As the information for this post was being gathered and arranged, I noted several similar titles. “8 Rules to a Better Life.” “11 Healthy Rules to Live By.” “15 Rules for a Happier Life.” “16 Simple Rules for a Successful & Fulfilling Life.” Then, someone found a way to prevent anyone from “one upping them” by writing, “50 rules to LIVE by if you want a positive life.”
Perhaps it is purely my nature to chafe at rules, but I think most people are looking for guidance in retirement more than rules. We have lived with rules for decades at work, and the absence of binding rules is one of the more attractive aspects of reaching the golden years. So…we are not offering rules! Why should we? There is no guarantee of success. There is no contract anyone can offer that will offer assurance that situations will not change. We present the following suggestions, wisdom gleaned from solid sources, that will help guide us through the curves and potholes that can render the golden years less enjoyable than we planned.
- Build a family plan for passions you want to pursue! We entitled our blog, “Pursuing Your PASSIONS,” because a rocking chair is no place to spend the senior years unless health reasons so limit us.
- Enjoy hobbies – Spend time regularly golfing, bicycling, fishing, woodworking, restoring cars or furniture, birdwatching, gardening, playing a musical instrument, painting, dancing, reading, or any activity that can stimulate your mind and preferably move your body. Limit the amount of time in passive pursuits like watching the news or posting on social media!
- Invest in people – Too often, I have encountered people who say, “I have done my duty – it is someone else’s turn now.” Sure, now that we have reached the senior years, it is time to involve those who are younger, but do not waste the wisdom seniors have gained over their decades of experience. Volunteer at church. Commit time and energy to a church camp in your area. Contribute time and wisdom through the SBA or another means to share what you have learned. People who have satisfying personal relationships tend to have fewer illnesses and better mental health than those who do not.
- Travel as much as finances and health allow. As much wisdom as seniors have accumulated over their lives, they have not stopped needing to expand their horizons. Visit the children and grandchildren. See places that you have never seen before. Return to areas where memories have been made. MOVE as much as possible
- Don’t underestimate how long you will live. According to the most recent Social Security Life Expectancy Table, a 65-year-old male will live to 82 years and 9 months of age. A 65-year-old female will live to become 85. A man who reaches 70, will probably life to be 84 years old. A 70-year-old woman will live to become 87. However, approximately one-third of today’s 65-year-olds can expect to live to age 90 or beyond, and an estimated one in seven will live to at least age 95! We want everyone to be able to pursue their passions as long as they live. The best suggestion is to pace how fast we spend the retirement nest egg.
- Shop carefully for a Medicare plan. Healthcare costs aren’t free in retirement, even once you’re covered by Medicare. Research has shown senior couples could spend hundreds of thousands of dollars paying out-of-pocket expenses even with Medicare coverage. Comparing different options will be important to find a policy that keeps care as affordable as possible.
These suggestions are neither exhaustive nor intended to be. They are presented only to generate thought about a healthy lifestyle in the senior years. No one knows what life will bring. Being prepared is always the motto!
Here is to living financially free and pursuing our passions!