Did you know happy retirees have a few things in common? These are things you can begin doing or thinking about now to prepare you to be happier in your retirement years.
1. Be curious
Find hobbies or things you are curious about, that you will continue to pursue or spend time learning about in your retirement years. Even consider trying to master something you are already proficient in. What are some pursuits you plan to do in your retirement?
Have you heard of Stephen Covey’s 8th habit? This is where your passions and your gifts/talents intersect with a need in the world. This is your purpose – to use those talents with a need that connects with your heart.
At Goodwin Investment Advisory, we would suggest writing some things down that you plan to do, or discuss with your spouse some things you plan to do in your retirement years. Consider setting a goal to have 5 core pursuits, adding purpose, stimulation and fun into your life. Here are some questions to ask yourself.
- What is something I can do to stay active and healthy that I enjoy?
- Are there organizations, groups or clubs that I have always wanted to volunteer with, but did not have the time or the capacity to do so?
- What are some hobbies I enjoyed as a kid, but put on the back burner? (art, music, gardening, cooking, baking, biking, hiking, going to car shows, horseback riding, working with animals, dancing, public speaking, comedy) The best way to determine this is to ask yourself what made you come alive and smile as a kid, or what excited you to think about trying?
2. Move your body
Staying healthy by moving your body is the key, even just taking a regular walk in the morning or after dinner is a great way to keep your heart healthy. Plus, being outdoors is also very good for your body and mind.
What are some ways you plan to exercise in your golden years?
Swimming is very good for you and easy on your joints. Swimming has been shown to improve heart health, lower your blood pressure, increase circulation, and reduce the risk of lung disease according to American Senior Communities. It can also help increase flexibility and reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
Biking is one of the most popular activities for seniors as it boosts mental health while also strengthening your muscles and it is something you can do with your partner. You can even get an electric assist bike which can help you when you need it, but still allows you to exercise.
Have you ever tried paddle boarding? It is great for helping you improve your balance, strength, and endurance because it uses all of the muscles in your body at the same time. It is great for seniors, and there are different types of paddle boards out there – just make sure you find one that is versatile and stable. If you haven’t tried it before, it does take a little bit of time to get used to it, but being out on the water while exercising is so good for your body and mood as well.
3. Eat for your age
In addition to exercising, make sure to eat foods that benefit your body. You need different nutrients as you get older and as your metabolism slows down. Check out this article, “10 Foods You Should Be Eating More of as You Get Older,” which talks about the benefits of eating pasture raised eggs, oysters, citrus, cabbage, fatty fish, nuts, B12 fortified foods, and collagen from bone broth.
4. Finding meaningful work and purpose
Connecting your values and passions to a need in the world is very rewarding. You can choose to pursue a new line of work, or volunteer at a local organization. Volunteering is so helpful in increasing your level of happiness and self-esteem.
What are some local organizations, or places where you plan to volunteer? According to a Mayo Clinic article, Helping People, Changing Lives: 3 Health Benefits of Volunteering, “volunteering offers many health benefits, especially for older adults, including: Improves physical and mental health, provides a sense of purpose and teaches valuable skills, and helps to nurture new and existing relationships.”
5. Have an active social life
This means engaging with family and friends, and spending quality time together regularly. Living close to your family has been shown to increase happiness levels according to Wes Moss’s book, What the Happiest Retirees Know.” Also, when you retire you will not be around your co-workers as often, which is what many people miss once they retire. Having a core group of friends to do activities with and laugh with creates community and social connection that is directly related to happiness. You can choose to make more time for current relationships, or begin making new friends through new organizations, volunteering, pursuing new activities, or meeting someone while traveling. Have you read our blog titled, “All Aboard: A Guide to Planning for Retirement on a Cruise Ship?”