If you were to Google “ingredients for a successful retirement” you’d probably find some financial advisors telling you to invest in 401(k) and IRAs or “find the right tax-advantaged savings options”.
While that’s good advice, they’re forgetting one important thing - when we talk about retirement planning, we’re talking about more than investments - we’re talking about your life.
A successful retirement is a mix of financial and non-financial ingredients for building a retirement lifestyle that makes you happy. Whatever your ideal retirement looks like...that could mean lavish parties, volunteering, or writing a book!
7 Reasons to Make Exercise Your Job in Retirement
If you were to ask the team here at Wealth Legacy Institute about what makes a successful retirement, we’d probably tell you to “make exercise your new job”.
This might sound like strange advice from a bunch of wealth management advisors like us.
But this is super important because as we tell our clients during our Planning for LIFE Experience™ process, “Exercise is THE starting point because it reverses the crazy message our society gives seniors that they should retire from work and life.”
Keeping your body and mind active is crucial to making the most of life at any age, including your retirement years. Here’s why you should exercise six days a week for the rest of your life:
1. Move your body, be happy.
Movement is good for the mind, body and soul. It relieves stress instantly and promotes long-term satisfaction. Maybe you’ve never experienced “runner’s high” but how about that warm feeling of “just shaking it all out” on the dance floor?
2. Say goodbye to chronic pain.
Before you turn to pills or surgery, try physical therapy. Targeted exercises may relieve aches and pains including neck and lower back pain, arthritis, or bad posture, aka “phoning” posture.
3. Become a better sleeper.
You know that thing parents do when they try to “tire out the kids” by letting them run around? It works with adults too. A National Sleep Foundation study showed that people sleep up to 65 percent better with 20 minutes daily of moderate-to-vigorous activity.
4. Keep your memory sharp and brain function on point.
A healthy heart promotes a healthy brain. Exercise promotes the flow of blood and oxygen needed for healthy mental function.
5. Look younger longer.
Of course daily exercise leads to weight loss. Would you believe it’s great for delaying signs of skin aging too?
6. Retain muscle mass and avoid injuries.
It’s natural to lose muscle mass as we age, but physical training to maintain strength has great benefits, including reduced chances of falling and lower risk of osteoporosis.
7. Feel better than ok.
Regular exercise helps prevent chronic conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s. Not to mention, when you do physical activity regularly, you’ll have more energy and (maybe) increased sex drive.
The bottom line? Regular exercise can improve nearly every aspect of your health from the inside out. Movement is life.
Start Building the Habit Before You Retire (if You Haven’t Already)
We know there are probably plenty of blogs out there telling you exercise is key to staying healthy in retirement, and in life. But did you know that regular exercise has financial benefits? And we’re not just talking about the thousands you’ll save a year on health care.
When you’re in the mindset of working towards physical fitness goals, you’ll be more likely to stick to your financial goals. You’ll also be more productive and make better decisions.
Let’s make one thing clear: you don’t have to be training for a triathlon or hitting every National Park in the Denver area. Being active can be as simple as walking around the block, gardening or chair yoga. It’s up to you and your healthcare provider to determine what you’re physically able to handle.
What’s important is you do it - and the good news is, it’s never too late to start.
Find a routine that works for you, an activity you enjoy and maybe a workout buddy, and get after it like it’s your job! It’s your insurance to better health.
IMPORTANT: Before starting any new exercise routine, get checked out by your doctor. The goal is to retire smart and vibrant, not knocked out for a week because you overdid it on your first day. Don’t take a chance. Annual doctor checkups are a requirement for healthy aging.
Exercise is an essential piece of a successful retirement - but it’s not the whole story. Get our 2020 Essential Retirement Guide for a checklist of 7 things you need to do before you retire.