Retirement should be a time in your life when you feel empowered to live how you want to. But, as retirement is associated with aging and growing older, some have negative perceptions around it. At the end of the day, the only thing we can control are our own attitudes and beliefs.
Here at FAR, we’re optimists when it comes to retirement. We like to think of retirement as a well-earned opportunity to pursue your dreams—whether that be starting a small business, traveling more, or just spending more time with your grandkids. We think retirement needs a serious reframe—one that empowers, rather than takes away. The best way to get started on anything is simply to take the first step.
Here are a few simple things you can do to empower yourself in your golden years.
The Centers for Disease Control recommends not only cardio activity like walking every day, but they also suggest muscle-strengthening activity to keep strong and supplement aerobic activity. The CDC says adults 65 and older should do “activities that strengthen muscles” at least two days a week and 150 minutes of brisk walking. According to CDC Statistics, of adults 65-74, less than 19 percent of them were meeting aerobic and muscle-strengthening physical activity guidelines.
Monitor Your Health
COVID has changed the way many of us go for check-ups or monitoring. We can still stay on top of the proactive health care we need by scheduling virtual consultations or even using home monitoring and testing devices that can detect chronic conditions. Also, preventative steps begin with understanding your risk factors for certain diseases like cancer. Check with the American Cancer Society to learn more.
- For folks with average risk, they can do at-home kits for colon cancer screenings.
- For dermatology, if you have average risk factors, you can schedule video consults to understand where you’re at with skin conditions or check-ups.
- Other at home kits include the Tyto Care ($299), which conducts virtual exams of lungs, heart, and ears, and shares that data with your doctor during a video consultation.
Reevaluate Your Beliefs & Find More Meaning In Life
It’s a fact. Age is a big factor for mortality from COVID, but that’s biological age, not our chronological age. We can let this pandemic frustrate us that we’ve had to abandon or cancel our plans to travel and see family, or we can use it as a barometer to tap into our ambitions, goals, dreams, and spirituality. According to the founder of the Kinder Institute of Life Planning, you can take stock of your life and goals by asking three questions:
1) What would you do if you had all the time and money in the world?
2) How would you live if you knew you had only five to 10 years left?
3) What would you most regret if you died tomorrow?
Embrace The Resilience That Comes With Aging
Age is your most advantageous asset. While many younger folks stress about juggling kids and work, chances are you’ve graduated (or are close to) from your career, and your kids are out of the house. You’ve likely been through some incredibly challenging or stressful times and can channel your resilience now. As we get older, we get better at channeling our emotional experience. “People have better emotional expertness and manage their emotions better as they get older, and that’s continuing now even in a time of prolonged stress,” says Laura Carstensen, a psychology professor and founding director at Stanford Center on Longevity. Because of our age, we’ve reached a certain level of wisdom. We understand what it means to slow down, to appreciate what we have, and to cherish the moment. Knowing this allows us to focus on the now, live in the present, and make the best of what we have!
There are so many things to look forward to as we grow older. Believing this statement is the first step in living it.