Jun 15, 2021

Quality of Life - Different For Everyone

Quality of Life can mean very different things to different people.  After working very hard their whole lives, we moved my parents to a very nice 55 or older gated community.   They were able to pay cash to buy a new 1,600 square foot patio home, which was actually much nicer than the older 1,200 square foot home they left behind in North Hollywood, California.  This community had an 18 hole putting course and and a great club house and pool for activities.  For my parents, who never traveled except to go to funerals back in Ohio where they were from, quality of life meant paying their bills without worry, having plenty of food, golfing on the putting course for my Dad who never golfed in his life and activities for my mother with new found friends at the club.  My mother used to attend the garden club luncheons even though she never gardened in her whole life.  Oh Yes and they discovered baseball on TV.  That was it.  They were comfortable and content.  They did not need anything else.  My Mom was still cooking until she was 87 years old.  

Most important, no matter where people live, I believe that family and friends are critical to quality of life.  Interaction with people seems to be what makes people happiest.  It is not about money; but rather the ability to share life experiences.  And, this becomes really important when people need moral support to deal with life's challenges; mostly health issues as we grow older.  While family may be there when these life events occur, friends often provide the most support.  

We often hear people say, "when I retire I am going to travel".   Unfortunately, travel often requires mobility.  As we grow older, it could be that many trips that require a lot of walking may not be possible.  So as someone who has traveled all over the world, I would suggest that if traveling is on your bucket list, if you have the means to do it sooner than retirement, go for it.  You can always go on cruises later in life, which require less mobility.  

Everyone needs to define Quality of Life for themselves.  To many, it may be a very simple life.  For others, they maintain a busier calendar in retirement than when they worked.  Not so sure that is the best idea; but if it works for them; then fine until it does not work for them.