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Proactive Health in Retirement: Episode 144

living healthy

Living Healthy in Retirement

I talked with Cassandra Hill, who is a gerontologist and a certified wellness coach. She started out working with seniors in long-term care and assisted living and enjoyed her time. The health of the seniors she worked with declined to a point that their quality of life was limited. This gave her the passion to work with seniors and give them a better quality of life.

In this episode, Cassandra enlightens us on how to age properly and the things that we should do to live out our senior years in peace and confidence.

Cassandra tells us that the baby boomers are in their retirement age and they need to be proactive about aging. She has served seniors living at home, in a skilled nursing, assisted living, and also in hospice. She ensures that their emotional health is also taken care of so that they are in a good mental state. Their wellbeing is not only important to them, but also for their loved ones and family members.

Our body and mind are interwoven and often mental stress can lead to physical symptoms and even cause illness. It is necessary to take care of both in order to live a comfortable life.

Concerns about aging

I ask Cassandra to tell us more about the concerns of aging and growing old. She states that the primary concern of seniors she works with is finances. Having the means necessary to live and fear of outliving their money. Many people have not bought long-term insurance or didn't save enough to go through retirement. With the advance in medical science, people are living longer but with chronic illness.

Such people need to apply for government insurance like Medicaid immediately, which can cover long-term care depending on your circumstances. The insurance also pays for meals or any medical expenses including that of a nurse. Some states also offer the PACE program for seniors which are all-inclusive programs that come helpful in the golden years.

Cassandra is now focusing on people who are yet to retire so that she can work with them and help them save enough for retirement. She also feels that the retirement system in the country should change otherwise future generations won't be able to support them.

Living Healthy

I presented Cassandra a hypothetical situation of a 62-year-old woman who has to take care of her kids and also has to check in on her parents.  Doing things for her parents such as occasionally buying groceries and other things for them. I ask Cassandra what suggestion she would give to such a woman.

Cassandra says that this woman should first take care of herself otherwise she won't be able to care for others. She should go for a routine check-up at least once every 6 months. She also advises her to take self-care measurements and get the finances sorted. She suggests getting some form of pension and gets a retirement plan while making some cutbacks in her lifestyle. Her kids can also apply for education loans to take some burden off her shoulders.

For a 62-year-old woman living independently, Cassandra advises her to develop healthy habits or should practice living healthy. She should also exercise regularly for about 30 minutes a day to increase her heart rate. To avoid feelings of isolation, she should join some community such as YMCA and interact with people who share the same interests.

Advice from Cassandra

Cassandra also gives out words of wisdom who want to be proactive about their aging. She tells us to invite an Aging in Home designer who can come and assess your house. They can suggest a number of changes which might help you in living healthy and happy for a long time. Such considerations include putting slides in the shower, taking up rugs and so on. Talking on the subject it turns out that falls are really common with senior people. Most of the falls happen in the bathroom facilitated by factors such as water and slippery floors. The kitchen is another place which might prove to be hazardous in your old age.

You can make your house suitable for living and reduce the chances of mishaps. Such measures include putting a grab handle in the shower so that you can save yourself from falling.

If you want more tips about the science of aging, you can visit Cassandrahill.com and also check out her Facebook page Live Health for Life.

Connect with Cassandra:

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

A plan for retirement – is it really that important?

Older Executive Woman Contemplating, perhaps about her plan for retirement.One in four people intend to retire in the next ten years, yet few have a plan for retirement which includes the non-financial aspects. As such, they do not have a clear idea of what their life in retirement will look like.

According to a recent survey, 53% of American retirees had done “hardly any” leisure time planning for the next twelve months. Further to that 77% reported they had done no planning for the next five years and 84% had not thought ten years ahead.

I don't have time to plan for retirement!

You’re sick of deadlines, squeezing in gym sessions in your lunch break and doing housework on the weekends. Relaxing and taking it easy is what appeals to you. Without a doubt, a less structured life is one of the great benefits of saying goodbye to the nine-to-five.

You may also be thinking “I barely have time to plan our meals for the week, let alone my life in ten years’ time”. Most likely you know the goals of your kids, grandchildren and elderly parents, but as for your own dreams? You draw a blank …

Rest assured you’re not alone in not having a plan for retirement. But that doesn’t mean that planning is not important. With life expectancy on the increase, most of us can expect a retirement of 20-30 years in relatively good health. That’s another third of your life ahead of you. This is far too long to simply kick back on the recliner and navel gaze.

Without a plan for the social and well-being aspects of life after work, however, there are risks. These include drifting aimlessly, becoming isolated and getting cranky at the world. As such, retirement can become a long, lonely and bleak journey.

“Do one thing today that your future self with thank you for.” – Anonymous

Simple retirement planning action to take today

Creating a plan for retirement does not need to be a difficult or time-consuming activity. A great starting point is to grab a cup of coffee (or wine!), pen and paper, and a cozy spot.

Ask yourself a couple of key questions

  • How do I want to spend my days?
    • What interests and activities light me up (not how do I think I should be spending my days!)?
  • What does my significant other want out of retirement? Are our plans in sync?
  • Who do I want to spend my time with?
    • Who are the people that inspire me (not drain me)?
  • How do I want to be remembered by family, friends and the community around me?
  • Are there any non-negotiables that I need to consider? These might include caring for an elderly parent or living nearby to grandchildren?

What is the value of these few questions, you might ask? A recent client appreciated that she was forced to ponder things that she was trying to avoid. Namely the divergent views on retirement that her husband and she held. One she had her thoughts down on paper, they were then able to have a meaningful conversation. They explored how to build a retirement that was fulfilling to both of them.

Talk with your significant other

Most importantly, recognize that the transition into retirement rarely occurs in isolation to the goings-on around you. Talk with your significant other(s) about your dreams, including the fears and the possibilities. This might be your spouse, partner, family member or friend. Determine how you can support each other and ensure that your goals are in alignment for a retirement that you’ll love to live!

Megan Giles Retirement Transition Consultant supports those approaching retirement to successfully transition and create a retirement they will love to live! For more tips, advice and practical resources visit www.megangiles.com.

To truly rock your life after work, be inspired by the Rock Your Retirement podcast.

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