Since the moment you were born, you’ve been aging. And while it’s exciting to age when you’re 16, the prospect can be less appealing when you’re 55. Thanks to the Baby Boomer generation retirees will make up 20 percent of the US population by the year 2030.
At Capital City Nurses, we know that aging doesn’t have to be a frightening prospect, as long as you focus on your mind, body and finances.
A mind is a powerful thing to waste. If you want your brain to stay sharp as you age, it’s important to use it. Spend your time taking classes, learning new things and challenging your mental abilities, it will allow you to retain your cognitive function as you grow older.
Planning on traveling when you retire? Lean the language of the nation you’re visiting. A University of Edinburgh study found that learning another language delays aging in the brain.
“Certain mental exercises can offset some of the expected decline in older adults’ thinking skills and show promise for maintaining cognitive abilities needed to do everyday tasks such as shopping, making meals and handling finances,” says the National Institute on Aging. Enroll in college classes, pick up a new craft at the community center or work your brain with daily crossword puzzles to keep yourself sharp at any age.
As you age, your activity level becomes more important.
“Regular exercise and physical activity can reduce the risk of developing some diseases and disabilities that develop as people grow older,” says the National Institute on Aging. Exercise can also be effective in reducing symptoms for chronic conditions like arthritis, heart disease and diabetes.
You don’t need to run the Boston Marathon to be fit, the CDC recommends 2.5 hours of moderate aerobic activity. That could be walking with friends a few times a week, vigorous gardening or an exercise class. It’s crucial to pick an activity you enjoy because consistency is the key to achieving the benefits of exercise.
The last key to aging well is the most unpleasant to discuss. In fact, one fourth of Americans aren’t saving for their retirement at all, according to a recent Financial Security Index survey. Though the topic is uncomfortable, it’s imperative that you begin saving for retirement and plan for any possible bumps in the road.
“Retirees need at least 70 percent of your annual pre-retirement income to maintain your standard of living after you retire, possibly more,” says the National Institute on Aging.
As you save, it’s important to consider a few factors, such as possible medical complications and caregiving needs. Look at your medical history and any chronic conditions that run in your family. If you have a chronic condition in your history, it may be beneficial to set money aside for possible medical expenses. Also, be sure to understand your medical insurance and what precisely your policy covers.
Aging isn’t something that we as a society should fear, but it is something we should prepare for. Get started today!