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How Gardens Help you Rock Your Retirement

Retirement age is a period in which one has more time to enjoy life. People seek the joy of old age in various ways. And many have spent all their old-age caring for their gardens.

According to therapeutics, nature has a significant impact on our health, both physically and mentally. 

People's cortisol levels drop when they are in a green and quiet environment. Let's see how gardening helps you rock your retirement.

Gardening helps you burn more calories

Gardening is considered a form of exercise of moderate intensity, helping you burn quite a few calories.

Specifically, you can burn about 330 calories in 1 hour of gardening (be it weed pulling, picking fruit, or watering the plants) – more calories burned than when walking at a moderate rate over the same period. 

This would be better for those who have entered retirement age.

Gardening extends life.

Gardening not only adorns your home more radiantly but also has miracles to make you healthier. A lot of scientific research has proven the benefits of gardening for health.

Many outdoor physical activities have been proven to be associated with long life expectancy. Gardening is an activity that meets both of these conditions.

When gardening, sunlight, and fresh air help the elderly become more temperate, garden crops’ diverse colors and shapes help improve visual and touch abilities.

When caring for trees, we carry out physical activities that positively affect weight and blood pressure. Also, the process of interacting with the plant contributes to improving mood.

How Gardens Help you Rock Your Retirement

Gardening helps reduce stress and anxiety.

Going to your garden at the end of a busy day will reduce your stress levels and mental fatigue. 

A study has shown that spending 30 minutes gardening after participating in a stressful activity has a stress-reducing effect rather than spending 30 minutes reading indoors.

According to a 2017 general analysis, gardening positively correlates with minimizing symptoms of depression and anxiety. 

Some hospitals even use planting and flower arranging as a rehabilitation therapy for people who have just experienced trauma, stroke, surgery to help patients regenerate physical and mental health.

Gardening helps reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes.

Gardening helps you be proactive and reduces your stress levels, and that means it can help prevent heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and other diseases. Also, eating nutritious food that you grow is very good for cardiovascular health.

Spending 30 minutes a day on gardening is an excellent way to help cardiovascular diseases maintain a normal state and stabilize the state before the undesirable effects of daily life.

Gardening makes you feel happy

Many studies have shown that some health and behavior problems, including anxiety and depression, are directly related to the amount of time you spend outside. 

This can form a symptom of “deficient substance disorders” in children. Gardening will help you solve that.

Gardening helps you sleep better

Spending more time caring for the garden can improve the quality of your sleep. That reduces stress and anxiety levels, which means you will fall asleep quickly and experience sweeter dreams.

Being outside is good for your bones.

Calcium is a mineral essential for bone formation. When being outdoors, your skin is exposed to the sun and promotes the body to synthesize vitamin D to let your body absorb calcium.

In general, spending time outdoors is great for your bones. However, you should not stay long in the sun to avoid the risk of skin cancer.

Gardening helps you connect with the community.

You can work in batched gardens, which will be much better than when you garden alone. Gardening is also considered a treatment for Alzheimer's patients to join relatives and friends.

A high level of social connection from gardening will help them live healthier and longer lives. 

Gardeners have the opportunity to meet in the market. Bringing their products to share with other gardeners is a significant social activity. 

This helps gardeners have fun and connect well with people and surroundings.

Let nature nourish us

Self-made food can help you eat healthier. If gardening activities have a positive effect, such as exercise, the fruits of that activity will be a high-yield garden parcel, promoting a more nutritious diet. You will reap fresh, healthy agricultural products.

Gardening in Retirement

Image by jf-gabnor from Pixabay

Conclusion

As such, gardening is the best choice for retirees. It will not waste your old age, but instead, it will bring many benefits to you such as: improving life expectancy, community cohesion, providing clean food for yourself, …

About the Author: Jill is a sustainable focus gardener at Constant Delights. She loves decorating her home backyard with beautiful landscape design and creative garden care techniques she develops herself.

 

5 Tips to pay off debt in retirement

We don’t normally discuss money here. But today, we are going to talk about it so that our readers can enter into a comfortable retirement by repaying debts when they leave the workforce.

