In my last article I began by saying that “In my eyes the most important aspect of a quality retirement is that the retiree enjoys their retirement.” Today I am going to talk about health and retirement, because one of the biggest mistakes I see when it comes to retirement is not focusing on your health. I have seen too many people get ill or even pass away early in retirement needlessly. I am not talking about conditions that strike individuals that are completely unforeseen, but rather from conditions that could have been prevented or managed.
The clients who seem the happiest in my Wealth Management practice exercise regularly. They are strong enough to take those trips overseas and go sightseeing all day, not the easiest of feats to do in your 60's and 70's, and they are also able to spend time and play with their grandchildren, not just visit.
The point here is that you will be able to be more active for longer and that for many means increased enjoyment.
While it might seem as though I am saying to begin exercising in retirement, that is not correct. If you are retired and have not been exercising by all means I recommend starting, which may mean having a conversation with your doctor. But, for those of us who have not yet retired we need to start now. Getting in good health is a journey that takes time for most of us.
Are you on medications? Do you know what they do? I thought I understood my meds until recently when I saw a new doctor and she pointed a few things out to me. Quite literally, if I do not make changes to my lifestyle the damage will most likely not materialize until well into my retirement years, but if I manage it I may never have any issues. This is my real-world example of how if I do not address my health now, my retirement will suffer because of it. The other important consideration here is that this would affect Leonie’s retirement as well, since she would then likely be put into a caregiver role at that point as opposed to enjoying retirement.
So, the point here is that we can help ourselves have an enjoyable retirement by starting to take better care of ourselves. Watching your weight, exercising, and finding ways to reduce your stress (shout out to last article about hobbies) will greatly benefit your retirement. It is a shame that many “wealthy” families have already identified this and share this openly among their family and friends, but it is not addressed often outside of those circles. Health is important and is best addressed by starting now if you have not started already. How you start can be as simple as taking a walk 3 days a week or you can jump in and join classes or get a personal trainer. Just start.
You will find, as Leonie and I did due to the gyms being closed due to Covid-19, that you feel so much better when you are in your workout routine. When you return to working out after being off for a while your attitude improves dramatically. During retirement this could only make things better, but before starting a workout regimen you may want to discuss it with your doctor first.
Do you have any workout tips you would like to share? Mine is that I need someone to hold me accountable for showing up. I either need a class or a trainer to make sure I show up consistently.