Everyone’s goal as they approach retirement is financial independence. But, even if you’re financially secure, will you be able to enjoy your golden years?
No, it does not.
Many of us in our sixties and seventies envision ourselves aging in good health, traveling and socializing with our families and friends. And we envision ourselves living on our own terms, doing things “our way.”
“Of course I want to stay in my own home forever!” says everyone.
“No one would willingly say, “Oh, I plan on entering some sort of nursing home when I turn 68.”
But, sadly, very few of us consider what steps we must take consciously to ensure that our vision for our golden years matches reality. Here are a few healthy aging must-haves to help you remain independent in retirement.
Physical Activity and Exercise
You’ve probably heard the expression, “Use it or lose it!” ” Well, after the age of 60, you actually have to “use it” more to stay ahead of the decline we so often associate with aging.
Ask yourself how much time you spend sitting versus how much time you spend active in a typical day. For a few days, keep a journal and record your activities. You could be surprised.
Physical activities move your body. Consider what you do physically every day, such as gardening, dog walking, housework, shopping, and taking the stairs instead of the elevator. By the way, watching television does not count!
Yoga, weight training, tai chi, swimming, aerobics, or walking 7,000 – 10,000 steps per day, on the other hand, is specifically planned, structured, and repetitive. What kind of exercise do you do every day?
If you truly want to be self-sufficient in your golden years, you must make a conscious decision and plan to keep moving in order to reap the benefits. Keeping in mind the age-old adage, “Just do it!” ” will assist you…
Prevent or postpone diseases such as arthritis, heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, osteoporosis, and dementia…
- Avoid becoming a fall risk
- Manage stress
- Improve your sleep
- Release endorphins, the happy hormones!
Increasing your physical activity will improve your quality of life regardless of how you look at it.
A Balanced Diet
Good nutrition is essential for healthy aging. Vitamins and minerals help to keep your muscles, bones, organs, and other body parts strong over time. A healthy diet helps you live longer, sharpens your mind, and simply makes you feel better.
If you want to: a diet of toast and tea is simply insufficient.
- Maintain clear thinking
- Resist illness and disease
- Have higher energy levels
- Recuperate faster from illnesses and injuries
- Fuel your muscles and support your bones
Preparing healthy meals or going out for a bite to eat is also a good reason to invite a friend. Make eating enjoyable while also increasing your socialization!
Making Certain That Your Home Is Both Safe and Comfortable
We know that the vast majority of older adults prefer to live in their own homes for as long as possible. But that doesn’t mean it has to be the 3,000-square-foot house with three levels where you raised your children!
When you reach retirement age, it’s time to start thinking about how your home will be able to accommodate your needs as you age. Downsizing to a smaller home, apartment, or condo may be an option. It could imply converting to a one-story bungalow plan. Alternatively, it may imply ensuring that you can, at the very least, access everything you require on a single floor if necessary.
There are numerous qualified licensed contractors who can assist you in evaluating your current living arrangements in light of your long-term needs. Consider the following:
Is your house near a bus stop?
Is it close to your family, friends, and any shops or services you might need?
Could you renovate the main floor to include a bedroom, bathroom, and washer and dryer?
Is the outside upkeep manageable?
Can a ramp be used in place of steps?
Could you maneuver in a wheelchair if necessary?
Is it possible to make the shower or tub more accessible?
Will your house require a lot of upkeep in the future? Will it turn into a money pit?
When you’re healthy and active, it’s much easier to think about your home than when you’re sick or in a crisis.
Downsizing and purging can also be beneficial to one’s mental health!
Financial Independence Isn’t the Only Thing That Defines Independence
Our visions of the future may differ, but chances are we all want to maintain our independence for as long as possible. Independence can improve our mental health and outlook on life if we are safe and comfortable. However, independence requires some forethought.
Maintain your strength, endurance, balance, and flexibility by staying active – these are the keys to staying strong and healthy. Feed your body and soul with nutritious food that gives you the energy you need to live on your own terms. Begin making plans to ensure that the home you choose to live in will provide safety and comfort for many years to come. If you do all of these things, you will increase your chances of aging well and achieving independence in retirement.