Every day we face life. What is really important?
Social Security? We pay into Social Security all of our working lives. When we reach our sixties we anticipate collecting the benefits promised to us. Some will collect income at 62 while others will not collect it until 66 or later. The full retirement age should be returned to 65. Millions of Americans will never collect a penny of Social Security. Imagine paying into Social Security most of your life but dying early and never collecting a cent. This happens to millions of Americans.
Medicare? We pay into Medicare most of our lives but will it be there for us when we need examinations and procedures? Or will the government make it harder for us to receive quality healthcare? Social Security is already telling us we will receive less benefits than we were promised because there isn’t enough money to pay us. Whose fault is this? The government has squandered trillions of dollars that they took from us. Who will suffer from the wasteful actions of our government? You and I.
Health? Your mortality doesn’t become much of a reality until you hit about 50. At 50 you know you are a half century old! The body begins to react to how we have treated it or to problems that we may have inherited from past generations. Colon polyps start showing up, the thyroid starts acting up, blood pressure, heart, diabetes and much more becomes a daily concern. Listen to your body. Go see your doctor and don’t be passive when your doctor tells you about health issues that you should address. Stay active. Focus on more vegetables, fruit, baked or grilled chicken and fish and cut out desserts. Sounds bad but my 97-year-old friend says she focuses on vegetables and being active and she is still doing great.
Money? Americans are working today longer than ever it seems. Many senior adults are working into their eighties to keep food on the table or pay the rent. If you think you may be working into your seventies, consider preparing yourself for a job that you can physically and mentally do late in life. Underground coal mining may not be for you when you are 75. However, working out of your home two days a week as a plumber or carpenter might be enjoyable. A friend of mine downsized his insurance agency but still takes care of a few clients a few mornings a week from his home. Find something that you enjoy doing. If you enjoy it then it doesn’t feel so much like work.
Longevity? Life is short. We are just passing through this world. Life is a gift. All in all, our most valued possessions are being at peace with our souls and our Creator, spending time with our family and friends and guarding our health.
On a related note, global health service company Cigna released results from a national survey recently exploring the impact of loneliness in the United States. The survey, conducted in partnership with market research firm, Ipsos, revealed that most American adults are considered lonely. Nearly half of Americans report sometimes or always feeling alone (46 percent) or left out (47 percent).
From the Cigna report we learn the following:
One in four Americans (27 percent) rarely or never feel as though there are people who really understand them. Two in five Americans sometimes or always feel that their relationships are not meaningful (43 percent) and that they are isolated from others (43 percent). One in five people report they rarely or never feel close to people (20 percent) or feel like there are people they can talk to (18 percent).
Loneliness is a feeling and not a fact. Reach out to others. Stop the self-deflating thoughts. Focus on others and less attention on yourself. What you give may come back to you.
Dr. Glenn Mollette is the author of 12 books. His syndicated column is read in all 50 states. The opinions expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of this paper or its corporate ownership.