Amazing Over 50’s – Suzanne Vosbikian

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.

edit2I 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.meandmalcolm

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. P1500683 (2)

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. 

cover photoFifty 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.

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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. 

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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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Me with Crazy Rose (left) and our beautiful, (late, but always remembered) Jenna 💕

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Millie our ‘Funny’ Puggly

 

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32 thoughts on “Amazing Over 50’s – Suzanne Vosbikian

  1. A good reminder that you can plan your own lives to a certain extent. Retirement age is not set in stone, whether you have worked hard with your own business or commited yourself to a career that brings a pension. As soon as Cyberpouse had done his 30 years in the police we gad a total lifestyle change and moved to the coast.

    1. I agree, it’s nice to have a plan to some extent, but with flexibility 😊 your lifestyle change sounds wonderful. Thank you for reading

  2. Hi Sam, Thank you for featuring Suzanne in your series. I, too, have recently started following Suzanne’s interesting blog.

    You look beautiful in your heading photo, Suzanne! I appreciate how retirement is definitely settling into “an unfamiliar lifestyle.” We also find it “requires measured and focused attention.” I may be wrong, although, I often hear how women transition more easily into retirement. Like you, I immediately had a full schedule of activities. For a variety of reasons, men may find the transition more challenging. We find we communicate more often on the week’s planning. We both enjoy separate activities, yet we also greatly appreciate the time we have together. We know the years we have ahead of us are less than the years behind us.

    I enjoyed learning more about you and your husband, Suzanne. Your phrase “not joined at the hip 24/7” made me extra smile. The photos are great! Thank you for sharing your experience and your lessons.

    1. Thank you for reading and commenting Erica. I’m glad you already follow Suzanne, her photography is stunning, isn’t it?! It’s interesting how differently people take to retirement, it’s not always as easy as the dream portrays.

    2. Erica, I think you are right about women transitioning more easily to retirement. In fact, I think they are more adaptive to change overall than men are. I am more social than my husband and more likely to try new things, but he will usually come around to my ideas. It just takes time. We constantly evaluate and adjust our interests, our approach to travel, how we spend money and even the way we maintain good health. It is a process, but we are in it together and that is the best part of all. Thanks for complementing the head shot. I didn’t know Sam would make it so BIG!!!

  3. Hi, Sam, Suzanne and Malcolm. I found myself nodding my head in agreement as I read the statements made here. A satisfying retirement does not just unfold. It does require our thoughtful attention, positive attitude and flexibility. I also strongly agree with the importance of honest communication – especially amongst couples.
    Great post!

    1. Hi Donna, it all seems like basic common sense, doesn’t it? It helps that we chose the right partner and don’t have to struggle to make the pieces fit. There aren’t going to be a lot of surprises at this stage of the game.

  4. Looks like Suzanne and Malcolm have really got it right. Spending their lives together doing what they love sounds just perfect. And I love the phrase ‘everything in moderation’, seems to fit just about everything in life doesn’t it? Living in Florida sounds quite appealing too ……. fabulous weather.

    1. Hi Jonno, nice meeting you here on Sam’s blog. Being a part of her series has allowed me to meet some new faces, which is always fun. Thank you for your excellent summary of what I was trying to say. Moderation sums it up nicely! The weather in Florida isn’t so fabulous right now – hottest Halloween on record, but the forecast is positive for the next several days maybe we have reached the turning point toward cooler temps. Take care and be well.

      1. You said it all so well Suzanne and your Florida lifestyle sounds pretty idyllic to me although I’m not a fan of extremely hot. Hopefully your temperatures will start to drop a little soon. We are in southern England currently, housesitting in an old farmhouse and the weather is cold and wet and very winter-like. Needing to wrap up well for the daily dog-walks.

        1. Just a few more weeks and we will have the Chamber of Commerce weather that everyone comes to Florida for. Housesitting in England sounds fun, but the cold and wet part wouldn’t be for me. I’m looking forward to six months of bliss!

          1. I’m sure you wouldn’t like our weather at the moment but it’s fine if you are wrapped up and dry. Not a problem at all. We don;t especially like hot weather so I guess it’s all just what you are used to isn’t it?

  5. Good to see Suzanne here, Sam. Her blog is one of my favorites also because of her positive attitude and successful embrace of retirement (to say nothing of her fabulous photos). I love this little tribe we’ve created here in the blogosphere of positive, active, interesting women and men who are enjoying the heck out of this sweet spot we’ve created in our lives.

    1. When I started blogging I had no idea I’d ‘virtually’ meet this group of like minded, amazing people. It’s such a wonderful community ❤️

  6. I love it when bloggers intersect and I get to read guest posts from people I “know”. All that Suzanne has written here is so true when it comes to retiring early. I finished work earlier this year and it took me a bit of time to adjust, but as I let go of the need to have everything planned and scheduled, and embrace the whole “Unbusy” way of life in retirement, I’m loving every moment of it. I wonder how it’ll look when I have 14 years of it in my rear view mirror?

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