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

LoveBeingRetired.com

Retirement – A Pause Before Your Next Adventure

Baby boomers are rewriting the rules of retirement. Few envision living a second act mirroring that of their parents. While mom and dad were satisfied with more time on the links and taking life easy, this generation has something different in mind. They will always make time to relax but that is not the main ingredient in their recipe for a fulfilling retirement.

Most of us first entering retirement initially focus on decompressing. After a stressful often times all-consuming career it is important to take a break. No one can run at 110 percent all the time. Our bodies and minds do better when given time to recharge.

Catch your breath. Take time to reflect upon a career spanning decades. It’s likely you have identified certain things you never want to do again. You now know better what motivates you, what gets you exited and ready to rumble. You may have discovered interests you never knew we had, perhaps a hidden passion or two waiting to be explored. Each career is a continuing education, a journey that comes to an official end with retirement. Or does it?

After reclaiming a certain life balance more and more boomers are looking ahead. What do I want to do next? Baby boomers are taking time to be introspective, to examine the life they have lived and imagine what could be. Retirement affords an opportunity to reset, to research and then embark on any of a myriad of possible new adventures. For the able bodied and mentally active retirement is far from the final destination.

Some open their new chapter with a part time job or second career doing what they genuinely care about. If money is not the main issue a new gig can be something they love perhaps similar to my working part time at a wine tasting room. The more adventurous may go so far as to start their own business utilizing skills learned during their career or even something all-together unrelated.

Not all will answer the “what do I do next” with a job. The beauty of this time in our lives is when it comes to how we choose to channel our energies we do not have to follow any script. We can be creative. We can paint outside the lines. We can satisfy our curiosity and try multiple things. We can do what we want with our time. Once the job you have to do is behind you are free to explore or create the “job” you want to do.

When I first retired (unplanned as it was) I was a bit nervous. Without the job, I was not sure what meaningful activities I would engage in. After the initial shock wore off I began to consider my options. I looked into those areas that had interested me in days gone by. Eventually I figured out a routine that occupied the hours and left me feeling somewhat satisfied at the end of the day. But something was missing – there had to be more.

Finding a part time job doing something I enjoy was the perfect solution. Not too many hours, no stress, working with people I like, learning about something I have always been interested in and engaging with happy folk typically vacationing or just celebrating life. I look forward to my next shift – a feeling long missing from those years spent navigating my career.

Retirement is only the beginning. Rather than view it as the end of the show it might be better seen as an encore. There will never be a more perfect time to uncover your particular interest/passion/dream and go for it. There is so much more to do and to be and retirement offers the freedom to explore. Rather than call it quits baby boomers are making their second act a finale worthy of applause.

LoveBeingRetired.com

Get Your Property to Do More for Your Retirement

Written by Sally Perkins

The economic crisis of ten years ago put a lot of things in perspective. One of the ways it changed retirement is by putting property assets on the same level as stocks and bonds because investors regard property as more stable. You can get properties to work harder for you in your retirement but be prepared, 43% of spending for those aged 75 years or older is on annual home-related expenses.

It can be difficult, but there is a lot of potential for return on investment if you manage your property intelligently. Whether you are a real estate mogul with several rental properties or just working with your home, there is more you can do to bolster your retirement funds.

Refinancing

For those with mortgages, it can be worth looking at refinancing to get a better interest rate. After so many years in the work force, those retiring or soon to retire often have much better credit scores than those they had when first mortgaging their homes.

Once your payments are down, you can use the savings to help pay off the principle. The sooner you can pay off the mortgage the sooner you can put the property to work increasing your income. To find out just how much money you can save try using a mortgage calculator.

Downsizing

Leaving a home that you have lived in for years can be tough, but scaling back to a smaller home has some serious advantages financial and otherwise. As we retire, our needs change and the homes we live in are no different. Maybe the kids have moved out, you don’t use the pool much anymore or your knees just don’t appreciate those stairs.

Not only can downsizing your home better meet your needs, but you’ll save a lot of money on maintenance and utility costs not to mention a reduction in property taxes. You can use the money that you save to reinvest and increase your income or just use it to prepare your new home for your new way of life.

Take Action Early

Many mortgages have strict lending requirements about work. Typical requirements include having to show that you have been employed for the last two years. You can explain away some of these requirements or find mortgages that aren’t so strict but those might be more expensive options. The easiest way to avoid that headache is to take action before you stop work if you have the opportunity.

Make Your Retirement Investments Help Each Other

Mortgage companies usually require higher down payments and interest rates for properties that the owner does not plan to occupy. Down payments can reach 30 percent of the price or more. Perhaps you don’t have the funds for a down payment of that size but you can use your IRA funds to help. Since the money in a Roth IRA has already been taxed, if you use it to buy property all of the equities and earning from it can grow tax-free.

Do the Homework

With all the extra time afforded by retirement, you can do valuable additional research. Finding out potential costs like insurance, mortgage fees, taxes and possible maintenance costs will help you make informed decisions about the viability of individual properties. As in business, income properties are about balancing expenses and revenue.

Research can also help you decide on an area or property in which to invest. Learn the local occupancy and price trends. Area real estate agents, publications and even small local banks are all excellent sources of information. You might even find that getting loans from local banks is a better route than the big banks because the smaller banks have more knowledge and interest in their area.

Gifting Equity

Gifting property equity to your children, their spouses or grandkids can be an option that helps you avoid some tax situations. It is possible to move real estate equity to your kids year by year with no tax liability. There are annual limits but with enough management and recipients you can transfer quite a bit every year and it adds up. It is best to refer to a tax professional to be certain what will work best in your situation.

Diversify

While it is true that property investment can add to your retirement, it shouldn’t be the only thing working for you. Diversification of your funds into 401(k)s, IRAs and the like is still sound advice even in these uncertain economic times. Trust in real estate is high but diversification can prevent you from losing all of your income should the market fall in a particular sector.

Maximize Your Property’s Output

Retirement is a time to relax and enjoy life, but if you want to keep your income high to support your new lifestyle, a little bit of work is required. Property investment, in particular, requires some doing. Using a bit of time, effort and the advantages of being retired you can put your property to work funding your retirement.