How To Stay Young (At Least In Spirit) When You’re Retired

Mohr Keet of South Africa bungee jumped when he was 96, landing himself in the Guinness Board of World Records.

Yuichiro Miura of Japan climbed Mount Everest when he was 80.

Not everyone in the golden years of life will attempt and accomplish such extraordinary feats, but most couples can take steps to keep themselves young – at least in spirit – when they reach retirement.

Unfortunately for many spouses, retirement planning remains fixated on finances, so when the big day arrives they’re not quite ready to segue into life’s new chapter.

After you’ve planned for the money, there is still anxiety about retirement. You don’t know what it’s like to not work and so there is that emotional part of retirement you need to manage. Sometimes people aren’t ready in any way, shape or form.

There are a few ways to age gracefully in retirement. They include:

Be a lifelong learner

Making the effort to learn about new things keeps our brains young. Read something you wouldn’t normally read. Sit in on a lecture that a college opens to the public. You and your spouse may want to take classes in philosophy or in a foreign language. It’s proven that those who are lifelong learners have a greater sense of optimism and a lower chance of dementia.

Be patient

The months before and after you retire can become an emotional roller coaster. Even though you been planning for that day to come, finally achieving that goal can bring mixed thoughts and feelings. It can be a stressful time for some. Be sure to give each other some compassion and understanding during this time of transition. Even though one spouse may retire before another, it is still a big transition for both of you. If you feel as though you need some help, remember that you can always turn to online counseling. Click here to learn more. 

See the world – or at least some of it

There are no doubt plenty of places you haven’t ventured out to, some close by and others far away. Traveling and enjoying new experiences with your spouse is a great way to keep you feeling young and enthusiastic about life, whether you head to a state park just an hour’s drive away or you board a plane bound for Paris. Part of the fun of traveling is deciding where you want to go. 

The sky should be the limit. Don’t eliminate anything from your initial list just because of expense, she says. You might be able to find bargains, and because you’re retired you can travel any time you want, which allows you go in the off season when prices are lower.

Remember your doctor’s advice

Activities such as enrolling in a college class can help keep you mentally young, but you want your body to cooperate, too. We’re always looking for that magic bullet, the easy and quick way to feeling younger. The truth is that those things your doctor tells you – exercise, eat a healthy diet, get the appropriate amount of sleep – are about as close to a magic bullet as you’re going to get.

People think that money is the most important aspect of retirement, but it’s really No. 2. You can have more than enough money, but if you aren’t healthy or doing the things you enjoy, the money won’t matter.

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