7 Tips To Stay Healthy in Your Retirement

One essential element to a living a fulfilling fun retirement is good health. We all know as we age we begin to lose some of that youthful strength and stamina we took for granted not so many years ago. Little things can become challenging from ascending that oh-so-familiar flight of stairs to picking up a dropped set of keys. No one ever said getting old was easy.

The reality of aging is what it is but we need not surrender without a fight. To be the best we can during our second act we should get serious about doing those things that are part of a healthy lifestyle, starting now. Make sure you are healthy enough to exercise then get to it.

Cover all the bases

As we age staying healthy requires we address three important areas:

Cardio – we need to keep our heart healthy. When younger running was a great way to go and for many it still can be. But I know my knees appreciate my focus on less impactful alternatives. Walking is a great option – if you can throw in a few hills so much the better. Biking is another and if the roads scare you stationary pedaling is an option that works for me. Swimming is as low impact as you can get and still gets your heart pumping.

Strength – those of us over fifty need to maintain muscle and bone strength as we age. I have been lifting weights since I was in college and although the amounts are decreasing I continue my regimen twice a week. It might help to find a trainer at the local gym to help create a personalized routine. Make sure you learn how to do the exercise correctly or you may do more harm than good.

Flexibility and balance – older folk fear falling more than almost anything. Broken bones can quickly change your life for the worse. Work on improving your balance through things like yoga whether attending a class or watching videos. Try to fit in regular stretching to help stay limber. Pilates is an interesting combination of stretching and strength building you may enjoy.

Create a routine

I think it is safe to say most people do not enjoy exercising. Those hours of sweating and extra effort, constant struggles to avoid doing the wrong thing, turning down that so tasty looking dessert – all this for the greater good of living healthy. If it was easy everyone would be healthy.

Have a regular schedule and routine to help maintain your focus.

– Are you a morning or an evening person? Rather than fight your nature try to exercise when you are most in the mood.

– Are there particular days of the week when working out is challenging due to work or your schedule? Commit to those other days to get it done.

– Are you a procrastinator? If so do your best to get it done first thing so you can focus on what you would rather be doing.

Focus on living the right lifestyle not quick fixes

It seems every six months some new diet fad comes along. The particular diet du jour promises amazing results in no time at all – anyone can do it. Ranging from high fat to no fat, no carbs to just carbs, veggie only, meat only – it is easy to become confused. The problem all these programs have in common is they are short-term fixes only. Most of the recommended diets can be downright unhealthy if pursued long term.

If you want to control your weight and feel the best you can you need to live a lifestyle supporting those goals. Moderation is the mantra. Avoid too much of anything and focus on a little of everything. On the other hand a little splurge is not the end of the world. There is nothing wrong with occasionally treating yourself. My weakness is wine – nothing but empty calories but oh does a nice Pinot Noir taste glorious!

10,000 steps each day

I recently heard of a health-focused idea to target 10,000 steps each day. We each have different strides but for me that translates into about five miles. At first that sounded impossible but with a little effort I get pretty close to the daily marker. My doctor loves it and there is a feeling of accomplishment come days end having achieved my step goal.

Don’t look for the easy way

Rather than look for the path of least resistance why not try putting out a little extra effort? Walk to the post office rather than drive. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. While watching TV stretch or do some sit-ups or throw around a few weights. If you are waiting in line or traffic do some abdominal crunches or a few squats. If you maintain a focus on fitness you can find surprising ways to put dead time to good use.

Include variety to keep it interesting

Doing the same thing over and over tends to get old. If you hope to stick with your program of healthy living it helps to incorporate as many diverse activities as you can. Mix it up – try new things. There are plenty up and coming exercise/fitness programs to explore from barre to spin classes to jazzercise (is that still out there?) to circuit training. Find something you enjoy so you have the motivation to keep at it.

Don’t be too hard on yourself

There was a time when my chest stood out beyond my stomach. I used to be able to…(fill in the blank). I wish I could still… Comparing who you are today to who you were decades ago is not going to end well. Times have changed. You have changed.

It is not easy to face the reality that I am not physically the guy I was at 25 (heck 45!). Gravity sucks – literally. The years have taken a toll. But then I step back and realize I am not the first person to face this reality. Many have gone before me and survived similar challenges. They have learned to accept aging for what it is – just another chapter in the book of life.

