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MEN: So...How many GOOD years do you think you have left?
Old 05-25-2016, 08:32 AM   #1
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MEN: So...How many GOOD years do you think you have left?

My wife said. Perhaps as a ripple on me always saying, "Wonder how many good years I have left?" Not years in terms of being above ground, rather, to really enjoy myself. I'm 64, in excellent physical shape although I have the beginnings of various scary (plural) diagnosis, but if I find myself near warm water, although I am certified, will I still be able to scuba dive? Water skiing? If I'm in the mountains in winter, will I ski even though the last time I felt "clicking" in my knees? Too late for Machu Pichu hiking. I find that it's not as easy to regain my balance when tripping, such as in bouldering.

Observing all the guys I know who are 10-20 years older than myself, it seems that a male has between 60-70 to really physically enjoy himself for the last time and then after 70 it's "decay management", although the mass media is always showing us the outliers: old codgers doing marathons in Parade magazine, etc.

To me this means retiring ASAP but DW has OMY (or TMY) Syndrome to max her pension. So sure, we (males) can travel, but the adventurous physical type of traveling? Zip lines at 68? Not so much. Joints hurt, gave up archery due to shoulder pain, I could continue listing. When I pictured retirement I did not figure on a restriction of physical pursuits, thought I was invincible, but I suppose if you led an active, outdoor life, did a lot of sports, then it will catch up to us in our late 50's early 60's? Among my age group peers we socialize with the men tend to be down to golf, gardening and fishing and now I see why.

I ask new guys I meet if they want to go kayaking, we'll rent one for them and they look at me like I'm a talking dog. But now I need every ounce of strength to lift my kayak over my head to put on the roof rack. I know there are devices to help put the kayak on but my point is I have seen since my late 50's a decline in my muscle mass (and expanding pant size). I realize I could become a gym rat and have joined and quit health clubs, noting that unlike my youth there is no bulking up and gaining strength anymore, just the slow glide downhill.

Made the mistake of going to my 40th high school reunion and wow, all the men look so old, I thought geeze, how many good years do I have left? Women have ways to mask it. They don't tend towards physical hobbies as much I suppose, so I'm getting the blues here as to what's left to do of my previous pursuits once we have 100% of our time available? I guess I was fixated on the retirement aspects of finances, new geographical location, real estate details, etc. it didn't occur to me the physical aspect. My profession and avocations have always kept me physically outdoors and active. We are looking at Bend, OR and it touts skiing, white water river rafting, mountain hiking, etc. and I'm thinking: Uh Oh, I'm twenty years too late? Whenever I want to do something I consider fun I have to ask neighbors twenty years younger than me if they want to join.

So guys over 55 (this is a Male thread), what did you discover? Settling for cruising, gardening, golf and fishing? Keeping your heart rate low? Guess I'll put the scuba gear on Craigs List...
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Old 05-25-2016, 08:39 AM   #2
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I don't know. I am 57....my wife 55....and I think we will be at our peak from now until age 70 during these retirement years. Obviously makes sense cuz we are younger. Which is why we are going to do most of our desired "traveling" from now until age 70. I feel that after age 70.....we all slow down....some more than others.

Already....I absolutely hate traveling thru airports. Arrive early...long lines at check in, long lines thru security, planes filled to the max, just awful....and it is only getting worse. I can't imagine going thru an airport when I am in my 80's.
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Old 05-25-2016, 08:46 AM   #3
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Well only 52 but following and listening. My DW is also 52 and we both agree that keeping active is #1 goal. I plan to FIRE next spring and keep the two most important things in our life on the front burner, our financial health and our physical health. Both my grandfathers lived to 90, but that doesn't mean they went out and enjoyed an active life until 90. Planning on seeing and doing a lot, many hikes, travels, mountain biking and other things on our list, some we do now and others we wish to do more of.

