We think, talk and plan for all other important life stages – school, marriage, career – so why not our later life, asks Alexandra Davis?


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Earlier this year, Pilgrims’ Friend Society conducted a study which found that more than half of UK adults between 40 and 60 think that later life is a time to be afraid of. But this doesn’t have to be the case.

If you’re scared about getting older, perhaps it is because you haven’t properly understood what the Bible says about it, or how you can plan for it.

What if we looked at these markers as positives; as moments that spur us on to fulfilling our goals

In Christ, that so-called “mid-life crisis” can be flipped on its head. Stability, blessing and peace in later life all align with biblical teaching. Psalm 91:16 says: “With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation.”

As we approach later life, we should feel confident regarding the future. But, we can also take practical steps to better prepare – which is where a mid-life MOT comes in. If you’re considering whether you really need one, here are three reasons why it’s valuable to review your relationship with ageing.

1. Prepare practically, spiritually and emotionally

Our research asked about financial, physical, emotional, mental and spiritual preparation. Many people had taken financial, dietary and lifestyle steps to prepare for their later years, but only two per cent had talked with a counsellor or mentor about getting older. Practical preparations are being well taken care of, but the majority of us aren’t thinking about our emotional, mental and spiritual health as we age. Understanding how you truly feel about mid-life and processing the emotions you have regarding old age is great preparation.

2. Don’t ignore the signs of ageing

Given that so many of us are afraid of getting older, it’s no surprise that lots of us ignore the signs of mid-life – from using your phone torch to see the menu in a restaurant to unwittingly groaning when you get up off the sofa. These changes can happen at any age and don’t usually follow a pattern, but ignoring them doesn’t help! It is worth setting aside time to properly review where you’re currently at, and how you would like to age.

If you’re scared about old age, perhaps it is because you haven’t properly understood what the Bible says about it

Get ahead of the ageing game by being aware of how you’re getting older. Imagine if, instead of dreading the next ageing milestone, we were prepared for it. What if we looked at these markers as positives; as moments that spur us on to fulfilling our goals or adjusting to a new way of life?

3. Bring God into the centre of your plans

God wants us to live fulfilled lives, whatever our age, and the Bible says: “They shall bear fruit in old age” (Psalm 92:14). We may feel unsettled or apprehensive about what later life can bring but, as Christians, we can rejoice in knowing that ageing is a gift. Taking practical steps to change your outlook on later life, and finding joy and contentment in it, means we’re walking in the promises that God has for us and honouring the years he has given us.

Our study found that 92 per cent of people thought financial preparation was important in preparing for later life; 85 per cent thought physical preparation was important and 78 per cent agreed emotional, mental and spiritual preparation was important. But despite this, just under a quarter had not done anything to start these preparations.

Don’t avoid doing something you think is important – it’s never too early to start preparing for later life!

Pilgrims’ Friend Society has put together a mid-life MOT asking the essential questions that will shape what a great later life looks like for you. To do our mid-life MOT and access more resources on getting real about getting older. visit: pilgrimsfriend.org.uk/getreal