Most postworksavvy folks want to have a long and successful retirement. We want to age ‘successfully’.
But sometimes we sabotage ourselves because we have not developed a strategy for retirement.
In my postworksavvy experience there are 5 Essentials to consider in your strategy for aging successfully.
Physical Activity. No retirement will be successful with health problems that hold you back and diminish enjoyment of every day. We’ve all heard the adage ‘use it or lose it’. Taking time each day to stay active will payoff with better flexibility, better balance and a happier outlook on life. You’ll prevent the older and fatter syndrome by adding variety of physical activities to your strategy for aging successfully. Best of all, you will be able to dance, to walk, and to enjoy all aspects of life.
“A walk in the park” – photo courtesy of D. Sharon Pruitt
Economic/Financial Savvy. Understanding your financial situation is essential to keep worries at bay. Begin by covering basic needs — food, shelter, transportation, insurance, medical care, etc. Once the basics are covered, you need some understanding of finances to make choices about how you spend the rest of your money. Funds will come from various sources: pensions, investments, savings, and/or part time work. Most of us learned money management 101 long ago. In retirement periodic re-assessment of income and expenses is necessary to ensure that you aren’t spending too much and also to ensure that you are spending your money — don’t deprive yourself in order to leave money to your children!
photo courtesy of Images_ of _ Money
Social Pursuits. A common finding in most studies on aging is that social involvement is positively linked to longevity. Valuing friends, neighbours, and family members and remaining connected needs to be part of the strategy for aging successfully.
Cultural/Spiritual Activity. Pursuits related to honouring traditions and beliefs that are unique to your identity and your community will help you to experience retirement fully. Spiritual activities will nurture your deepest yearnings. You will entertain yourself and stimulate your senses with cultural pursuits.
Intellectual/Learning. Exercising your brain to keep neural pathways (aka brain connections) in good condition will ensure that capability to think critically and to reason logically stays sharp. Seeking learning opportunities to challenge our perceptions of the world will stimulate intellectual activity and will continue to develop brain functions. You might do puzzles, take continuing education courses, do online learning, try new hobbies or play games like bridge that require thinking. Keeping those brain neurons agile is a key component in your strategy for successful aging.
Aging successfully requires a game plan. Each of us will have a unique approach based on our history, location, health status, finances and past experiences. As you assess your approach to aging consider the five essentials — and develop your personal strategy!