I'll be listening closely to others....
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Old 05-25-2016, 08:49 AM   #4
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Your not alone and it'll be interesting to read the feedback. The years have taken a toll. I still enjoy an occasional day on the ski slopes but I know my strength and reactions have declined a bit so I don't ski among the trees anymore, stick to the established trail, which leads to less of a thrill so not as much fun as it once was. Same with running, I know I will severely pay a price if I push to my limit as I once did, do not recover anymore. I've returned to backpacking and enjoy the outings, but limit myself to trips with no more than 10 miles per day for 3 days max. And do not wish to rupture the Achilles tendon that took two years to allow me to return to full activity. A noticeable decline since 60.
Back to the wheelbarrow and spreading mulch for the day!
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Old 05-25-2016, 09:05 AM   #5
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Who would have thunk this would have happened?? Oh, Ringo did with "When I'm 64"

Yes Mr. Loco, do it NOW. I think sports ruined my knees and surgery won't help cause the pain is 50% arthritis, so certain things on my bucket list like Machu Pichu, forget it. In fact, all my hiking now needs to be flat land and I guess I'll put my bicycle on CL with the scuba and ski gear. The shoulders started to hurt next in the early 60's and I was doing archery tournaments. Fortunately my back is OK and most ALL guys I know have back issues.I used to own half a horse at the local stables and I am now afraid to go back to riding even though I have the time and money. I suppose, and some may chime in, that it's the FEAR of getting hurt now. There's definitely a cognitive decline too, further than where are my car keys. Scuba diving can kill you if you don't keep track of about six things simultaneously.

So....I am working on my obituary, doing a lot of volunteer work since I am semi-retired, I work one or two days a week tops, waiting for the wife to throw in the towel. I got certified as a dog walker at the shelter. They looked at me and assigned me the big dogs. Mistake. At 64 I can't control them like I used to, especially since they are cooped up 23 hours of the day. It was a lightbulb over my head WTF moment. A "when did this happen?" thought bubble. I am no longer strong enough, and have balance, to control a big dog.

Also, I volunteer every second Sunday at a nursing home to play Scrabble and I noticed the obvious: 90% females but...the few guys were less mobile and with it than the women. Plus you can't count on "good genes" because you only got half of them from your father.

Did you all see the movie Benjamin Buttons? He got very old and then reversed his aging. THAT'S WHAT I WANT! I'd like to know what guys like me, in or near retirement, who had a physical, outdoors oriented hobby world, are feeling/doing once they hit 60 or so. Gave up what was fun?

I forgot to mention I'm what my special ed teacher wife calls: The Active Type. Go Go Go. In fact, sitting looking at a screen is anathema to me so got to run now...
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Old 05-25-2016, 09:06 AM   #6
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65 here, still mountain biking 10-15 miles 3x a week, do all the yard work and maintenance but do try to avoid ladders. At beach now, 5-6 mile walks w DW a day and biking; the long walks on sand wake up my leg consciousness a bit. Broke collarbone 3 years ago and have some lingering issues with that but can still kayak. DW and I both hit gym (or in my case bike trail) almost 5 days a week to keep the wolf at the door. Neither have any of the joint issues or back problems many have at this point. And I'll give DW credit - looks great for 65!

There have been a lot of weight control threads here. Both have decided to ignore that; she's slim and I'm borderline overweight despite burning tons of calories. I like to eat (and drink beer) and if I'm only borderline ow but can still get heart rate to average 165 for over an hour figure I'm OK; Dr agrees. We cut way way back on red meat and it dropped cholesterol significantly.

So all that said, who knows when things will start to lock up? Family history looks pretty good except for killing DF, DM, and brother in 60's and 70's with cigarettes. I figure my trajectory is to generally slow down through late 60's and to expect SOMETHING to happen in 70's that makes current aggressive exercise a thing of the past. Frankly if I overdo it and have a massive heart attack on a trail somewhere (umm, quite a bit in the future if you don't mind!) and it all ends there I'd be cool with that. Many of us are all brave and blustery about not wanting to accept aggressive care when bad chronic disease hits but I really don't want to go through what I've seen with all my and my wife's family.