A few days back, I was going through a recent CNBC report which has stated that debt among older adults in our country has skyrocketed 543% in two decades. Isn’t it shocking?

Usually, retirees have a fixed income after hitting their golden years. If they have huge debts to pay off, they will be left with very little funds. And ultimately, it will result in financial worries after retirement. So, it’s always a good idea to repay your debt during retirement. But how will you do so?

Don’t worry. Here are some of the best possible tips to repay your debt during retirement so that you can relax during your golden years.Tips to pay off debt in retirement

Relook at your budget

Hopefully, you are following a budget to maintain a proper spending plan and save money for your financial well-being. Remember, the more you dedicate towards your monthly debt payments, the faster you can become debt-free.

So, you need to save more for increasing your monthly debt payments. For that, you need to review your budget and find the areas where you can cut costs and save those dollars.

For example, you can cut costs on discretionary expenses like eating out, entertainment, cable TV subscriptions, etc. by doing so, you can save a decent amount of money to dedicate towards your monthly debt payments.

Set up a repayment plan

The baby step to pay off your debt in retirement is to set up a repayment plan. For that, you need to list all your debts (except mortgages) along with their interest rates, minimum payment amounts, and outstanding balance amounts. Now, you can follow either of the two debt repayment plans, i.e, debt snowball and avalanche method.

In the debt snowball method, you need to focus on the debt with the smallest outstanding balance first. At the same time, you will have to make minimum payments on all other debts.

Once you repay that debt, you will have to focus on the debt with the second smallest outstanding balance and so on. You will have to continue this process until you become debt-free.

The biggest advantage of the snowball method is that you can stay motivated during your debt repayment journey. Because repaying debt with small outstanding balance amounts is likely going to take less time and you can feel the valor of becoming debt-free within a short time.

However, you may have to shell out more on interest payments as you are prioritizing debts based on their outstanding balance amounts.

In the debt avalanche method, you need to prioritize the debt with the highest interest rate first. At the same time, you have to make minimum payments on other debts.

Once you pay off that debt, you will have to target the debt with the second-highest interest rate and so on. You will have to repeat this cycle until you become debt-free.

By opting for the debt avalanche method, you can save money on interest payments. Besides, if you have a huge outstanding balance with the highest interest rate, the avalanche method can be the best bet for you to repay debts.

However, it may take a longer time to repay debts by opting for the avalanche method. So, you may lose patience and it may become hard for you to stay motivated during your debt repayment journey.

Postpone your retirement

You can find a part-time job in retirement and extend your earning years. By doing so, you will be able to earn a few more dollars. Eventually, it will help you to boost your monthly payments to get rid of the debt trap faster.

In this context, I would suggest you opt for a part-time job that fulfills your passion. Thereby, you will feel good about yourself and earn money too for eliminating debt.

At the same time, postponing your retirement can help you to increase your Social Security benefits. The reason being, you are likely going to receive delayed retirement credits and that can help your Social Security payments to increase by two-thirds of 1% for every month you delay your retirement till 70.

Take out a balance transfer card

A recent report by Motley Fool has revealed that in our country, people near their retirement age have the most credit card debt. If you are one of them, you may have to shell out a substantial amount from your paycheck as credit cards have high-interest rates.

So, it’s better to get rid of your multiple credit card debts before your retirement. You can transfer all your outstanding balance amounts to a new card with no or very low-interest rate. So, no worry about managing multiple debts anymore.

Usually, credit card companies offer balance transfer cards at a 0% interest rate for an introductory period ranging from about 18 to 24 months. After the introductory period ends, they will levy a variable interest rate.

So, I would suggest you repay your outstanding balance amount in your new card within the introductory period. By doing so, you can save a substantial amount of money on your interest payments. Eventually, you can repay your credit card debts faster too.

However, you need to have an excellent credit score of around 670 or higher for taking out a balance transfer card. Besides, you may have to pay a balance transfer fee of about 3% to 5% of the total amount you are transferring.

