It’s easy to understand why most of your focus goes towards financial preparation for “life’s third act”.
However, financial readiness isn’t the only component of being prepared for an active retirement life.
Whatever your vision – to retire, semi-retire, or simply be retired-at-heart – chances are good that whatever you have planned will be much easier and enjoyable if you’re also physically prepared.
While physical fitness and health are easy things to put on the backburner pre-retirement, especially when you’re feeling pressure to get your finances in order, they actually end up being a significant factor in major decisions made after hitting retirement age.
- Where will you live?
- What will you do with your time?
- When will you travel?
- Who will you spend time with?
If you’re strong, limber, and unincumbered by pain, the answers to those questions are easy.
They’re very different if you’re battling health challenges or nursing tender joints.
Fortunately, focusing on physical readiness can also help ensure your financial security.
In this blog post, we’ll talk about:
- 3 Financial Reasons to Prioritize Physical Readiness
- An Easy Strategy to Boost Your Physical Readiness
How Focusing on Physical Readiness Helps Financial Readiness
Once you realize that investing in your health is as lucrative as focusing on financial preparedness, prioritizing physical readiness becomes a no-brainer.
You extend your working years
People aren’t retiring at 65 anymore. In addition, a study by the Federal Reserve Board found that a full 1/3 of those that retire reverse retirement and re-enter the workforce on a part-time or full-time basis.
As you can imagine, there are a number of reasons why being able to work past the traditional retirement age is beneficial.
You have an opportunity to save more, boost your social security benefit, and positively impact your mental health.
However, working after age 65 can be complicated by the fact that aging is a well‐established risk factor for the development of multiple chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease, stroke, cancer, osteoarthritis, and dementia. Adults with these chronic conditions worked 4-6% fewer hours than their “healthy” counterparts.
If your body is your vessel for acquiring wealth, then it pays to keep it in tip-top shape.
You save money on healthcare costs
And it’s okay if you don’t start until later in life!
In a study out of Newcastle University, adults who were previously inactive but increased their level of physical activity between early adulthood and later in life had 10-22% lower annual healthcare costs.
For adults 40 years and older, another study found living a ‘healthy lifestyle’ (which was defined as ‘the simultaneous occurrence of physical activity 3x per week, moderate BMI, and non-smoking status) reduces healthcare costs by 49% compared to an ‘unhealthy’ lifestyle.
Not only does increasing your activity levels later in life help decrease healthcare costs, there’s a domino effect if you can lose weight in the process.
There is a strong association between increased weight and increased healthcare costs for adults age 45-64 where the per-capita total was 10% higher in overweight individuals, and 27 to 68% greater in individuals with obesity and very severe obesity, respectively.
There’s no doubt that improving your individual health status is associated with financial benefits.
Imagine what you could do with the money you save on healthcare during your retirement years!
You have more freedom in the aging process
Unfortunately, many communities aren’t designed with longevity in mind.
There are a variety of challenges even if your goal is to stay engaged and active with your loved ones where you live.
Aging2.0 presented their eight “Grand Challenges of Aging”, and six of them are impacted by how strong, mobile, and independent you are as you age:
- Engagement & Purpose
- Financial Wellness
- Mobility & Movement
- Daily Living & Lifestyle
- Brain Health
Similar to saving money, it’s a lot more effective if you don’t wait until you need your health to start building it up.
Start with Movement Snacks
It seems like a no-brainer that movement and physical fitness should sit at the top of our list.
So what gets in the way?
We hear from our clients how much they struggle to get in their daily exercise because they don’t know what to do or don’t think they have the time it takes to workout the way they should.
One solution we recommend trying is to do “movement snacks” 4-6 times throughout the day.
A ‘movement snack’ is a brief bout of exercise, 3-5 minutes in length, that gets your blood flowing.
Movement snacks help balance your blood sugar levels, reduce blood pressure, and improve general mobility.
Plus it can be done almost anywhere!
Examples of “movement snacks” to try:
- Fast Walking for 3-5 minutes
- Stair climbing for 3-5 minutes
- Squat to Press for 3-5 minutes
- Dance (free-style) to your favorite song
- Lunges in various directions for 3-5 minutes
- Sun Salutation for 3 rounds
There are an infinite number of “movement snacks”, and there isn’t any right or wrong way to do them.
As long as you’re moving, you’re doing it right!
What kind of “movement snacks” could you add into your day to jump-start your physical readiness for retirement?
Is Pain Getting in Your Way?
If pain is limiting your ability to physically prepare for retirement, you need to address it ASAP and not leave it on your post-retirement bucket list.
Minor pain that starts as annoying and nagging but is allowed to persist for longer than 3-6 months can make matters much worse and lead to unnecessary pain medication prescriptions, and even surgery.
Fortunately, it’s easier than ever to work with the Physical Therapists at Natural Fit Therapy who are trained to help you avoid surgery and long-term complications.
Our team can identify the source of your pain and create an individualized treatment program to help get you back in action quickly without unnecessary pain pills or surgery.
“Good health is not something we can buy. However, it can be an extremely valuable savings account.”Dr. Anne Wilson Schaef
It’s never too late to start improving your physical health.
Get started today and your body (and nest-egg) will be grateful you did!