In our busy hustle and bustle lifestyle of today there is a tendency toward thinking that life is short and in a sense it is. This doesn’t mean however, that you don’t need to prepare for how you want to live as an aging adult. Think about it. The average lifespan is between 78 and 80 years old. It’s very possible that we will have 15 years of time to fill in retirement and yet, so many of us put off decisions that should be made about how we want to spend our extra time on earth. Do you want to be active when you retire? Would you like to travel? Are there hobbies you want to pursue? What happens when you get to retirement without any physical, mental, or emotional preparation?
Your lifestyle in retirement is not purely dictated by how much money and time you have. As a matter of fact, many aging adults find themselves to be underwhelmed, even bored by retirement. The challenge becomes finding things to do. Actually, in some cases the challenge is being healthy enough to do anything but sit on the couch and watch TV.
Today, let’s discuss the planning and execution of a happy and healthy lifestyle in your retirement.
First of all, don’t be too concerned if you are getting close or are even in retirement. It’ll all be OK. Your plan may just look different than someone in his or her 40’s, 50’s or 60’s. Let’s break it down.
There are 3 essential aspects of retirement you should be thinking about and here they are:
- How do you want to spend your time in your retirement? (Be sure to discuss this with your spouse, he or she may have a very different idea.)
- How much money will you need in your retirement distribution yearly income to do the things you want to do?
- What type of physical condition do you need to be in?
Exercise – I recognize that if you don’t have a history of exercising, at a certain age it can seem like a lost cause. It’s never too late to start.
Why put in the time? Well, incorporating light workouts into your routine reduces your chances of becoming disabled by 25 percent. In fact, you can see dramatic improvement in your health at any age with the proper exercise. Exercise also helps relieve chronic pain from conditions like arthritis and pinched nerves. It helps prevent diseases such as obesity and diabetes, improves our metabolism, lowers blood pressure, and strengthens our immune system. In short, exercise is a miracle.
Here are a few tips to make it easier to incorporate exercise into your lifestyle.
- Identify an activity you enjoy like walking a pet, swimming, or gardening.
- Start slowly and then advance into a more strenuous activity. Build up to it.
- Exercise with a friend or a family member to keep each other motivated on those lazy days.
- Always consult your doctor before joining any exercise program.
Nutrition – This can be a blog all on it’s own…and maybe it will be. For now, let’s just talk about some basic concepts of nutrition.
First and foremost is the idea of a balanced diet. This isn’t the 70’s now, we’ve learned a few tings since then. In other words, eat less meat and starch and eat way more fruits and vegetables.
Second, sugar is bad. (Enough said)
Third, not all fats are the same. Replace animal and dairy fats with healthier options such as nuts, seeds, avocados and olive oil.
Fourth, lighten up on the bread and pasta and replace with brown rice and Quinoa.
Fifth, and maybe this should be first on our list, throw away the soda and drink lots of water. I don’t just mean regular soda, I mean throw out the diet soda too.
Sixth, watch the caffeine intake. I understand that this is a real tough one for some of you, but I’m not saying you must eliminate the coffee, just take it down a notch.
Seventh, if you’re a meat-eater no problem, just try and stick to chicken, turkey and fish. I love red meat too, but there’s a whole lot of trouble heading your way if you overdue it. Keep the red meat to special occasions. Also, try and shift some of your over-all protein intake from meat to beans. You’ll be surprised how easy it is to cut down.
A Sense of Purpose
Consider filling your time as a volunteer with a local charity. There are probably dozens of ways you’ve wanted to help your fellow human beings over the years and yet never were able to find the time. Here’s your chance.
Stay connected with family and friends. Nothing can give you a sense of purpose and improve your lifestyle more than surrounding yourself with loved ones. You have the time to truly connect with people in your life and you should take it.
Join groups of like-minded aging adults. There are all sorts of groups to participate in once you retire. Be part of a church group, or travel group. Join a fitness group that exercises together. If you’re politically minded, get active and make friends while you’re raising money for your favorite issue or candidate.
Have you been aching to spend more time enjoying the arts? Join a theatre group, or book club. Volunteer at a museum and learn more about art. Maybe you would like to sing and can find a choir group to join. There are so many options here to help you find a sense of purpose and improve your lifestyle.
My mother always used to say, “Make sure you look your best before you leave the house. You never know who you might meet.” She was so right I can’t even tell you. It sounds simple, but getting up, showered, dressed and looking good will automatically make you feel great. You’ll be more confident, more engaged and more vibrant than you would if you were to not pay attention to your appearance.
If you approach aging with the same energy that you gave your career and raising your family, than retirement really will be your Golden Years.
Now, if you are a Real Estate professional in this space or you’d just like to work with the above 50 market in any capacity, I’ve got great news. I will be teaching a Senior Real Estate Specialist designation course coming in January 2018 so save the date and reach out to me at email@example.com for updates.