Opt for a debt consolidation programTips to pay off debt in retirement

Let’s say, you are trapped with unsecured debt like credit cards, payday loans, etc. You have tried to take out a balance transfer card but you couldn’t qualify for it due to a lack of a sufficient credit score.

In that case, is there any other way to consolidate your unsecured debts? Yes, you can consolidate your debts by consulting a reputable debt relief company. But how so? What happens if you consolidate debt through a debt relief company?

The debt consultants of the debt relief company will assess your debts along with your financial situation. Based on that information, they will chalk out an affordable monthly payment plan.

At the same time, they will try to negotiate with your creditors on your behalf to reduce the high-interest rates and waive off any late fees or penalties. Once the creditors agree, you can start making single monthly payments to the debt relief company. And they, in turn, will distribute the money among your creditors.

So, by opting for a debt consolidation program, you can bundle your multiple debt payments. Besides, your monthly payments are likely going to reduce as the interest rates will be reduced. And the best part is, you don’t need an excellent credit score to qualify for a debt consolidation program.

So, the bottom line is, repaying your debts is one of the things you need to do before you retire to relax during your golden years. So hopefully, the 5 tips that we discussed above will help you to pay off your debts in your retirement. Eventually, it will help you to keep your retirement stress at bay and you will be able to enjoy your golden years without any financial worries.

Author’s Bio: Good Nelly is a financial writer who lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She has started her financial journey long back. Good Nelly has been associated with Debt Consolidation Care for a long time. Through her writings, she has helped people overcome their debt problems and has solved personal finance-related queries. She has also written for some other websites and blogs. You can follow her Twitter profile.

3 Great Senior-Friendly Tech Devices To Help You Stay in Touch

3 Great Senior-Friendly Tech Devices To Help You Stay in Touch

By Mary Shannon, seniorsmeet.org

Over the past year, families used technology to stay connected, even while staying physically apart. For many, this experience highlighted the growing technology gap that exists between seniors and their younger family members. The technology that helps younger generations stay connected often doesn’t work for seniors, for several reasons. Many tech devices simply aren’t viable options for people with limited hearing, vision, manual dexterity, technological prowess, or budgets.

That’s not to say that senior-friendly technology doesn’t exist—and Rock Your Retirement can help. These three tech devices are ideal choices to help seniors stay in touch, so read on.

  1. Noise-Cancelling Headphones

As Healthy Hearing explains, hearing loss is extremely common among older Americans. Cranking up the volume isn’t always a practical solution since most speakers create distortion at the high ends of their volume ranges. Plus, neighbors and roommates aren’t always on board with the loud sound. Being unable to hear well is extremely detrimental to communication efforts, not to mention frustrating to everyone involved.

Noise-canceling headphones block out unwanted background sounds and lower frequencies, selectively amplifying the desired audio in a distortion-free way that won’t result in a noise complaint. Many of these headphones feature wireless connectivity, Bluetooth, and built-in microphones. There are countless options available at nearly every price point.

These headphones can make video and telephone calls easier to hear and understand, and make movies, music, and TV shows more enjoyable. They can even be a boon to seniors who enjoy video games, which is also a great way for them to maintain their social connections and even can help keep their minds sharp, per the CBC.

  1. New-Model Smartphone

Most seniors have some type of mobile phone, but few own the latest-model smartphones. Some may be clinging to an older model because it still works, and they know how to use it. Some may not want to spend the money on an upgrade. Still, others may not want to bother with the hassle of learning new technology.

While these arguments are common, they don’t hold much water. The latest smartphone models are more intuitive and easier to use than ever before. Most newer phones offer one-touch voice and video calling, and many utilize facial-recognition technology, which is much simpler than remembering and entering usernames and passwords. Today’s phones come with an array of built-in accessibility features, have impressive battery lives, and support wireless charging. Topping it off, seniors can take advantage of special offers that make upgrading all the more palatable, like trade-ins and low or free monthly payments.

