Wealth alone does not determine how much you will enjoy retirement. Now more than ever, it’s important to take a holistic approach to your health and well-being. Planning for and living through your retirement years is about so much more than finances and Monte Carlo Simulations.
You can run fancy projection tools and work diligently for years to save money in order to help secure your “financial freedom” by a specific age. But without the emotional and physical health to enjoy it -you are missing out on the quality of life you envisioned.
Our philosophy is that your health affects your wealth and your wealth affects your health through your golden years.
If you missed out on celebrating national wellness day in June, get ready now to celebrate yourself in August for National Wellness Month. This month focuses on self-care, creating healthy routines and stress management.
What Is Wellness?
According to the Global Wellness Day organization, wellness is “a good or satisfactory condition of existence; a state characterized by health, happiness, and prosperity.” The idea of wellness stems farther than physical health, as it is meant to encompass every aspect of your quality of life – mental health, social well-being and physical state. And while developing a retirement plan can help to make sure your financial wellness is covered, it’s up to you to take care of the rest.
Addressing Wellness in Retirement
We’ve broken the biggest areas of wellness down into three categories: mental health, social well-being and your physical state. Below are the reasons why each area of wellness is important in retirement along with a comprehensive list of ideas- of what you can do today to maintain or improve on them.
The temptation to turn your brain off during retirement can be a big one. Considering you’ve spent decades problem solving for 40+ hours a week, the idea of relaxing and unwinding in front of the television or along a sandy shoreline can be extra appealing. But in order to stay mentally well and ward off cognitive decline, it’s important to incorporate mental exercises into your daily retirement routine. Staying sharp and keeping an active mind in retirement can help you to enjoy your retirement for longer.
One possible way of keeping your mental health in check? Consider taking on a new job in retirement, even just as a part-time position. According to the American Psychological Association, a 2009 study revealed that those who were working in retirement had levels of well-being in both health and overall satisfaction that were on par with those who were younger and not yet retired.
New research also shows that delaying retirement may also stave off cognitive decline. A study of nearly half a million people by French researcher Carole Dufouil of the research agency INSERM found that for each additional year they worked, people reduced their risk of dementia by 3.2 percent.
Other activities to help your mind stay sharp in retirement could include:
*Picking up a new instrument
*Learning a new language
*Doing puzzles & game
Isolation and loneliness are growing issues in Americans, especially in older adults. And entering into retirement is a transitional time in which one’s social well-being may become compromised. Leaving a job means leaving coworkers you see every day, and if you choose to move to a retirement destination, you may be leaving all other neighbors, community friends and even family behind.
According to an AARP study, isolation can leave you feeling completely detached from your friends and family, both physically and psychologically. It’s something more than 8 million adults over the age of 50 experience, and prolonged isolation can have the same impact on your health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.
The good news is, there are plenty of ways to find social fulfillment in retirement, they just require some effort and initiative on your part. These could include:
*Volunteering in your community
*Finding a roommate
*Taking or teaching classes (perhaps now online)
*Pursue a hobby or passion that takes you outside of the home
You’ve heard the phrase “use it or lose it,” and this saying definitely rings true when it comes to maintaining your physical wellness in retirement.
Older adults are already at a bit of a disadvantage physically. As our bodies grow older, we’re facing physical changes such as slowing metabolisms, weakening immune systems and loss of muscle mass (to name a few). But just like your mental health, you may be tempted to enter a state of permanent relaxation in retirement. However, it’s important to take care of yourself physically. Doing so can help prevent both physical and cognitive decline, both of which can dramatically reduce your overall well-being.
Some ways to stay physically well in retirement include:
*Joining an exercise class (perhaps online)
*Garden and maintain your yard
*Adopting a dog
*Enjoying walks around your neighborhood
*Creating (and sticking to) an exercise routine
When you put a special focus on maintaining your overall wellness in retirement, it can be some of the greatest years of your life. And while you can work with a professional to help ensure your financial well-being is cared for, it’s up to you to make sure the rest is following suit as you head toward retirement.
You cannot invest directly in an index. Past performance is no guarantee of future returns. Diversification does not ensure a profit or guarantee against loss.
The information given herein is taken from sources that IFP Advisors, LLC, dba Independent Financial Partners (IFP), IFP Securities LLC, dba Independent Financial Partners (IFP), and its advisors believe to be reliable, but it is not guaranteed by us as to accuracy or completeness. This is for informational purposes only and in no event should be construed as an offer to sell or solicitation of an offer to buy any securities or products. Please consult your tax and/or legal advisor before implementing any tax and/or legal related strategies mentioned in this publication as IFP does not provide tax and/or legal advice. Opinions expressed are subject to change without notice and do not take into account the particular investment objectives, financial situation, or needs of individual investors. This report may not be reproduced, distributed, or published by any person for any purpose without Ulin & Co. Wealth Management’s or IFP’s express prior written consent.