Outline of seniors' stages of life

Seniors’ Stages of Life

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From the age of 50, life is made up of stages which change our daily lives. These changes mainly regard family, work, economy and health; and are experienced differently depending on gender.

Seniors' Stages of Life

Family Changes

The first impact for people aged 50+ is children leaving home. This happens between 50 and 60 years old and it is quickly followed by the arrival of grandchildren a few years later. Seniors become carers for their own parents almost at the same period.

The next major family changes happen around 75 years old with the arrival of great-grandchildren. Widowhood happens around 80 years old. It is often the husband who passes away first since men have a shorter life expectancy and are often older than their wives. Find more information about widowhood in our article: After 65 years old, women are almost twice as likely as men to be single.

Financial situation and retirement

Around 55 years old, the family home mortgage is entirely repaid for most households and since children have left the nest, the couple’s financial situation becomes more comfortable.

Retirement happens between 60 and 65 years old, which means a fresh start. Today’s retirement has got nothing to do with what it was for the Silent Generation. Baby-Boomers have a more active retirement that comes later and lasts longer because of the increase in life expectancy, the improvement of ageing well and comfortable pensions. They enjoy new technology like young people, travel and sometimes get divorced.

Health and Independence

The first signs of old age appear around 40 with presbyopia, but this does not handicap everyday life. However, as for health problems, they first appear after 60 years old with chronic diseases. The loss of independence happens gradually, starting at the age of 70, as well as the gradual loss of the capability to drive. Around 85 years old, when it becomes hard for children to care for their parents, seniors gradually move into retirement homes.

These stages of life are evolving. Retirements, the loss of independence and the moving into retirement homes should happen later and later since the general life expectancy and expected healthy life years are steadily increasing.

Sources (French language) :
– Seniosphère Conseil
– Insee : http://www.insee.fr/fr/themes/document.asp?ref_id=ip1434#inter3

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