Having your identity stolen and used in nefarious ways is a daily news topic. Even infants who are signed up for a social security number may be at risk. Elders are warned about protecting their personal information from scammers who call and offer opportunities that sound legitimate. The rule is never to give your personal information to anyone on the phone. These creative scammers have a new variation every day. According to the Identity Theft Expert website, “Each year, approximately 15 million Americans are identity theft victims with financial losses to the country totaling close to $50 billion.” It is frightening to think someone is looking to capture your identity right now! They intend to cheat you out of your private information and your money, but what happens when something more significant than your money is at risk?
There is another ‘stolen identity’ that everyone who lives into their 70’s, 80’s and 90’s will face, and that is the identity loss due to aging. This dilemma can happen at any age, but when older adults find themselves without a plan and purpose for the future, it becomes not only a psychological problem but also a significant health threat. Men and women who have had demanding careers retire to what? My husband talks about his work as a platform, but what will his platform be when the work is gone? Women who have invested their entire lives in childrearing and then extend their energy to help with grandchildren may suffer from an empty nest that leaves them without purpose. The psychic quandary is, Who will I be when I am no longer who I was? Who am I without my work, family, youth, status, possessions, and my physical strength? Age has a way of stripping away many of the externals we have relied on and requires a new paradigm. Preparation for these years is the key to a healthy transition; spending the time to understand your inner gifts and talents prepares you to age successfully. With thoughtful introspection, there is always time to build a persona that serves not only you but the world. The unvarnished identity will be the authentic you and cannot be stolen. Remember you are just now old enough to prepare the new you for a fabulous future! Join the conversation on Facebook at Just Now Old Enough.
Editor’s note: Connie Mason is a lifestyle consultant at www.JustNowOldEnough.com.