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Should we invest more in creating new memories

Posted on 21 September 2018

Memories guide our thoughts, actions and decisions; they shape who we are. But as we become busier and more digitally distracted, are we investing enough time in creating new memories?

different size photo frames on a wall

What are memories?

Memories are the stories we tell ourselves about the past. A specific smell brings back a loved one. A song plays on the radio and we’re transported to a special moment on holiday.

The most important part of any memory is the emotion it carries. Those that come with more powerful feelings like fear, anger, happiness or nostalgia are usually the ones that last the longest. Remembering an event, a situation or a person can cause sudden excitement or intense grief.

It is precisely because of these emotions that we learn from our experiences, so we can avoid past mistakes and make decisions that are better for our future happiness. In this way, our memories affect so much – from what we say and do, to how we feel.

But in a digital-obsessed society, where we plug in and tune out, are we failing to invest enough time in creating new memories that last?

Do we need to invest more in creating new memories?

Research by SunLife reveals that 21% of over 55s don’t want to move house because their existing home contains too many memories*. This proves just how important our memories are to us. However, staying put won’t guarantee new memory-making moments. We have to invest in them.

Many feel it’s becoming increasingly hard to pay attention to the present. As novelist Abha Dawesar puts it: “Every digital landmark is an invitation to leave what you’re doing now and go somewhere else and do something else.” Our focus is nowhere and everywhere.

As a result, we risk becoming ever more remote from real-life experiences, like enjoying outdoor activities or simply sitting down for dinner at the same time. Spending quality time together in this way is crucial in cultivating a child’s sense of belonging, which is something they crave.

How should we go about creating new memories?

husband and wife looking out to sea

Take on challenges

We remember what we’ve had to overcome. The struggle may be intense, but we are rewarded with a higher high in the end. Go outside your comfort zone and do something you wouldn’t normally do, whether that’s embracing life after 50, speaking to a stranger on the train or training for a local running race.

Do things with people

Spending quality time with the people we love fosters memories we cherish together. Whether it’s having your family over for a delightful meal, a day out with the grandchildren, or inviting your friends to join a book club, pay attention to your favourite people and create memorable moments for them to enjoy.

Seek new opportunities

Plan adventures and be curious. There’s something inspiring about visiting a new place. We notice novelty and we drink it up in a way we don’t when we’re at home - from local delicacies to unique customs and intriguing design. Taking up a hobby or learning something new is also a great way to meet people, have fun and feel a sense of fulfilment.

Be conscious

Encouraging one another to be in the present makes it easier to commit a happy moment to a memory. You won’t know the value of a moment until after it has passed, but focusing consciously on the memory you’re in the process of making will help it stick in the mind.

Taking photos is an important way to preserve your memories, too. Seeing them again and again will help them stay fresh, so you can relive the feelings and experiences with those closest to you for years to come.

Many people who are looking to create new memories in their home but don’t have the spare cash to invest in their dreams consider Equity Release to release some of the money that’s tied up in their home. If you’re interested in learning more about Equity Release, you can read What is Equity Release.

*SunLife A comfortable retirement – on the house February 2018

Find out more about The SunLife Over 55 Equity Release Service

For more information and to check your eligibility, call on 0800 633 5566 or request a call back.

Here's the information that you need to know about who we are and the other companies that we work with in order to provide our products and services.

Who are SunLife?

Phoenix Life Limited trades as SunLife and is the provider of the Guaranteed Over 50 Plan, SunLife Insurance and the life insurance policy payment option for Funeral Plans. Phoenix Life Limited’s registered office is at 1 Wythall Green Way, Wythall, Birmingham, B47 6WG (registered in England, no. 1016269). Dignity Funerals is not authorised or regulated for this activity by either the Financial Conduct Authority or the Prudential Regulation Authority. Dignity Funerals Ltd is a member of the National Association of Funeral Directors.

SunLife Limited distributes financial products and services and is a company limited by shares, registered office: 1 Wythall Green Way, Wythall, Birmingham, B47 6WG (registered in England, no. 05460862). SunLife Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and is entered on the Financial Services Register (registration no. 769427).

You can contact us by post at SunLife, PO Box 1395, Peterborough, PE2 2TR or by phone on 0800 008 6060.

If you choose to add Funeral Benefit Option to your Guaranteed Over 50 Plan the funeral services are arranged and provided by Dignity Funerals Limited. Dignity Funerals Limited is a company registered in England and Wales No. 00041598. VAT registered No. 486 6081 14. 4 King Edwards Court, King Edwards Square, Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, B73 6AP. Telephone No. 0121 354 1557. Fax No. 0121 355 808. Part of Dignity plc. A British Company. Dignity is not authorised or regulated for this activity by the Financial Conduct Authority or the Prudential Regulation Authority but is a member of the National Association of Funeral Directors.

Who provides the Funeral Plans?

Dignity Funerals Ltd arranges and provides the funeral services. Dignity Funerals is not authorised or regulated for this activity by either the Financial Conduct Authority or the Prudential Regulation Authority. Dignity Funerals Ltd is a member of the National Association of Funeral Directors.

The life insurance policy that pays for your funeral will be provided by Phoenix Life Limited, trading as SunLife.

Who provides My Smarter (ISA)?

My Smarter (ISA) is provided by Scottish Friendly Asset Managers Limited. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Details can be found on the Financial Services register, registration No. 188832. Member of The Investment Association. Registered Office: Scottish Friendly House, 16 Blythswood Square, Glasgow G2 4HJ.

Who provides the Will writing services?

Hugh James is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA Number:303202).

The information contained on this website is based on Hugh James' understanding of the law of intestacy in England and Wales only as at April 2014. The law in Scotland and Northern Ireland is significantly different. This is for information purposes and is not intended to be legal advice.

Who provides Family Life Insurance?

SunLife Family Life Insurance is provided by Scottish Friendly Assurance Society Limited which is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Details can be found on the Financial Services register (registration number 110002). Registered Office: Scottish Friendly House, 16 Blythswood Square, Glasgow G2 4HJ. 

Who provides SunLife Pet Insurance

SunLife Pet Insurance is arranged and administered by BDML Connect Limited. BDML Connect Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (No. 309140). Registered in England and Wales Number 02785540. Registered Office: 45 Westerham Road, Bessels Green, Sevenoaks, Kent, TN13 2QB.

Who provides SunLife Home Insurance

SunLife Home Insurance is arranged and administered by BISL Limited and underwritten by a panel of insurers. BISL Limited are an intermediary authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered in England no. 03231094. Registered office Pegasus House, Bakewell Road, Orton Southgate, Peterborough PE2 6YS.

Who provides SunLife Car Insurance

SunLife Car Insurance is arranged and administered by BISL Limited and underwritten by a panel of insurers. BISL Limited are an intermediary authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered in England no. 03231094. Registered office Pegasus House, Bakewell Road, Orton Southgate, Peterborough PE2 6YS.