When it comes to retirement, people often spend a lot of time analyzing their finances and forget about other important aspects of retirement.
People think through things like, when should I retire? What’s the best age? How much money will I need? Have I saved enough? Will I make it financially through retirement? What can go wrong? When should you claim social security benefits? The list goes on and on.
We often spend a lot of time pondering these important financial questions. As we should. Having the answers to these questions is big aspect of financial planning.
Many people tend to confine their thinking to the financial side of things.1 However, the financial aspect is not the only thing to be considered if you want maximum fulfillment in retirement.
Two often overlooked aspects of retirement are the health and psychological needs of retirees. This is true especially when it comes to how we transition into retirement and how we spend our time as retirees.
Conventional thinking frames retirement as an all-in or all-out venture. However, that is not always the best approach. Further it doesn’t help you figure out how to spend your time in meaningful ways when you do retire.
We believe that people need to consider both their health span and their life span during retirement. We all probably know someone whose life far outpaced their health. Frequent doctor appointments and stress due to health concerns can turn golden years into a disappointment.
There are several avenues one can take to invest in prolonging both their health span and their lifespan. If we can partake in activities that shorten life (like smoking or heavy drinking) doesn’t it stand to reason that we can include retirement activities that lengthen our life and health?
Without diving into the weeds here too much, I will recommend a book that may help people prepare for a healthy retirement as it pertains to both health and psychological aspects of the golden years. The author is Dave Asprey and the book is titled “Super Human: the Bullet Proof Plan to Age Backwards and Possibly Even Live Forever”.
Using Dave’s “biohacking” techniques, people can make small changes to their diet that may result in benefits to all areas of your life. I can tell you that some of his techniques have helped me.
The second thing to consider beyond finances is purpose. How will you spend your time in retirement? Scientists have confirmed that people who live with purpose, tend to live longer and healthier lives.
Several years ago, there was a National Geographic expedition to uncover the secrets of longevity. This expedition uncovered 5 ‘Blue Zones’, areas around the world that had high numbers of residents living to be over 100 years old. While the concept of these zones has been debunked, scientists did find a common thread among people living longer lives, and it’s not what you would think. Some of these people living to 100 or beyond drank alcohol regularly. Others did not. Some even smoked while others didn’t. The common thread with many of the people living long lives was having a sense of purpose. They had a reason to get out of bed in the morning.
Their purpose didn’t need to be world changing either. For some, it was a passion for tending their garden, playing golf, playing pickle ball or giving time to a charity.
There are no hard-and-fast rules about what you can do in retirement or how you have to approach it. However, it seems that having a sense of purpose may help lengthen both life-span and health-span.
When you know the alternatives and explore more options than just the conventional route, you may discover new and better ways to enjoy your time and stay connected to what matters most when you do retire.2
Focusing on what matters to you can bring you much deeper satisfaction and joy during your golden years.2
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