Most importantly, smartphones are how most of the world stays connected, and seniors shouldn’t be excluded from the party. A newer smartphone is a convenient way to keep in touch via calls, text messages, email, and social media apps. A smartphone can also be used to quickly and easily access a bevy of information, such as news stories, weather forecasts, games, recipes, music, and even podcasts—such as from Rock Your Retirement—specifically created for older adults.

  1. Basic Laptop or Large-Format Tablet

It’s hard to deny the importance of an updated, functional smartphone to help seniors stay connected, but not every application is well-suited to a mobile-size screen. Vision loss and limited dexterity can also make some apps hard to use on a phone. It’s a good idea to also have a large tablet or basic laptop available to take advantage of everything available.

The choice between laptop or tablet is largely a matter of personal preference. Some people prefer the intuitive layout and relative ease of navigating a tablet. Others find touch screens to be daunting and prefer a traditional laptop format.

Technology prices can be prohibitively high for some seniors, especially those on a fixed income. Sale-savvy seniors can keep an eye on ads and be cognizant of the best times to score tech deals. Many retailers offer senior discounts, which can sometimes be used in combination with sale pricing for an even deeper discount. While technology isn’t cheap, staying connected to senior family members is well worth the cost.

Most Common Health Issues Women Face in Their 50s

Most Common Health Issues Women Face in Their 50s

by Ashley Lipman

Sometimes, getting a little older means life gets a little bit harder. We take on new responsibilities, new roles, and new ailments.

As we age, our bodies change.  At 50, you might be over the hill, but you’ve still got plenty ahead of you, and you want to feel your best on this journey through life.

Losing hair, gaining weight, and noticing a few more aches and pains are familiar aspects of aging. 

Usually, a proper diet and regular exercise can help ward off some of the negative side effects of getting older. However, sometimes our health takes a turn for the worse despite efforts to maintain clean, active lifestyles. 

Schedule regular physicals with your doctor to help keep tabs on your health.

Even in retirement, it’s important to have a health plan set up through your insurance, so you always have access to healthcare resources.

Aging doesn’t have to take the fun out of life. Knowing about common health issues, symptoms, and treatments can help you get ahead of the curve and maintain control and independence in your life.

Here are a few of the most common health issues faced by women in their 50’s. 

Breast Cancer

The C-word evokes fear and anxiety in many people, but being proactive can make all the difference and possibly save your life.

Don’t let the fear of cancer stop you from getting regular checkups and mammograms

Women over the age of 45 should receive annual mammograms and breast exams to ensure that nothing goes unnoticed or undiagnosed. 

Breast cancer is most common in women over 50. Still, screenings should become regular practice before this age so that doctors can catch any abnormalities before they have time to develop further. 

Many women overcome their breast cancer diagnosis. There are plenty of treatment options available, but the best way to prevent cancer is to lead a healthy lifestyle free of smoking.

Self-breast exams will also help with early detection. Lumps or noticeable changes should prompt a visit to your healthcare provider. 

Diabetes

Diabetes is over-represented in the senior community, making it a serious threat to aging women. 

While Diabetes Type 2 can be prevented with a healthy diet and exercise, Type 1 Diabetes is unpreventable. Both types are usually comorbid with other serious health issues such as obesity and heart disease.

As we age, it can be tempting to slow down our lifestyles and over-indulge. However, it’s extremely important to incorporate regular exercise into your routine and monitor your sugar intake to avoid health problems like Diabetes. 

Osteoporosis 

Most Common Health Issues Women Face in Their 50s

This ailment generally impacts bone regeneration. Lost bone mass is harder to replace as we get older, and for some women, the risk becomes even higher after age 50. 

Osteoporosis causes bones to become brittle and break or crack easier. Since women already have smaller bones, the risk is greater for them. 

A diet full of calcium-rich foods, such as kale, sardines, and yogurt, can help prevent bone mass deterioration. If you’re not getting enough of these foods, consider adding a vitamin supplement to increase your daily intake and restore bone strength

Aging with Grace and Dignity

You’re only as old as you feel. Each phase in life comes with new opportunities, experiences, and emotions. Don’t let aging slow you down or take the joy out of living. 

