Personal finance expert Suze Orman has been dispensing tough-love guidance for years to people seeking financial security, so AARP asked the high-energy money guru to share some of her best planning advice with you. Her new rules for downsizing, spending wisely and delaying Social Security benefits are designed to help you in any form or stage of retirement.
IN THREE YEARS, I will be 70.
It feels very odd writing that down, staring at the number 70. All the cues from the outside world insist that 70 is old. And not always something to feel good about.
Then I remind myself that we are defined by how we think, feel and act. Not by what others project onto us.
And I feel great. Yes, I am older, but all that means is that I have had the good grace to transition from young and fabulous to older and fabulous.
A few years ago, I ended my 14-year show on CNBC and scaled way back on my other work commitments. Let’s call it semiretirement.
Was I scared? Yes! I was passionate about helping people take control of their financial lives. Suddenly not being in a full-time working mode was going to be an interesting new life stage.
But here’s what I learned: I am loving my life today and can’t wait to see what comes next.
I have more time for family and friends. I have more time for a passion I discovered in my 60s — fishing! I have more time to just be.
And that feels great.
I continue to feed my passion to help people, but I do this on a reduced work schedule. I am not suggesting that everyone should keep working past 70; it’s a personal choice. But for me, I feel like I have found a tremendous balance in my life. If that’s being old, I wish “old” on everyone!
That said, I am not in denial. I know that 70 is not 35 or 45 or even 55. My father was 71 when he died. My mother was 97. Losing my dad so early is a reminder to appreciate and truly live each day. My mother’s long life reminds me that I am currently 67 years young.
I hope that you, too, are having a great time navigating this next life stage. Yes, there are aches and pains to deal with. And I have to steel myself to avoid buying into the ageism that courses through so many parts of American society. But at my core — and I hope you also feel this — is the wisdom to celebrate that right now we have the power to live life on our own terms.
My wish is that you are as content as I am with the life choices you make every day.