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Puntos de vista - a personal Spain blog

Musings about Spain and Spanish life by Paul Whitelock, hispanophile of 40 years and now resident of Ronda in Andalucía .

Getting Old is Great!
Sunday, December 11, 2022 @ 9:07 AM

We’ve all heard expressions such as “Life begins at 60”. Does it really? Well. The body starts to pack up and the cash goes less and less far, but it’s not all bad, writes Pablo de Ronda.


I’ve read that the human body starts to deteriorate from the age of 18. Not that noticeable at that age, but as we reach 30, then 40, 50, 60 and 70, small changes, then larger ones, become more and more noticeable.


Health Issues

For some of us, cancer, diabetes, dementia, MND and long-Covid and other conditions may rear their ugly heads. Our eyesight may fail, we might suffer hearing loss and/or have dental problems. We become less mobile, our sex lives slow down or stop altogether and we can no longer play football with our grandchildren.

In my case, at the age of 35 my back gave out, which effectively ended my active sporting life, which was centred around hockey, squash and tennis. After extensive treatment from an orthopaedic surgeon, and various osteopaths, I was put back together. I managed a couple of staff v pupils hockey matches (I was a teacher), but a solitary game of squash, aged 39, ruptured my right Achilles tendon, condemning me to a plaster cast and three months in a wheelchair.

Lesson learned, my squash and tennis rackets and my hockey stick all went off to the charity shop and I reluctantly settled into a more sedentary lifestyle.


Major Life Changes

The years went by, I had a nervous breakdown, got divorced, was made redundant and retired. Then I met new lady and emigrated to Spain, we got married and moved house to a large villa with a massive garden. I was now 61. Working long hours on my beloved garden put my back out again, big-style. There followed several years of treatment from an osteopath and then an acupuncturist, but I was feeling my age physically and had to slow down.

10 years later I got Covid-19, followed by long-Covid, which has really aged me physically. Nevertheless, this experience kick-started a much more positive outlook on life. I completed a house renovation, which really tired me out. But it was fun.

I am now 72 and have mobility and balance issues and breathing difficulties. Yet I am in a very positive frame of mind and can now enjoy the many benefits of being a senior citizen.


Old age benefits

In the metro, younger folk give up their seats for me. I always accept gratefully.

The bank pledges to prioritise the elderly when queueing, although I have yet to try that out. I suspect younger folk might not like this form of legitimate “queue-jumping”.

There are tax breaks for the elderly. Hacienda gives us a higher tax-free allowance, currently 14,000 euros, I believe.

You are first in the queue for Covid and flu injections.


Tarjetasesentaycinco (Andalucía)

If you have a tarjetasesentaycinco you enjoy a number of benefits, including:

  • half-price inter-urban bus travel;
  • deals on spectacles and hearing aids;
  • free legal consultation;
  • 24-hour help-line;
  • home improvement grants;
  • discounts on lunches at Day Centres;
  • reductions on entrance to monuments and other attractions, the theatre and the cinema, sporting and entertainment events.

To find out how to obtain a tarjetasesentaycinco, which is free, click here.


Free meal

And, as we approach the festive season, our local village council has invited all

“jubilados empadronados” (retired people registered on the electoral roll) to an “almuerzo navideño”, free of charge!


Getting old is great, isn’t’ it?


© Pablo de Ronda


Tags: almuerzo navideño, Andalucia, balance, cancer, day centre, dementia, dental, diabetes, discount, empadronado, entrance, free, getting old, hearing aid, flu, Hacienda, hearing loss, help-line, hockey, inter-urban bus travel, jubilado, long-Covid, mobility, MND, Pablo de Ronda, physical, sex lives, spectacles, sport, squash, tarjetasesentaycinco, tennis

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