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Did you know that as of the third quarter of 2021, over half (50.3%) of U.S. adults at least 55 years old have already retired? That’s a considerable jump of 2.2% from the 48.1% count back in 2019.
That upward trend has continued this 2022, considering the pandemic’s lingering effects. However, experts say it will keep doing so in the coming years. After all, more baby boomers have and are about to reach their retirement age.
If you’re about to join that crowd, you’re likely wondering how to enjoy your retirement.
Read on, as we’ve shared some of the top retirement tips below to help you prepare.
Increase the Pep in Your Step
As the human body ages, it tends to deteriorate because its cells die and don’t get replaced. That causes a decline in the health of many of its components, from the tissues to the organs and the systems. For example, the skin becomes less elastic, the muscles weaken, and the bones are easier to break.
The good news is that exercise can help combat or minimize such effects of aging. Thus, staying active in retirement is one of the best ways to continue enjoying the rest of your days.
For instance, an older study compared the skin of older athletes vs. that of sedentary adults. It found that the former was healthier and thicker. Skin thinning, in turn, appears to be a factor in skin sagging and wrinkling.
Exercise helps prevent muscle weakening while preventing or minimizing bone loss, too. It also strengthens muscles, joints, and bones and makes them less prone to injury.
Walking, low-impact aerobics, dancing, gardening, and stair climbing are all excellent exercises. They work directly on the muscles and bones.
Enjoy but Be Mindful of Your Meals
Older adults are at a higher risk of chronic diseases if they don’t make healthy food and drink choices. Such health woes include cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancers, and even anxiety and depression.
That doesn’t mean you have to deprive yourself of your favorite treats. On the contrary, you can continue enjoying them, so long as it’s in moderation.
For example, if you love meat, then, by all means, go ahead and eat some. However, it’s best to choose lean cuts.
Likewise, if you like alcoholic beverages, you can keep enjoying them, but know your limits. For example, if you’re in otherwise good health and don’t take medication, you can have up to seven drinks a week. You can spread that to one a day or a couple every other day.
Consider Senior-Centered Wellness Retreat Programs
Wellness retreat programs often provide spa services, outdoor activities, and meditation experiences. Others specialize in serving healthy meals and combining them with exercise plans. They usually offer short breaks for seniors, but others run extended treatment programs.
An example is a modern fat farm for seniors, with programs designed for all fitness levels. Traditional fat farms used to serve only older clientele struggling with weight loss. Today, every adult can join, regardless of their weight.
By joining a modern fat farm, you can enjoy healthy meals in a beautiful, relaxing environment. You also receive expert guidance on fitness and low-impact activities. Plus, you can participate in group events with like-minded folks around your age.
Watch Your Budget
Up to 15 million U.S. adults 65 and older are economically insecure. That means they lack a stable source of income needed to maintain an adequate standard of living.
While you don’t have to be wealthy to enjoy a meaningful retirement, you still need money to survive. After all, it pays for your food, shelter, bills, and quality healthcare services.
Thus, effective financial management is even more vital once you’re in retirement.
The first step is determining your budget, including cash inflows and outflows. Inflows are your income sources like Social Security, pension, IRAs, and retirement savings. Outflows are expenses, such as mortgage or rent, food, bills, entertainment, and taxes, to name a few.
You can further categorize outflows as essential and non-essential. The former are things you need and can’t live without, such as shelter, food, utilities, and medicine. The latter is something you may be able to survive without, such as cable TV, Netflix, or restaurant meals.
Once you have a list of the above, deduct your outflows from your inflows, and see how much you have left. If there’s little to nothing, it’s time to minimize your non-essential spending. You can then “re-route” your money to income-generating ventures.
For example, instead of spending a lot of money on entertainment, it’s better to invest it. Examples include a 60/40 portfolio, certificates of deposit (CDs), and low-volatility stocks. You may also want to put your money into a rental property to generate rental income.
Work Out Your Gray Matter
As the brain ages, so does its functioning, such as its ability to make new memories and retain old ones. It also takes longer to retrieve previously stored information. Even the amount of chemical messengers it produces, such as serotonin, declines.
Fortunately, learning something new may help keep the brain functioning well.
For example, researchers studied how learning a new skill may benefit older adults. They found that it helped boost the participants’ cognitive abilities. The skills involved in the study included quilting, photography, and playing musical instruments.
Whatever floats your boat, consider doing something new to work your gray matter out. You have more time now, so why not include as many new skills or hobbies in your “What to Do in Retirement” list? It can be the ones mentioned above or things like learning a new language or even going back to school for a new course.
Enjoy Your Retirement With These Tips
While there are many ways to enjoy your retirement, they all depend on your health and finances. That’s why looking after your physical, mental, and financial well-being is necessary.
However, even if you’re not retiring this year, consider retirement planning ASAP. It’s never too early to invest in your health and financial future.
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