What's really sad is I have several friends who's spouses are suffering significant chronic issues in late 50's and 60's that restrict travel and portend difficult long term care problems.
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Old 05-25-2016, 09:07 AM   #7
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I have been thinking the same thing. I have always been in excellent physical condition even doing Yoga every day and going to the gym a few times a week. When I turned 60 I hurt my rotor cuff and needed surgery. I also was diagnosed with arthritis in the knee that had meniscus surgery a decade ago. At 61 i felt my energy level dropping. I put so much effort keeping in shape and eating well I thought I could keep a very active life style until late in my 60's. I am realizing I only have a year to two left for really physical vacations such as steep hiking or scuba diving. I cannot imagine what people are feeling that do not exercise or eat well.
So at best I have until 65 but probably only a few more years so I plan to do what I can these last few years and then do a lot more cruises or doing things like going to New York for plays.
Obviously this had disappointed me.
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Old 05-25-2016, 09:07 AM   #8
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I've posted this before: I sat next to an older guy in a tavern one time and he asked me how old I was. I said "60". He said: "Do you realize that even if you live to be 90, you only have 15 or 18 good summers left? After that, things start to go south!".

This not only shocked me but has changed my perspective on a lot of things. I now realize (at 65) that in short 15 years I'll be 80 (God willing). It terrifies me.

Having said that, the last 3 years were not good for me health-wise but as of the past 3 months, I've been feeling 10 years younger...seem to have gotten that bad patch behind me!
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Old 05-25-2016, 09:09 AM   #9
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I plan to FIRE next spring and keep the two most important things in our life on the front burner, our financial health and our physical health.
well you are in the right place to keep fit if you like the outdoors - Idaho has so many things going for it. We love it here.
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Old 05-25-2016, 09:09 AM   #10
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I am 56, but plan on a lot more years. The ageing process can be delayed.

I am completing a book, "Younger Next Year", that goes into the physical process of aging and how exercise can delay it.

If you do not get enough exercise, you are doomed. The body was not designed for the 20th+ century. It was designed for prehistoric man and the inputs from that style of living. When you do not get exercise (i.e. hunting, gathering, etc.), it is a signal to your that you are ready to die.



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Old 05-25-2016, 09:11 AM   #11
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Age 72, still pretty active and in good health.

I have always been active in sports (baseball, softball, golf, long distance running, etc).

Around 65, I had severe hip pain..ended up with a new hip joint. Still did not slow me down.

I have given up running, the golf game went in the toilet, and still am pretty active, although I just try to put myself in situations where I won't break bones. I walk a lot.

Physical strength is noticeably less than 10 years ago, but has not stopped me from doing most anything I want to do at this point.

DW appears to be going downhill faster than me, but she has COPD and is on a bunch of meds and has lost a lot of endurance.

I feel I have a good 10 years plus to be real active if I take care of myself and exercise.
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Old 05-25-2016, 09:11 AM   #12
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So guys over 55 (this is a Male thread), what did you discover? Settling for cruising, gardening, golf and fishing? Keeping your heart rate low? Guess I'll put the scuba gear on Craigs List...
I'm also only 52 but I'll chime in anyway.

Golf when the course is open, ski when the hill is open and a ton of gardening.

I plan on playing golf another 25 years. that's the beauty of the game, you can play until you're 6ft under
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Old 05-25-2016, 09:14 AM   #13
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Hey Blueskis123, got a quick question:

My ortho surgeon said he would NOT do meniscus surgery on my knees because half my problem was arthritis so I would still be in pain. Why did your doc allow you the surgery?

Also, I had mentioned I don't have back problems. Well...I'm an old hippy and have been doing yoga since before the Beatles met the Maharishi (an ashram was next door) and the last three times I went and did triangle pose I threw my back out and couldn't move for days, so no more yoga. I'm very advanced and my ego won't let me go to the Old People's Class!
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Old 05-25-2016, 09:18 AM   #14
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Timely post, Cheesehead. I am 55 planning to FIRE in 2 months thinking many of the same things as you. I think you can find people your age that are doing those things, but the numbers seem to dwindle as we age. I am part of a bicycling club where several of us (older folks) go kayaking as well as (all ages) mountain biking.
I think I am fortunate enough to have good genes, as last summer my dad (at age 79) rode a century (100 mi) with me. Early last winter he arrived in FLA very overweight and out of shape, but he was determined to keep riding and within a month or so, he was cranking out the miles with the younger riders.
DW and I have enjoyed backpacking(8-16 miles a day, 3-5 day bursts), but the last time out she had some knee-popping issues (with a knee brace) and so backpacking may be out of the question in the future for us. Hope not, but anticipating it. Sticking to cycling for now.
Plans are to keep active through 70 and (God-willing) as active as possible through 80, barring any curve balls.
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Old 05-25-2016, 09:24 AM   #15
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Hey Blueskis123, got a quick question:

