Retirement. The word evokes emotions from fear to giddiness, depending on how we view it and how prepared we are. Friends make life, and retirement more enjoyable. That’s why SunRiver St. George hosts so many events and concerts, and why residents stay active with others in the many clubs. Here are 5 TED talks to watch about growing older, and retirement that will give you a wider view of what it means, how to enjoy it longer, and how we can do it better.

If you’re not familiar with TED already, here is the introduction from their website;

“TED is a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (18 minutes or less). TED began in 1984 as a conference where Technology, Entertainment and Design converged, and today covers almost all topics — from science to business to global issues — in more than 100 languages.

“TED is a global community, welcoming people from every discipline and culture who seek a deeper understanding of the world. We believe passionately in the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives and, ultimately, the world. On TED.com, we’re building a clearinghouse of free knowledge from the world’s most inspired thinkers — and a community of curious souls to engage with ideas and each other, both online and at TED and TEDx events around the world, all year long.”

One challenging idea is that the longest and happiest of retirees have a sense of purpose; a reason to get up every morning. Having a variety of activities at your doorstep is a great way to always have something to get up for. With over 50 clubs SunRiver St. George, you can pursue activities that fit your interests.

One thing these talks have in common is they discuss living disability-free good years. Quality of life, enjoying life, and living life passionately.

Here are 5 TED talks that stand out along with their descriptions. Click on over to TED and watch any or all of the five talks below. They cover a range of topics about growing older with some interesting ideas about having a successful and enjoyable retirement. Some of the ideas you may already be familiar with, some you may agree with, and others, may be new to you, and some may challenge what you think retirement is about.

Jared Diamond: How societies can grow old better

There’s an irony behind the latest efforts to extend human life: It’s no picnic to be an old person in a youth-oriented society. Older people can become isolated, lacking meaningful work and low on funds. In this intriguing talk, Jared Diamond looks at how many different societies treat their elders — some better, some worse — and suggests we all take advantage of experience.

Laura Carstensen: Older people are happier

In the 20th century, we added an unprecedented number of years to our lifespans, but is the quality of life as good? Surprisingly, yes! Psychologist Laura Carstensen shows research that demonstrates that as people get older they become happier, more content, and have a more positive outlook on the world.

Isabel Allende: How to live passionately—no matter your age

Author Isabel Allende is 71. Yes, she has a few wrinkles—but she has incredible perspective too. In this candid talk, meant for viewers of all ages, she talks about her fears as she gets older and shares how she plans to keep on living passionately.

Rory Sutherland: Perspective is everything

“The circumstances of our lives may matter less than how we see them,” says Rory Sutherland. At TEDx Athens, he makes a compelling case for how reframing is the key to happiness.

A short warning, Rory is a bit irreverent and bold, but his ideas about perspective are timeless and worth watching. He puts age old wisdom in a modern package that will resonate with many of us approaching retirement.

Dan Buettner: How to live to be 100+

To find the path to long life and health, Dan Buettner and team study the world’s “Blue Zones,” communities whose elders live with vim and vigor to record-setting age. In his talk, he shares the 9 common diet and lifestyle habits that keep them spry past age 100. How they treat older people. The people in Okinawa respect and appreciate their centenarians. That appreciation adds to quality of life for all age groups. One of the poignant observations he makes is, isolation kills. People with friends live longer and live better. SunRiver St. George has this one licked. With all the clubs, events and activities, you can be as social as you want to be.

Dan says, “The two most dangerous days in your life are the day you’re born, and the day you retire.” He gives the encouragement, “If your three best friends live a healthy lifestyle, you have a much better chance of being healthy as well.” A 104 year old lady in his TED talk share her philosophy; “A stranger is a friend I haven’t met yet.”

Dan says, “We as Americans divide our life into two areas, work, and then one day, we are retired.” He shares how the longest lived people in Okinawa have a saying that describes their longevity, “The reason for which you wake up in the morning.” Those Okinawans who live to over 100 years old, have their reason on the tip of their tongues. They know immediately why they get up every morning.

In Dan’s TED talk, he reveals that Seventh Day Adventists live healthy lives longer than other Americans. Dan attributes some of their longevity to their diet, some to their weekly observance of Sabbath that includes rest from the stressors of daily life and regular nature walks, and some to prayer.

Dan Buettner’s talk was my favorite of the five. He gives a world-wide perspective on longest lived pockets of people. Click on over and decide for yourself.

Each of these TED talks has some insight to offer you as a retiree, or a soon-to-be retiree. They are short and easy to watch. Well worth the time.