Taking good care of your health is critical to having an enjoyable and successful retirement. While that includes making healthy choices about what you eat and drink, how fit you are, and whether you smoke, there’s so much more to your health than that.
Did you know that sitting for long periods of time has been linked with several health concerns? That’s the bad news. The good news: studies show that being physically active offsets sitting’s negative effects and also helps you maintain muscle tone, your ability to move, and your mental well-being, especially as you age.
A healthy brain comes from keeping your mind active, alert, open, curious, and creative. Stretching out of your comfort zone to learn something new (for example, how to play an instrument, how to dance, or tai chi) or even altering your routine (like changing the route you take to walk your dog or brushing your teeth with the opposite hand) will help build and protect your brain’s strength.
Social well-being comes from a rich web of relationships with family, friends, and colleagues.
Social well-being comes from a rich web of relationships with family, friends, and colleagues. Studies suggest that what some retirees miss most about work are their connections. You may enjoy continuing to socialize with your co-workers or reuniting with old friends. Or, if you’re planning to move when you retire, taking steps to make friends in your new community will make your move healthier for you. After all, they say that loneliness is the new smoking. Research shows it can be a risk factor for many critical diseases. Surrounding yourself with supportive people will prevent you from experiencing isolation.
Planning to ensure you’ll be financially healthy will reduce stress and enhance your life in retirement, and will also help you to be ready to cover any health care costs that may arise. Retirement planning specialists can assist you to get an idea of your full retirement picture, both financial and in terms of your lifestyle.
Are you on your way to be your healthiest in retirement? If so, bravo! If not, what steps can you take today?
Carol Chow is Chair of the Canadian Institute of Financial Planning (CIFP) Retirement Institute.