If recent times have taught us anything, it’s that health is important – in all aspects of life. This is particularly true if you’re already retired, when the habits set earlier in life can help or hinder you. Ensure you’re living your best life in retirement by paying attention to these four Ms: meaningful relationships, movement, mind and money.
When working, many social interactions are tied to coworkers and the workplace. For some, retirement means losing some of these social connections. When you're retired, it's important to maintain existing relationships as well as to look for opportunities to build new relationships. People who maintain strong social connections tend not only to have better mental health, but also better physical health and longevity, according to the National Institute for Aging.*
Staying active and moving can help improve health by lowering stress, strengthening bones and muscles, improving mental health and keeping weight under control, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).** The CDC recommends adults participate in a mix of aerobic and muscle-strengthening activity each week.
Always wondered if you had an inner artist, writer or programmer waiting to be released? Take a class and find out. Chances are your local community college or city’s continuing education program has a class that will interest you. You may meet new people (good for forming those meaningful relationships) or learn something new. Either way, learning can be a nice stress relief and can help keep the mind active.
Plan ahead for health care costs in retirement. Medicare is designed to cover traditional expenses, such as doctor’s visits, prescriptions, in-hospital expenses and wellness exams, but it won’t cover everything. Budget $4,500 to $6,500 a year to cover costs Medicare doesn’t pick up – including the premiums and deductibles as well as any supplemental insurance, which could include long-term care.
There are no guarantees in life, but there are steps you can take to help protect what’s often your most important asset: your health. Talk to your financial advisor about making your health a priority in your financial strategy.
*National Institute for Aging website: nia.nih.gov. Social isolation, loneliness in older people pose health risks. April 23, 2019.
**Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website: cdc.gov/healthyplaces/healthtopics/physactivity.htm