Retirement planning is more than just financial planning. It also should include physical planning, but this isn’t talked about much.
What good is the money you saved for traveling during your retirement years if your joints ache and your body fatigues with minimal movement? If you can’t walk your dog around the block when you are 55 than you certainly won’t be taking on the streets of London if nothing changes by the time your 70.
In as early as our 20’s financial planning for retirement begins to cross our minds. Once we reach our 40’s financial planning is in full swing to ensure we are saving enough to live comfortably throughout our retirement years.
But what about planning for an active retirement? What about ensuring our body is healthy and fit enough to keep up with the retirement dreams you have?
Planning for a physically healthy and fit retirement can easily be taken for granted when we are in our 40’s and retirement seems a few decades off. But research shows that the health status of people 50+ ranges on a wider scale from frail to “Superagers” than any other age group (Harvard Health).
If you are not moving. If you are not paying attention to your joint mobility, bone health, posture, and overall health you may find yourself in the frail category. Most frail individuals cannot live independently for long. They will need the assistance of a cane or walker to move from place to place and may even require assisted living situations far earlier than others in their age group.
In the other direction, we have the “Superagers” – typically defined as men and women in their 70’s or 80’s with both cognitive and physical functions as someone decades younger. (Here is the link to a fantastic article on Superaging from Harvard Health: What Does It Take to be a Superager?.)
Just like financial planning for retirement, the earlier you start physical planning for retirement the easier you will find life in retirement. By starting earlier (say, your 40’s) you’ll have created a long list of healthy habits so living a healthy, active lifestyle will come more naturally.
Incorporating heart healthy aerobic exercise (walking, bike riding, swimming to name a few) and moderate resistance training into your routine now will have hug payoffs in the future. Just like your 401K.
If thinking about starting a fitness program overwhelms you, reach out to me. I’m here for you, to help you find movement that you enjoy and that you find easy to incorporate into your life now and 10 years from now.