Last month we talked about the 6 F’s of Retirement Planning – faith, family and friends, fitness, finances, fun and finality. The focus of today’s article is the third F dealing with Fitness. Focusing on each of these stages of retirement, I have put together a set of tips to be mindful of when entering each stage.
I break retirement into 3 stages; the Go-Go years, the Slow-Go years, and the No-Go years. The Go-Go years are when you have just retired, and you are itching at the chance to go on that life long trip you’ve been dreaming of. The Slow-Go years are when things start to slow down, you aren’t traveling as much for fun or to see the grandchildren, and you realize that you are going to need something else to fill up your days. This is the time where you can turn a hobby into a skill! The No-Go years are when you can finally relax and reflect on your wonderful life with the loving company of family and friends. Fitness, as it relates to the 6 F’s of retirement – means something different in each of these stages of retirement.
In this stage, you have just retired and you’re ready for a change of scenery. The trip you “never had time for” seems to be finally possible! The image on your desktop has been tormenting you for too long and it’s about time you’ve treated yourself. Whether its walking along the Seine River in Paris to swimming with baby pigs in Bora Bora, this is your exciting trip of a lifetime! It is often a wake-up call for those who travel to Europe and realize how much walking is required. You need to be fit to really enjoy a trip like that! Tip One: Take time before and after your day to stretch. Stretching can help you become more flexible and decrease the likelihood of an injury. Tip Two: Know your body’s abilities. By keeping a realistic view of what you can and can’t do, it ultimately keeps you safer and allows you to live out the Go-Go years to its entirety.
You’ve returned safe and sound from your time away, now it’s time to reel it in. Retirement can be a hard transition, especially when your identity has been so strongly influenced by your occupation during your working years. This is where you take the time to find out who you really are, where your true aspirations lie. Whatever your next move is, be sure to keep up your previous habits of stretching and knowing your body’s limits. Tip Three: Socialize! Your mental health is equally vital to your overall fitness. Keeping up with family and friends allows you to stay sharp and confirms your self-worth. A stable support system can assist in your confidence as you put yourself out there and try new things. Whether it’s following the grandkids around or joining a walking group, it keeps your mind and body moving!
As things have slowed down a bit, this stage is where you are able to decide how you want to sculpt your life and your legacy. It can range from low to high impact exercises; remember everyone differs, so find the ones that are right for you. Tip Four: Go to the doctor! Now more than ever, it’s important to understand how you can best care for your body. From checkups and physicals, you can ensure that you’re taking the best care of your body, so you can continue to enjoy life to the fullest! Tip Five: Be consistent. Once you find a hobby or activity that you enjoy, be sure to stick with it! To make sure it doesn’t fall through the cracks of your busy schedule, it’s always handy to schedule it in your planner!
Each of these tips is a building block, as you get into the groove of adopting one, the next one will be easier to achieve. These tips have been created to help you plan and achieve a successful mindset in life.
1) Stretch– Let’s start your time off on a good note! Stretch daily to ensure your muscles don’t tense up on you while exploring the world. Nothing like a painful spasm to put a damper on your day.
2) Know your Body– This will help you become more aware of how hard you can push yourself and where you should draw the line. So, if it comes down to deciding if you should scale the side of rocky mountain or not, you will be able to make the correct judgement call.
3) Socialize– Let’s be honest, it’s always nice when the family and friends get involved. Having a friendly face by your side during this transition makes finding a new hobby or activity a piece of cake! Don’t hesitate to reach out!
4) Go to the Doctor– The doctor can assist you in tailoring your daily life to your body’s capabilities, thus allowing you to live your life the way you want it. Now is the time to be self-aware, so stay ahead of the game and get a checkup!
5) Consistency– Keeping a schedule will not only motivate you but keep you on a routine. Wake up with a purpose and plan for the day, don’t let it pass you by.
As life goes on, you may notice you or a loved one forgetting things more frequently or behaving differently. Many may think that this is inevitable with aging, but it’s not! According to the Alzheimer’s Association, 5.7 Americans are living with this disease and every 65 seconds another individual is diagnosed, causing it to be the 6th leading cause of death in the United States. However, they give recommended ways to reduce cognitive declines- the first one being “Break a sweat”!
As a financial professional, I understand the importance of being fiscally prepared for retirement, but don’t forget to focus on your physical health as well. As they say your first wealth is your health!
*This article originally appeared in the July 2018 Severna Park Voice and Pasadena Voice newspapers.