Living a healthy lifestyle allows you to make the most of your retirement. You feel good and look good. You may not have the same stamina you once did but that is okay. It is important we accept some limitations that come with aging. On the other hand we have the power to influence those limitations by taking care of ourselves, body and mind. Enjoy the journey and stay healthy.

Written for Snider Advisors


Dealing With Home Emergencies After Retirement

Written by Joshua Nelson

You’ve finally made it to retirement, and you’re ready to revel in your “golden years”. You have some plans on how to spend your time and manage your retirement income, but a lot of question marks still remain.

It won’t be as easy to take care of DIY home improvement projects. But when emergency-level projects are thrust upon you, you can’t afford to delay attending to them. Sure, you’d rather spend your time sitting by the seashore, fishing and enjoying the weather in some vacation paradise.

But realistically, you’re aware that accidents, emergencies, and urgent home repairs are sure to crop up from time to time.

Here are seven of the most common types of home emergencies you need to be prepared to deal with effectively and efficiently as you enter retirement:

  1. Plumbing Emergencies

A home emergency that is potentially the most devastating and difficult to deal with has to do with plumbing. A badly clogged toilet, drain, or pipe that drain decloggers and plungers will not cure, a broken or burst hot water heater/system, or an out-of-sight leak from a plumbing pipe that is softening your drywall and flooding your floor are only a few of the possible scenarios.

Water damage, backed up sewage and wastewater, the spread of dangerous pathogens, and the creation of a slip-and-fall hazard are some of the dangers plumbing “gone wrong” can bring in its wake.

If you don’t possess the tools and know-how for rapid plumbing repairs, or if you don’t want to be bothered with it now that you’re retired, be sure to keep the number of a 24/7 emergency plumber, such as PlumbingFix, always handy.

  1. Outbreaks Of Mold And Mildew

Sometimes in the wake of a flood or simply due to too much moisture or condensation accumulated in certain areas of your home, you may suddenly spot mold and mildew growth.

Mold shouldn’t be taken lightly. It not only makes your walls, ceilings, baseboards, or other affected area look unappealing, it is a genuine health hazard. Black mold especially can cause serious lung infections, exacerbate asthma, irritate allergies, and violent coughing episodes.

Try cleaning away mold or mildew yourself first, using bleach water, a stiff-bristled brush, gloves, and a protective mask. But if the mold is too extensive, too hard to reach (in an attic, cellar, or hard-to-access crevice), or continually reoccurs, it’s time to call in the professionals. Keep an emergency number for a reputable mold removal and remediation company, like RestorationElite, in your personal contacts book.

  1. Power Brownouts

Losing power for extended periods of time is potentially dangerous for anyone, but it is especially hard on children and on the elderly. You don’t want to needlessly risk your own safety and that of family by being taken by surprise by a brownout.

First of all, have a well thought out plan of action. Contact family and friends to let them know you’re safe. Check on the neighbors. Know where the nearest emergency shelter is located. But also be sure to keep such items as these ready at hand:

  • A gas-powered generator. Choose a model that has wheels and is lightweight and easy to move. And don’t forget to stay stocked up on fuel.
  • Electric indoor-grade space heaters, fans, and cooking equipment to run off your generator.
  • A battery-powered emergency radio, with an extra set of unused batteries.
  • Non-perishable food products and bottled water.
  • Warm clothes and blankets.
  • A back-up supply of basic medicines, any necessary prescription meds, and a first aid kit.
  • Candles and flashlights (with extra batteries).
  • Cash you can live on temporarily. ATMs and in-store card scanners may all be temporarily down.
  • Books, board games, or anything non-electronic that will make the time pass.
  1. Broken HVAC System

Especially in extreme climates and particularly for the elderly, having a heating or air conditioning system fail can be a serious or even life-threatening event (in conjunction with a power outage or natural disaster.)

Signs your HVAC unit may need a repair or need to be replaced include: it runs but with little production, it fails to consistently turn on, unusual sounds are emanating from the device, or the unit is leaking water. The last sign specifically calls for professional intervention.

  1. Gas Leaks

An unnoticed gas leak is an extreme danger. Fires, explosions, or gas poisoning are all possibilities, depending on the type of gas, quantity of gas, and what the gas comes into contact with.

If you even suspect you smell gas, move quickly to shut off your gas supply at the meter, open up doors/windows to create ventilation, and shut down all electrical devices. Next, call a licensed gas fitter to inspect your home, detect and eliminate any gas leaks.

  1. Locked Out

While it might be surprising, around a third of U.S. adults have been locked out of their home at one point or another.It often happens when taking out the garbage or coming home from a night out on the town. About one in ten have been locked out while in their pajamas (or worse)!

