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How many of us at age 61 think we’re too old and it’s too late to do anything great? If you do, try taking a cue from Tanya Tucker.
Boomers will remember her as a child country music prodigy who, at the age of 13, became a star. Her hit song “Delta Dawn” garnered her a Grammy nomination in 1972. Her romances with Andy Gibb, Merle Haggard, Don Johnson, and Glen Campbell made her a favorite tabloid target and her personal life had its share of very public ups and downs.
For years she shunned the spotlight but maintained a fiercely loyal fan base for whom she performed for more than 50 years. Shooter Jennings, the son of country superstar Waylon Jennings, recruited singer-songwriter Brandi Carlile to write new material for Tucker in 2018. The album, “While I’m Livin’”, released last year was her first recording of new material in 19 years.
At this year’s Grammy Awards ceremony, 61-year-old Tucker won for best country song (“Bring My Flowers Now”) and best country album (While I’m Livin’). “No matter how old you are, never stop following your dreams,” she said after winning.
Far too often in retirement, we shortchange ourselves by thinking our best days are behind us and there are no more mountains for us to climb. Nothing could be further from the truth. Do you want to look back over your life and think “There was so much more that I could have done!”?
Pushing yourself to achieve new goals may seem incongruous with the idea of retirement. But according to a 2018 report by the Social Science Research Network, having too little daily leisure time is indeed linked to lower levels of life satisfaction. However, having more free time does not necessarily translate to greater life satisfaction, and can even reduce it. The report goes on to say the optimal amount of daily free time for people who are not working i.e. retired was four hours and 45 minutes. If you sleep for eight hours each night, that leaves 11 hours and 15 minutes of time to pursue new goals and dreams in retirement.