Once again, I am excited to introduce another guest to my series:
Amazing over 50’s
I am inviting and featuring ‘Mid-lifers’ who are enjoying life over 50 and who are happy to shout out about great health, fitness, lifestyles, work or their achievements etc, but more importantly who are embracing this time of their lives with pride and open arms.
This month I’m happy to introduce Suzanne Vosbikian as my next guest on the ‘Amazing Over 50’s’ series. Suzanne, along with her husband Malcolm, write a wonderful blog, Picture Retirement, which I have recently come across and already enjoy reading regularly, as they obviously have that zest for life. Here, Suzanne talks honestly and openly about how retiring early was something they both had to take time to get used to.
Welcome Suzanne to Loving The Fifty Something and the ‘Amazing over 50’s’ series.
I am happy to be featured on Sam’s blog, Loving the Fifty Something as part of her Amazing over 50’s series. I do feel pretty amazing most days, even at sixty-four. Mostly, I attribute that to a positive attitude and good habits. If you read our blog, Picture Retirement, you know my husband and I retired early at age 49 and have been living the life we planned for since that time. We mostly write about our travels, food and entertainment and our hobbies. We live life on our own terms, by making choices that contribute to our well-being. Maybe that sounds selfish to some of you, but at this stage of life we feel that we have earned the right to live as we choose.
My husband and I ran a successful printing business for twenty-two years. We lived below our means, stayed out of credit card debt and set aside money for our daughter’s education and our retirement years. We lived modestly, but well by most standards. In 2006 we sold the family business and retired. Our retirement coincided with the year we both turned fifty. That year was filled with stress and anticipation, none of which was associated with a milestone birthday. In the context of life at that time, turning fifty was insignificant to selling our company and settling into an unfamiliar lifestyle.
I had stopped going to the office long before my husband retired, so I was ahead of the game when it came to ‘what next?’ My schedule was fully developed and satisfying. His was yet to be determined. We knew that the immediate plan was to enjoy our daughter’s last two years of High School and support her as much as possible through SAT prep, college applications, and attending her extracurricular activities. My husband reveled at the opportunity to finally be an ‘at home Dad’. Those two years flew by much too quickly. We did not have a plan beyond our daughter’s graduation and assumed that life would simply unfold. What we did not know is that a satisfying retirement does not just unfold; it requires measured and focused attention.
Life has been a steady climb toward where we are now and I feel accomplished in the sense that we are both contented with how life after fifty has evolved. My husband went from ‘what now’ to having a full schedule of activities that stimulate his mind and keep his body healthy. I went from feeling guilty about carrying on with my wonderful life to accepting that we are separate people responsible for our own happiness. It did not happen without considerable trial and error and a lot of patience and compromise, but we found what works for us.
Fifty is now fourteen years in the rearview mirror, and we still feel that there is much more life to be lived. We travel abroad at least once per year, take frequent road trips throughout our home state and neighboring states (with bikes in tow), pursue individual and joint hobbies, enjoy the company of good friends and family on a regular basis and stay informed (without obsessing) of current events. We have learned the value of alone time and are not joined at the hip 24/7. We exercise regularly and eat healthy most of the time, but our motto has always been ‘everything in moderation.’
Our advice to anyone concerned with ageing gracefully, (especially as a couple), is to communicate openly and honestly, be respectful and kind, offer forgiveness and have a good belly laugh together once in a while. On an emotional level, express gratitude, let go of guilt, and avoid comparisons. As to day to day, staying physically active, making healthy choices, getting involved locally and staying mindfully engaged with cerebral activities is essential. Age really is just a number.
Suzanne and Malcolm live in South Florida. They have been married for over thirty years. Their philosophy for living a contented life is to maintain balance and moderation in all things.
Thank you Suzanne for being yet another inspiring guest on my ‘Amazing Over 50’s’ series. I appreciate your honest account of your early retirement and by showing how working together and being respectful of each other, leads to you both, living your ideal retirement in a corner of the world, which you obviously love.
You can read more about Suzanne and Malcolm here at their blog Picture Retirement.
See Suzanne’s photographs here on Instagram, @Picture_Retirement
And follow Malcolm’s Pinterest Boards on Pinterest at M.Vosbikian.
Are there any ‘Mid-lifers’ out there who are enjoying life over 50? Are you happy to shout out about great health, fitness, lifestyles, work or any achievements since turning 50? Do you embrace this time of your life with pride and open arms?
If so, then please contact me Here and maybe you’ll be featured in this series of
❤️ ‘Amazing Over 50’s’ ❤️
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