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Tips for Healthy Aging

The Healthy Aging website breaks down the four keys to healthy aging that were mentioned on the previous pages into four key areas to concentrate, complete with tips for how to implement each one.

Physical Fitness

Regular exercise is even more important for seniors than other age groups since the risk of disease and lost mobility is greater and the positive effects are realized more quickly. But, as we all know, the hardest part is getting started. . .

What's good for the body is good for the spirit as well.

As people grow older, it is very important to keep motivated, to say to yourself, "I can do it."

Tips for getting started:

  • Choose an exercise that you like and stick with it

  • Engage in 30 minutes of aerobic exercise and weight-bearing exercise every day

  • Look for daily opportunities to exercise in work and play. Force yourself to walk by parking your car several parking aisles away from the store or your office entrance and walk briskly!

  • Choose an exercise you like and stick with it.

  • Use the buddy system. Arrange to have a friend meet you - It's harder to say no to exercise when you exercise with a friend.

  • Walk, swim, climb, bicycle, dance, fish!

  • Join a walking group or visit your local Y, recreation center, park, church, or senior center.

Remember, it's never too late to start!

Social Wellbeing

  • Contribute time to your community through local volunteer groups, religious organizations, or civic groups

  • Stay in close contact with friends and family. Write, email, or call someone daily

  • See the World/Expand Your Mind. After a lifetime of raising children and working, older Americans love to travel -- to see new things and experience new cultures.
    TIP: Begin to plan a trip. Half the excitement is in the planning!

  • Watch Game Shows. Watch Jeopardy! to keep your mind razor sharp.

  • Laugh Loud, Laugh Often. A good sense of humor is essential. Start the day off on a light note by reading the comic sections of your local newspaper. If you're over 60, you might refer to this section as "the funnies".

  • Give of Yourself. Be generous with the most important thing you own -- your time. Volunteer: how about the Peace Corps, a local nursing home, or teach a youngster to swim.

  • Seek Inspiration/Keep the Faith. Belief in a higher power is of paramount importance according to the contest entrants.

  • Be a Beauty Queen. An astonishing number of women said they enjoy competing in beauty pageants, such as the Ms. Senior America program. Sign up today!

  • If You're a Man, Get Married! Many married men attributed their longevity to the loving care and companionship of their wives. Women, on the other hand, didn't claim their husbands helped them live longer. What are you waiting for?

Mental Wellness

  • Keep your mind exercised, too, by reading, learning a new skill, and researching something that interests you

  • Develop a hobby -- it's never too late to learn how to play the piano.

  • If you think old, you ARE old.

A decline in memory is not always a function of serious disease, like Alzheimer's. Sometimes memory loss is caused by factors that can be changed -- such as diet, medication misuse, depression, etc... At the National Institute on Aging, research is showing that memory may be like other parts of the body. Research showed that the very gradual declines in memory take place until age 70 -- when the pace increases, but not so much as to impair us. The conclusion?

The processes of normal aging do not rob you of your memory.

The greatest enemy to the healthy senior mind is depression. New activities, hobbies, and exercise are wonderful anti-depressants. If you truly are depressed, don't bear it alone -- SEEK HELP!

Stay active doing things that use your memory:

  • Take a class, play games, be with people
  • Pick up the phone now and call someone, just to "chat"
  • Volunteer your time. Get involved with a cause you believe in or in something that interests you
  • Seek out variety and challenge in your daily life

Financial Fitness

  • Save at least 10% of your income and invest in savings plans that compound interest
  • Establish financial goals, stick to a planned budget, sign up for a retirement plan

Just as physical and mental fitness are important to healthy aging, so is financial well-being. Many people who are retiring at age 60 or 65 may have another 20 or 30 years to live. And, they may be living on a fixed income. So, it's very important that people take a hard look at their finances and goals.

Can I afford to retire?

Many authorities in the financial planning field say that you need 80% of your pre-retirement income to maintain your lifestyle after retirement. That figure may or may not be good for you; if you're one of the people who walks to work works in his or her home, for instance, you won't save a penny on commuting. There are those who will still want the latest clothes whether or not they still have to impress business colleagues or not. And, of course, a lot of us want to travel more after retirement than we did before. Click HERE to view a budget worksheet that will help you to find out how much you really need to have a comfortable life.

We will help you do a simple and realistic analysis of your post-retirement income. As simple as it is, it will take some time, dedication, and phone calls on your part to complete. If that seems like a lot to ask, it is. But some time and planning now could make a big difference to you later.

Your first task is to call the Social Security Administration and ask their assistance in figuring out how much you will get by way of retirement benefit from the government. Next, talk to the Human Resources department where you work to get an estimate of the pension benefit to which you will be entitled.

The next step is to project 80% of your current salary -- the amount you will use as your benchmark for post-retirement income needs -- into the future. Click HERE for the table, chart, and directions for calculating this amount. You will then be able to calculate whether or not you can afford to retire.

Information from: Healthy Aging Website

Click Next for the Retirement Chart