This year will be a record-breaking year for retirement in the U.S, with an average of 11,000 Americans a day expected to celebrate their 65th birthday from now until December.

Approximately 4.1million Americans are poised to turn 65 this year and every year until 2027, according to a report from the Alliance for Lifetime Income. Experts have called this event ‘peak 65’ given the figure represents the largest surge of retirement age Americans in history.

We all know the expression ‘older and wiser’ and at Lifton Home Elevators, we have customers across the generations, who for all kinds of reasons seek to install a home elevator in their home.

This month, in appreciation of the many US seniors reaching this milestone in 2024, we decided to consider seven lessons that our older citizens can teach us to benefit how we live our own lives.

The value of time

It is only as we get older that we begin to understand that time is a limited resource and a precious one at that. This value of time is one of the most important life lessons that older people share, time slips away much more quickly than we expect it to so no time should be wasted!

Avoid wasting time and energy on trivial things, especially feuds or disputes that zap your energy and headspace and spend it on things that are meaningful to you.

In the modern age with so many of us frittering away time on our smartphones, this is one lesson worth keeping front of mind, what might we be doing instead that will be a better use of our time or make a real difference in our lives. 

Do not take anything for granted

To appreciate what we have is another important lesson we can learn from the older generation. By the time they become seniors, the older generations have lived through it all, those turning 65 this year have lived through wars, the evolution of the internet, and more.

Being the other side of all these events has ensured our seniors understand the importance of not taking things for granted, whether that be simple pleasures, financial stability or even the freedom to travel and safely interact with our friends and family.

They recognize that life is unpredictable, know what it is like to lose friends and family members and understand the importance of being thankful for these things and not taking any of them for granted. Of course, we all experience the odd pang of envy over what others have or do, but if we can learn to appreciate what we have, therein lies greater contentment.

Do not sweat the small stuff

Almost anyone in the older generation will agree that life is certainly too short to get all worked up over the little things. In the long run, there is probably little point, these things do not really matter and life will not be any the better for worrying about the small things you cannot do anything about anyway!

Far better to concentrate our efforts on the things in our lives that really matter and be able to enjoy the moment.

Protect your health

Our health is absolutely our most valuable asset of all and once we begin to lose it, that is when life can change considerably. Seniors understand the importance of taking care of our bodies and not taking our health for granted. Taking good care of ourselves health-wise means we can pursue favorite hobbies, which is particularly beneficial in retirement years, when we have all the more time to enjoy them!

Strive for your dreams

Many times, someone will say that we only regret the things we do not do, not the things we do, so with that in mind, it is unsurprising that many a senior will confirm that pursuing your dreams is the route to happiness. No one wants to get to retirement from a job they have always disliked, still wondering if they could have achieved this or that, if only they had taken a different path.

The only way to reach retirement without such regrets is to give it a shot, if you strive hard enough for them then achieving your dreams and ambitions may be an achievement within reach. If you have a dream in life, many seniors tell you to go for it, know what you want to do and be determined to do it!

Take chances

Life itself is an adventure, though much more of one if we seize the opportunities that present themselves to us. This is how we discover new passions, new friends and add interest to our lives and perhaps even stories that we will one day tell our grandchildren. If we play it too safe, and never take a chance, we will miss out on a great deal.

Enjoy the moment

When we are young, many of us are guilty of ‘wishing away’ years and thinking we might enjoy life more when we finish schooling, when we are married, when we buy our first home, when we have a family, when the children grow up and so on. Life goes by quick enough without wishing any of it away. Enjoy the phase of life you are in!