Post by Paula Macia
With more people than ever living far longer, the question of ‘quality of life’ is something that is concerning more of us when we think of our own later years.
For many years, retirement was seen as a target to be achieved at a certain age when a relaxed lifestyle could be enjoyed as opposed to the day to day stresses of work.
Today the financial pressures on many people have resulted in a firm retirement date slipping further into the future with working lives stretching out even longer. When and if you finally do get to retirement, increases in longevity are such that even if you retire aged 70 you might easily still have 20 or more active and happy years ahead of you – provided you’re in good health.
From restrictions on your diet and exercise to writing a will, a focused approach that addressed your financial as well as physical health concerns can affect your retirement in numerous ways:
A pragmatic approach
No matter how well you look after yourself, it is important to make sure that your financial planning is in order to give you the best chance of enjoying a stress-free retirement. One cornerstone to your overall financial security is writing your will.
A properly drawn up will provide peace of mind and ensures that your loved ones and dependents are looked after. It provides a way for you to assure that your estate will be distributed the way you want it to those you want it. If you need help writing yours then it is important that you contact a professional service such as The Co-operative who can explain the legalities which surround Wills.
Should you suffer from a debilitating condition you may also want to consider writing a Living Will which outlines how you want to handle your care managed when things begin to deteriorate and you’re unable to make decisions yourself.
These types of documents should be drawn up as early as possible. If you are a good planner and already have them when entering your retirement this is the perfect time to review it and make sure you still agree with what is said.
Health and fitness
The financial aspect of retirement is something that becomes more significant the older you get. In the UK the age that people pay off their mortgages is going up all the time and many are in a position of having to work well into their late 60s before they are able to consider themselves debt free.
A longer working life revolves around keeping healthy and being able to undertake the tasks needed and perform to a certain standard. However, as you move up in years and approach retirement, health issues can become even more acute as the simple mechanics of wear and tear begin to take its toll on ageing bodies.
Once you are in your 50’s keeping fit and healthy becomes more important if you want to maximize the chances of being able to enjoy your later years to the fullest.
Diet and exercise
Having a healthy balanced diet doesn’t necessarily mean spending extra money. In fact, with a little extra effort and comparing of prices, in many cases buying natural produce can be cost-effective. And the health benefits of pesticide free vegetables and natural meat without hormones or excess antibiotics is well known. And now that you are retired you don’t have any excuse about not having the time to cook for yourself properly.
Exercise is slightly trickier, as the older you are the more likely it is that certain activities might not be as easy – or as good for you – as they once were.
However, there are many regimes aimed specifically at older people that can help keep your body strong and supple without being too physically demanding. Yoga and Tai Chi are two very good examples. The key is to find something that you can stick with and do on a regular basis. Maintaining good health is a lifelong commitment with benefits well worth the effort.