The common refrain when someone retires is: “Don’t sit down!” A friendly – albeit foreboding – warning, to the newly unemployed, about not becoming a couch potato can be a bit of a downer. Other morsels of wisdom include: “Keep moving. Don’t sit around in your pajamas all day eating doughnuts. Find a hobby. Stay in touch with your friends.”
If you’re retired, then you have probably heard some, or all, of this advice.
In some ways, it’s scary to hear. You imagine yourself morphing into a motionless sloth who stops showering and forgets how to use a fork the moment you cash in that 401k.
The Best Is Yet To Come
Well, it turns out that retirees actually make positive health changes after they stop working, according to a recent study led by the University of Sydney.
The report, which surveyed 25,000 retirees, found that retired folks are more active, sleep better and curbed their smoking habits compared with their working counterparts.1
This is exciting news for a lot of people who believe that retirement signals the end of a meaningful, vibrant life. In fact, the contrary is true. Retirees seem to be traveling more than ever before – along with quitting smoking and not sitting on the couch eating doughnuts.
Travel More, Sit Less
U.S. travel company, Overseas Adventure Travel, which creates adventure excursions for people who are over 50, has seen an increase in older adventurers. The company reported a 67 percent spike, over the span of ten years, in 50+ travel. Here’s another fun fact: AirBnB users, over 60 years of age, total more than 1 million customers.2
This adds up to a beautiful picture of retirement. It’s what we all imagine as we clock in to work every day.
So next time you go to a retirement party – be sure you shelf those tired warnings about being a couch potato and congratulate your newly retired buddy on a fun, fulfilling future!
10 Tips on Getting the Most Out of Your Retirement:
- Plan Now! Create your retirement goals and make a plan to reach them.
- Don’t Wait to Save. Forgoing a latte or new pair of shoes each day or week adds up – so keep one eye on the future (while the other one is on that new purse).
- Take Advantage of 401ks. If your employer is matching your money, make sure you jump on that opportunity.
- Get Healthy Now. If you get in shape now, by the time you retire you will have the stamina and energy you need to follow your passions.
- Think about extra money you’re spending that you could be investing. Do you pay for a storage unit? That money adds up, while the stuff inside depreciates.
- Create Healthy Habits. Just like investing your money for retirement, invest in good habits now so later they will be easier to stick with. Replace cookies and chips with fruits and gorgeous salads. Make time for a walk each day or a coffee date with a friend.
- Stimulate Your Imagination Don’t wait for retirement to start a hobby. Start now! Even if you only have an hour a week to devote to it – whether it’s tennis or ceramics – jump in! By the time you retire, you’ll have connections and more time to spend doing the activities you already cultivated.
- Meet With a Financial Planner A good financial planner can help you set up investments now and adjust them as you near retirement, so that you have enough money to enjoy your life without worrying about running out.
- Geography As you near retirement, assess where you live. If you’re far from family and friends, you might want to consider relocating before or right after retirement. A good network of people you love, trust and enjoy being around can dramatically enrich your life.
- Check Up On Your Investments Finally, don’t rely on anyone else to make sure you are on the right track for retirement. There’s nothing worse than saving your whole life only to find out at age 62 that your investments were all wrong for your goals… and you lost money. Don’t let “fake science” fool you into thinking you’re earning huge profits. Look at your bottom line – and always follow your gut. If you feel like you need a second opinion, then you probably do.