When the subject of retirement health comes up, most people think of their physical status and trips to the doctor while others think of their financial assets and whether they have enough money to live out their final years. On these pages, we like to think of your happiness as a key measurement in defining your retirement health. If you’re rich and healthy but not happy, what’s the point? We devote a lot of pages to finding happiness in retirement and making your golden years as rewarding as possible. That’s the true measurement of retirement health and a life well-lived.
This is not to say that your physical health is not important, of course it is. An annual health assessment is something we strongly recommend. It’s also not to imply that a healthy diet and exercise are not important, because they make a big difference in how active you are and how much you enjoy life. But, even when it comes to these important aspects of your retirement health, why not put a little extra enjoyment and happiness into those activities at the same time?
For example, for physical exercise, why not take up golf or tennis or join a senior baseball team? Start hiking and swimming and do it with friends. Make it as social an activity as you can. Even if it’s something you do as an individual, find a way to bring in a little extra pleasure. I walk on the treadmill which is about as boring as you can get. However, when you play your favorite music while you’re walking, it can make all the difference in the world. Many fitness centers have televisions you can watch but it’s usually something that I would not choose. A set of headphones solved that problem and I now look forward to my treadmill exercise as an enjoyable part of my retirement health program. If you live near the water, by all means, a walk on the beach can be extremely satisfying and healthy at the same time.
You can do a lot to make a healthy diet a lot more enjoyable by adding a cooking class to your schedule that is focused on staying healthy. My wife has taken to growing her own herbs and spices and her tomatoes this summer were unbelievably good. That has added a lot of enjoyment and satisfaction to our meal preparation and trying a new recipe always adds a little extra. If you like wine, as I do, trying new varietals and pairing it with your entrée adds immeasurably to the enjoyment of a meal.
And, we cannot exclude intellectual enrichment as part of any retirement health program. Starting a new hobby, traveling or learning something new is a great way to keep your brain sharp and you’ll be surprised at how your new activities start to pop up in your conversation with friends. There are so many hobbies and activities, it’s hard to know where to start but, if you take a little time, you’ll come up with quite a few things that you were always curious to try and most of the fun is learning how to become better at something.
We absolutely love the retired life and taking the time to appreciate what a wonderful world we live in is also a great way to maintain a positive outlook on life. Even during this terrible pandemic, we have to remain positive. We happen to think a person’s outlook on life is the biggest contributing factor to a person’s happiness. When you look at all the measurements that make up a person’s retirement health profile, happiness ranks right up at the top. When you take the time to enrich your retirement health physically, mentally and develop an appreciation for everything the world has to offer, there’s no doubt you increased your chances to Enjoy Retired Life.