Aging often comes as a double-edged sword for most people. The thought of getting older can be scary, especially for people who have a family history of physical and mental health conditions.
At the same time, the idea of retiring from the workforce is a liberating one. Having the opportunity to spend your days doing the things you want to do is exciting, but there is a lot of work to be done before that time finally comes.
What Will You Do When You Get Older?
Creating a hefty financial nest egg is key to living comfortably after retirement and to ensure you do not have to work well into your 70s. Unfortunately, this is the reality many elderly people face, whether due to poor financial preparation when they were younger or due to unexpected medical expenses.
Investing in a 401k or Roth retirement plan early on and contributing a solid portion of your annual income to it consistently from year to year will guarantee financial security. Keep in mind that most employers will match the dollar amount you contribute to a certain point, and the funds will accumulate interest over time. The more you invest into your retirement plan, the better the long-term results will be.
Money is not the only thing you should be thinking about, though. For some, the thought of retirement conjures an image of lounging by the beach without a care in the world. Taking a vacation every now and then is certainly a great way to catch up with friends and family in comfort. However, staying active in one’s community by participating in local events and volunteering are things you should aim to do on a regular basis. Just because you are no longer “working” does not mean you cannot contribute your time in a meaningful way.
To maintain proper physical and mental health, exercise regularly and read daily. Never stop stimulating your brain, as studies have shown that routine brain training (e.g. reading, playing crossword puzzles, learning new things, etc.) decreases a person’s chances of developing memory loss up to 50 percent. Routine exercise, whether in the form of light cardio, strength training or even a hobby such as gardening can lower your risk of contracting life-threatening ailments like heart disease by 30 percent.
Take advantage of your free time while you have the opportunity to do so, regardless if you live at home or in an assisted living or retirement facility. The health benefits are too many to list!