The last (and let’s not forget best!) third of a person’s life is full of potential. We enter this phase the wisest and most evolved version of ourselves we’ve ever been.
Our mistakes are behind us (ideally) and the lessons have cemented (or at least the consequences survived). Youth may be wasted on the young for the most part, but there is a special window in the last third where we are able of body and mind and free to spend our time as we see fit. So, naturally, we find we are on the move.
But what are we moving toward? Are we finally fostering some secret passion we’d always had but never given time to? Or are we literally fostering our grandkids while our children go through the ups and downs of adulthood? What does “retired and relocating” mean for you?
Whatever moves we make, the world is ours for the taking in the last third best third!
As Karl Saliter, age 52, grandfather and entertainer residing in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico, put it, “I allow myself to dream and act on my dreams. I travel and continually forge new friendships with people in my life. I create time to help people who need help. I make furniture, sculpture, cards, and write novels.” Karl is not alone in his boundless self-expression. One of my favorite last third best third examples is the internet sensation, Baddie Winkle, pictured below, celebrating her 90th.
Turning 90 is one helluva milestone but trust @baddiewinkle to show us that age is really just a number (the mega influencer has 3.7 million followers 😱😱). Live large, celebrate the small things, and always, always, be bold enough to be yourself. #youdoyou 🌈🌈🌈
Retired and Relocating
Self-exploration doesn’t always take the shape of world travel or outrageous fashions. Sometimes moving close to the kids and grandkids leads to self-discovery.
On that Karl said, “The laughs I get as my granddaughter’s personality emerges are beyond question some of my life’s most cherished moments.”
Bernice Harned, 75 and living in a motor home as she travels America, spoke to me about how her time close to family was a special way to spend some of her best third.
“It’s a true joy to interact with my grandchildren. There is a profound bond with them. Being a part of my grandchild’s life is totally rewarding. Gives us both a sense of a loving family. Knowing your family throughout life gives you a sense of belonging.”
Below is a picture of Bernice with her daughter, granddaughter and great granddaughter. For a year the four lived together.
“Four Generations” Photo Credit: Curtis Knapp
Sticking close to family sometimes means sharing a home. According to Pew Research Center as of 2016 one in every five Americans lives in a multigenerational household and the number is on the rise. If you’re retired and relocating to live with your loved ones, know that there are many benefits outside the obvious financial.
Lauren Carver, Bernice’s daughter, said this about the experience: “I think there are more advantages than disadvantages. I think the advantage is that… it makes it so everyone is not as stressed out and so there’s more patience. The child gets the benefit of more quality time and all these different personalities with different skills.”
Below you’ll find a link to a helpful article about grandparents who retire and relocate to be closer to grandchildren.
GERALD HARDAGE and his wife, Edie, were driving around in the Rocky Mountains in Colorado during a family visit when something clicked inside them. One granddaughter was crawling, and the other was 3 years old. Mr. Hardage said, “‘We should just move here,’ and I said, ‘O.K.,’ ” Mrs.
Whether you’re on the move to learn a new language in a land you’ve never set foot on, or to the hammock to re-read your favorite novel, or retired and relocating to some small town to be a hands-on grandparent to your little legacies, move with pride and grace and excitement! Be the best you can be and enjoy every moment.
How do you celebrate your freedom now that you’re older? What is your favorite aspect of watching your grandchildren grow up? What experiences do you have with multigenerational households? Leave a comment below to share your thoughts!