farmer (ten years younger than me) walks every other Sunday with a walking group (I go out to lunch with a group of friends on those days). I know a lot of folk who garden enthusiastically, who keep bees, who sing in choirs. My friend W is a fantastic ukulele player and plays with several groups. The point I am making all the time is to keep involved and not become inward-looking.