Solutions include hiding a spare key in a potted plant, under a rock, or some other unsuspected location, giving your neighbor a spare key (if you trust him/her enough), and investing in a “smart lock” and always taking your smart phone with you.

  1. Damaged Roof

Roof repairs are easily among the most urgent of all home repairwork. Ice dams in the winter and clogged up gutters in the fall can push water up your roof and down through any leakage points.

If you spot even a small leak, attend to it quickly or call in a roofing contractor to help. An annual roof inspection with minor repairs will do much to prevent leaks and warn you when a new roof put on will have to be installed.

We’re aware that retirement translates to not having to worry so much anymore. However, planning out strategies to dealing with these emergencies will provide you with the much needed peace of mind.

Joshua Nelson is a super-connector with ManageBacklinks.io who helps businesses with building their audience online through outreach, partnerships, and networking. Joshua frequently writes about the latest advancements in the SaaS world and digital marketing.

When Working In Retirement Is The Way To Go

Back when I was working full time I occasionally fantasized of that day in the not-to-distant future when I would no longer be chained to “the job”. It’s not that I hated what I was doing. Far from it – over my working years I met wonderful people, some who have become lifelong friends. I was fortunate enough to play an important part in the growth of numerous small companies where the camaraderie and esprit de corps were as important as making money, sometimes even more. I was inspired by talented bosses who took the time to guide my development. My memories of the working world are for the most part positive.

But never working again – that sounds pretty darn good.

Start your day when you want. Spend time doing what truly interests you. Live at a pace that fits your mood. Read…walk…nap…rinse and repeat. Having control over what you do when you do it is something I could get used to.

My plan was to retire somewhere close to 65, maybe 62 if I was lucky. At the moment that was more than a decade off but at least I could see light at the end of the tunnel. Then at the tender age of 53 I became what I call “technically retired”. The company I worked for was purchased, my role was no longer required, and despite scrambling madly for the next year I was unable to find a position anywhere. Welcome to retirement!

Fortunately my wonderful wife continued working which covered our medical insurance and paid the bills. At least we would not be destitute.

I believe retirement is something you need to create. Since you are free to do as you choose it’s ultimately up to you to make it happen. We all have different interests, passions and dreams. What works for your retirement may not be close to what I want. And that is a great thing – we have the ability to create our own retirement custom made to fit who we are.

When I first exited the working world I knew for a fact I would not go back to work – ever. My dues were paid now onward to bigger and better things. On the other hand I never faulted those who choose to include work as part of their happy retirement. If it makes you happy why not add it to the equation?

Who could be more surprised when one day after five years retired, old hardcore never-work-again-me found the perfect part time gig. Our favorite winery – Mercy Vineyards – needed some help in their tasting room. Two days a week sharing with happy visitors wonderful Pinot Noir and Chardonnays lovingly crafted from grapes sourced solely from unique local vineyards – not too shabby. My wife and I felt the owners were great people from the first day we met. Visitors to the tasting room are invariably happy and having a good time. And I can walk to the job site in about 15 minutes.

When the owners Mike and Mark proposed I join their team they did not have to ask twice! I have been at it a few weeks now and love it. The job adds variety to my days, I meet and socialize with fellow humans, plus I get out of the house and continue to learn more about a passion I have had for decades – wine.

If a part time gig in retirement sounds intriguing, here are a few considerations to help make it a good experience:

  • Do something you are interested in better yet passionate about
  • Work with people you like
  • Don’t do it if it stresses you out – you did enough of that before retiring
  • Remember part time is part time – don’t take work home with you (unless you really love it!)
  • Try to minimize your commute ideally traveling during non-rush hours
  • As long as you do not need the job remember you can call it quits if it does not work out

There are plenty of options out there when it comes to part time work. My wife signed on with a temp agency that finds her short term gigs at a variety of local companies. She gets to meet new people, learn new things, keep her mind engaged and leave the stress behind. Her biggest challenge is since she is so good at what she does companies quickly end up offering her full time employment which is not the plan.

I have come to believe there is no reason your retirement cannot include some sort of work. The trick is to enjoy what you are doing. It may take a bit of trial and error to find the right fit. But what is the hurry? After all you are retired.

And should you ever find yourself in the neighborhood, stop in for a taste of some truly wonderful wines. As our tasting glass so appropriately says “Have Mercy”. Cheers.