My ortho surgeon said he would NOT do meniscus surgery on my knees because half my problem was arthritis so I would still be in pain. Why did your doc allow you the surgery?

s!
My knee surgery was about 10-12 years ago so the arthritis had not set in. My might want to get a second opinion. I would think not repairing the knee would make the arthritis worse assuming you are not way over wight.
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Old 05-25-2016, 09:25 AM   #16
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56 now. Planning/hoping to be diving (warm water reefs) until mid-60s; most of early retirement will be targeted to that, Machu Pichu, Colorado River, and the like. From what we've seen of others over the years, that appears reasonable.

After that, who knows? That is a big reason why we've always wanted out in our mid-50s. (which we'll just barely be achieving).

In OK shape now, but reminded recently that a full afternoon of chainsawing, splitting, and hoisting the resulting logs onto truck makes me tired more than in past. Once we are retired, I plan to spend some months devoted to getting in better than OK shape before hitting travels too hard.

Dad died at 69 from lung cancer and never retired--kept working in labor intensive blue collar field until 6-9 months before death. F-I-Law went real strong to 80 or so, and even at 88 is avid tennis player and doing yard work. Obviously, I hope to go that route!
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Old 05-25-2016, 09:26 AM   #17
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All you guys in your 50's saying you plan to keep going on the fast lane for another 20 years do not realize your joints wear out. In your 60's if you need a new hip, or knee, or back surgery will find out you heal much much slower and you do not fully come back.
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Old 05-25-2016, 09:28 AM   #18
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I'll be 74 in 4 months and 2 days, (if I make it)......right now I'm going through a bout of sciatica which is almost totally incapacitating, but I had a similar attack 31 years ago, (the year after I ran my only marathon and before my knees quit..osteoarthritis), and got over it, so I'm (somewhat) optimistic about overcoming this one.

Early 60's, (because I couldn't run any more), I was cycling 50 miles a day, every day.

Not too long ago, (and hopefully again soon), I was stair climbing......we have a flight of wooden stairs nearby...59 steps....most I've done in one session was 115 repeats, (the equivalent of over three times up to the CN Tower pod in Toronto).....about this time last year DW and I encountered three young women, (in their 30's, who ran together), engaged in 30 repeats....lighthearted competition set in, and I overheard the 'leader' of the group exclaim to one of the others that she couldn't believe she was pushing to keep up with an (almost) 73 year old man.

This current sciatica attack started last month, just prior to arriving in Spain...I'm scheduled to see a therapist/chiropractor tomorrow, and if I can get back to what now passes for 'normal' I'll hit the stairs again.

But.....I recently bought a cane, (they were on sale); it's in the closet, where I hope it'll stay permanently....but the writing is on the wall.

Although....on our transatlantic to Spain last month we spent time with an 80 year old New Zealander who still enters triathlons....every port we stopped at he went into the sea and swam 700 metres......but he's far from average.

Bottom line....when I hit 60 I thought "If this is as bad as it gets then no probs"......but the bridge between 60 and 70 (for most of us, I suspect), is far wider than the bridge between 50 and 60, and the one between 70 and 80 is huge.

We'll be in Spain again in November and have rented a 4th floor apartment (no elevator).....but the appalling spectre of Bus Tour vacations is unfortunately closer than it's ever been.
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Old 05-25-2016, 09:29 AM   #19
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All you guys in your 50's saying you plan to keep going on the fast lane for another 20 years do not realize your joints wear out. In your 60's if you need a new hip, or knee, or back surgery will find out you heal much much slower and you do not fully come back.
Understood. That's why I lift weights with a personal trainer 3 times a week. She's really good at making sure that hurts don't turn into injuries.
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Old 05-25-2016, 09:30 AM   #20
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Yes to Blueskies123 post. I was perfect until about 59, then the joint pains started. BTW, glucosamine is a scam for joint pain. So looking back, I think if you are near retirement in your EARLY FIFTIES, do it now! That 60 mark for guys is the tipping point from what I've seen.

Nice outside. Will check back tonight.
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