Aging with Grace and Dignity

Photo by Esther Ann on Unsplash

 

Take charge of your future and take care of your body. There are plenty of golden years ahead of you, and you want to be healthy enough to enjoy them to the fullest. Knowing about these health issues in advance and the ways to prevent them will help you lead a long and happy life.

 

 

About the Author

Ashley Lipman is an award-winning writer who discovered her passion for providing knowledge to readers worldwide on topics closest to her heart – all things digital. Since her first high school award in Creative Writing, she continues to deliver awesome content through various niches touching the digital sphere.

Practicing for Retirement with Barbara Mock

Practicing for Retirement with Barbara MockWe continue to follow Barbara Mock through her retirement journey. For the next year, she is letting us live vicariously through her eyes, telling us what it's like to go through the stages of retirement.

Practicing for Retirement

For many people, traveling is one of the things they enjoy most about retirement. Barbara took some time off of work and went on a little mini practice retirement. She and her husband went on a trip to Priest Lake Idaho with some friends they have known for over 40 years and have kept in contact with. Everything sort of fell together last minute and she said it was magical and even thought to herself, is this what retirement could be like?

Having fun with friends that they have known forever and ever kind of made her realize that maintaining friendships over a long period of time is really going to be something valuable to as we retire.

Priest Lake

It was 96 degrees. You're in a mountain lake. I hope you guys look it up. Look at the photos look on Google Earth. It's crystal blue, pristine water. You can see to the bottom, even when it's quite deep, and it's really remote.

After 3 days, their friends had to go back to work so Barbara and her husband dusted of their camping equipment went camping at Farragut State Park in Lake Pend Oreille. They hadn't camped in the dirt for 20-25 years. They put up their tent, watched the stars, and had a romantic time. We talked about the next day where Barbara and her husband met a couple and shared a boat ride and a meal with them. What both of them learned is that you can make friends anywhere if you're open to it.

Your Spouse and Retirement

Not only has she been practicing for retirement, but Barbara has also been doing a lot of reading and research. She wants to plan for the emotional outlook of retirement, but how it will impact her relationship.  Her husband is not as willing to research but will discuss it. During a 7-hour car ride on Barbara's practice retirement/ vacation, she learned a lot. She learned that her husband has sort of been putting his retirement on hold waiting for her to retire and that he loves golf. Her husband had taken up a sport that Barbara loved and she wanted to make sure that she was taking an interest in things he loves as well.

They have also been having conversations every day. There is an enormous amount of planning and preparation it is taking her to prepare. She had no idea how many checklists and things you need to get in order prior to retirement. Social Security, financial planning, estate planning, medical insurance, social life, traveling, downsizing, or moving, among many other decisions that have to be made.

Focusing on work

Barbara does find it a little difficult to focus on work with her impending retirement. Especially after her practice retirement vacation. However, with work being very busy right now, it helps her stay focused on her job.

Pretty much everyone at work knows by now that Barbara is retiring. Some offer advice and most tell her she will love it. Barbara did reach out to an old colleague who has been retired for about 10 years. What she told Barbara was amazing. It was so inspiring. She's in her 70s, her husband's in his 80s. And she said, keep moving, move, don't become fragile. She and her husband have stand up paddleboards, they go kayaking, and they are avid snow skiers, they ski all over the world and in the US. She has a bike that she rides; she has an organic garden, and she does yoga and works out every morning! So that was her advice. Stay strong, exercise, and keep working out so that you can do the things in your retirement that you want to do.

Have you thought about practicing for retirement? Or if you have already retired, how did you prepare? Were there things that were surprising to you? Let us know in the comments below.

Read all of Barbra's blog posts by visiting https://www.rockyourretirement.com/blog/

Episodes and websites Mentioned

What a retiring Executive Needs besides Money

Your Retirement Quest by Alan Spector and Keith Lawrence

Afford Anything Podcast

Fritz Gilbert- Creating a Retirement Jar


This post on Retirement and Retirement Lifestyle first appeared on http://RockYourRetirement.com

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