: June 5, 2022 Posted by: Maureen Comments: 0
senior citizens riding bikes along lake path under blue sky.

By Maureen Santini © Copyright. All Rights Reserved.

This is Chapter 7 in Write Your Life Story for Posterity. You’ve just finished writing about your sixth decade of life. You’re well on your way!

Your seventh decade spans ages 60 through 69 – momentous years for many. Begin writing as of your 60th birthday. If you were born in 1950, for instance, your seventh decade began in 2010.

The seventh decade is often a time of transition. Many people retire, shift direction, and/or undergo other noteworthy events. Take a moment to review the highlights of your sixties. Write in detail about the most significant events.

Many believe people gain happiness as they age due to increased leisure and reduced responsibilities. About one in three people in their sixties say they are very happy. “Life probably taught you to savor good times and know that bad times will pass. But your golden decade can bring new challenges, like health or money worries and the deaths of loved ones,” according to WebMD.

Basic Information

Assume future readers will know little about your lifestyle. Things that seem quite familiar to you now – as if they require no explanation – may seem unusual or perplexing to your descendants. The more detail you provide about your way of life, the more informative your memoir will be.

As with all decades, list the addresses of your residences and the names of others in your household and their relationships to you. Name places you visited frequently, such as churches, restaurants, parks, clubs, and libraries. Mention teams, clubs, and organizations you belonged to.

Family and Relationships

Describe your family life and main relationships during this decade. Detail major events such as weddings, reunions, vacations, and funerals. Write about the people you spent the most time with and your typical activities during the week and on weekends. Reflect on the births and deaths in your family tree, if any.

Work and Retirement

Describe the jobs you held during this decade if you were working. Write down the names and addresses of your employers and your bosses. Explain the skills and duties involved in your work. If you are comfortable doing so, provide an indication of your financial situation.

According to a 2022 AARP survey, 57 percent of those between 60 and 69 are retired. Some 51 percent have grandchildren and 6 percent still have children under the age of 18 living at home.

If you retired during this decade, explain how you transitioned to a different lifestyle. State if you began working part-time, started traveling, switched to a different field, began volunteer work, spent more time with grandchildren and on hobbies, or simply found time to relax and enjoy a more leisurely pace of life.

Hobbies, Interests and Skills

Retirement often provides opportunities to cultivate interests or to indulge in hobbies and adventures people have looked forward to for years. Some even begin money-making ventures. Whatever your situation, recount the top three or four activities you spent the most time on and were most enthusiastic about such as movies, books, cards, sports, crafts, exercise, cooking, coaching, gardening, travel, or volunteer work, to name a few.

Health and Welfare

Describe the state of your physical, mental, and emotional health at various points during the decade. Write down the details of medical events that happened to you or your family members. Relate whether you or a close family member required care giving.

In his book, The Power of Regret, Daniel H. Pink says 82 percent of Americans report experiencing regret at least occasionally. Sometimes, he says, people regret living someone else’s life rather than being true to themselves. Discuss your regrets, if any.

Current Events

If so inclined, state your political affiliation and the extent of your interest and involvement in political matters. Characterize the political environment of the times and your positions on issues. Note if any of your opinions on major topics changed from decade to decade.

Mention political or non-profit causes that you supported. Also recount local, state, national, and international events that had a major impact on your life or your outlook, such as elections, wars, and natural disasters.

Conclusion

The goal of this process is to document your lifestyle, circumstances, activities, beliefs, challenges, and rewards. In addition to the above categories of information, write about any topic, person, place, or event that was important to you during this time.

Start writing about your eighth decade, ages 70-79, if you are near the end of your seventies. At this point, there’s no need to wait until the end of a decade. You can always add information in the future.

Or start in on the next chapter, family history.

Encourage your family members to write their stories since the best family histories are those in which multiple family members write about their lives and lifestyles.

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Note: This post has been updated from the original.