Your life goal for later life

Cat sitting on a drawing of three question marks
“In my 70s I hope to be …” Dining on fresh salmon? Ruling the world? Dame Ursula?

I have one question about your goal for later life, two versions depending on your age.

If you’re younger than 60, what do you hope to be doing in your 70s?

In my 70s I hope to be ………………….

OR if you are already in your 70s or older:

In 10 years time, I hope to be ……………….

Why I want to know about your life goals for later life

My granddaughter and I are making a board game, and we need data — beyond our own experience. So I’m asking you for just a few words, even three words, even one word! You will receive my heartfelt thanks, and the satisfaction of enriching the experience of people who (eventually) play the game.

When we are younger, we are sometimes asked what our goal is in life, our main ambition, our strongest desire. We are urged (and sometimes almost bullied) into setting grand ambitions for life. But it’s generally assumed (I think) that after 70 we couldn’t possibly have any goals or desires.

Fair enough: our goals do change as we age. But we don’t turn into flabby passive nobodies just because we hit a certain age. What do you want in life after 70 or 80 or 90? Honestly? Specifically? Personally? Because we’re all different from the start! Indeed, we’re possibly even more individual in old age than in youth. And we all have our own values and priorities and … goals.

Cat with one paw on a drawing of three question marks.
“In ten years time I hope to be … ” Keeping my human in line?”
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32 thoughts on “Your life goal for later life

  1. judithhb says:

    In10 years time at 94 I hope to be doing well as I am now with all my faculties in working order. And as a bonus, I would like to see my novel published.

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:


  2. In the next ten years I hope to get enough eyesight back to read music on the piano rack. I’d like to still welcome house guests and cook for them. Walking two miles a day, as we do now, would be great to continue. I’ll be 80 at the end of the year. Good luck on the board game.

  3. In my 70s I hope to be a critically acclaimed novelist.

  4. cedar51 says:

    Doing whatever takes my fancy and enjoying it… More than likely living at Abbeyfield (Sandringham)

  5. iglengel says:

    In ten years’ time I hope to continue having good health, be able to line dance as we still do today, and continue writing my little quips both here and on Facebook. Hopefully they are reachable goals for someone who will be turning 91 at that time.

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      Yes and amen to that

      1. iglengel says:


  6. In ten years time I hope to be physically fit enough to continue to enjoy walking and gardening, and mentally fit enough to continue to marvel at the world and write about it.

  7. Beth says:

    Still enjoying sex

  8. LA says:

    In my 70s I hope to do the things I enjoy now, and perhaps find a new passion or three

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      It’s so difficult to imagine being 10 years older, isn’t it?

      1. LA says:

        Yes…and no…

  9. …healthy, active, and engaged in pursuits that engage and excite me.

  10. In ten years time, I hope that I will enjoy continued good health, satisfying connections with others, and engaging pursuits.

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      I’m seeing a theme here!

  11. Elizabeth says:

    In the ten years between 75 and 85 I hope to continue to deepen my knowledge of the academic fields I was too young to understand the first time around. I have been diving into history, and a friend and I are getting ready for an exposure to epistemology (if I ever can pronounce the word!)

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:


  12. In 10 years time I want to be healthy, happy and retired!

  13. Damyanti Biswas says:

    This is so inspiring Rachel. Thank You!

  14. Mr. Wapojif says:

    In 10 years time I’ll be heading for 50 and I intend to be as ridiculous and silly as I am at this point in time. Life goals! I also intend to increase my tea consumption.

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      You propose the very model and pattern for happy middle age

  15. Ally Bean says:

    In ten years I’d like to be gardening, writing, walking, traveling, and laughing. I’d like to make some new friends of any age. I would not like to be confined to a sedentary lifestyle, nor would I like to stop thinking new thoughts so I’ll keep moving and reading.

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      Yay for thus detailed reply. I rejoice over all those active and specific verbs 🙂 Let us be greedy for life.

  16. dorannrule says:

    In 10 years I would like to be pain free and actively involved in something I love to do with people I love to do things with.

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      That sounds beautiful. And I bet you are doing everything possible to help that happen

  17. Kathy. Pocket Perspectives says:

    I hope to be continuing to… “dance brightly”… and to be “living brightly”… and also wishing for steady senses of “peace of mind.”

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      And I hope this for you too.

  18. Thought about this and came up with: Continuing what I’m doing now with minimum depletion. Quality over quantity. Enrichment is another important factor. So if I manage to continue to experience quality and enrichment in the simple things and with family, friends and loved ones alongside, I’ll be a happy camper.

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      This is a thoughtful vision and it matches what I have learned from eleven 90+ year olds this year. It’s good to see it so clearly: the odds shoot up as a result!

  19. Defyd wiilliams says:

    With aroha, gifting the Histories of Aotearoa New Zealand to my mokopuna.

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      That makes perfect sense to me. How marvellous when your legacy work is so clear and real.