What is Healthy Retirement ?
“…Those who don’t have time for exercise will sooner or later have to find time for illness…” –Unknown
In conversation I used this phrase on a co-worker a few days ago, and they gave me a blank stare in reply. I keep trying to get across to my younger co-workers and peers that retirement planning in terms of your finances is essential (although as Civil Servants, not as hard, due to the current Pension Plan), but, no matter how much money you save, if you are too sick (or worse dead), it means nothing. The most important advice I can give for retirement is Don’t Die, before you can retire, and this is what you need for a healthy retirement.
Why do I go to the gym these days? To help keep my knees usable, and to make sure my heart stays in relatively good shape. In my younger days, I wanted to look fit, but “the look” matters little to me (now). I want to be able to walk and I don’t want to end up bed ridden in my “golden years”.
Seasick Steve ?
Coincidentally, I was listening to an album from Seasick Steve, and there is one song on there that really drives the point home about retirement, and I urge you to listen to “What a Way to Go“. I heard that song, went home and hopped on my exercise bike. Listen to it on the iTunes store link (above), it says it all about retirement in one catchy song (and it is aimed at Civil Servants or anyone with a Pension). Here is the verse that drove it home for me:
The day of retirement have finally come
Get a gold watch and your work is done
One month later your heart give out
What was all that planning about?
— Seasick Steve, “What a Way to Go“
One Last Less Nice Thought
Oh and one other acidic piece of advice for my readers that still smoke, save yourself some money by not saving for your retirement, enjoy your money now, because you aren’t going to need it. The other side of the coin is, I hope you have a medical plan for your retirement, because (if you make it to your retirement) you are going to need THAT! How dare I say that? I watched my Father smoke, and his retirement was spent in a wheelchair, was it caused by his smoking? I think so. You want to do something for your retirement? Quit smoking, put your smokes money in a retirement account and start exercising, it might not be too late. First comment that says, “… it’s my body…”, gets the Second Hand Smoke boot in the groin award (I worked for a tobacco company I have a good idea what is in those things).
I continue to visit the gym. I am not in the shape I want to be (closer to a milk bag held on one corner as a shape), but I continue to work.