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Going to the Gym to Work on my Retirement

What is a 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 didn’t get it. I keep trying to get across to my younger co-workers and peers that retirement planning in terms of your finances is essential. As Civil Servants, it is not as complex, 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. My most important advice for retirement is Don’t Die, before you can retire. What do you need for a healthy retirement? Read on.

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 bedridden in my “golden years”.

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Seasick Steve?

Coincidentally, I was listening to an album from Seasick Steve. There is one song on there that 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:

Healthy Retirement
Seasick Steve’s Album on Amazon

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 who 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. Did his smoking cause it? 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).

Update on My Healthy Retirement

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). The work will continue on.

Feel Free to Comment

  1. Victor @

    Don’t Die Before You Can Retire.
    Being Healthy is the most important thing in life. If your capable of taking care of your health, it should naturally be attainable to take care of your wealth. The more calories you consume, the bigger you get, the more money you put away, the more we will have saved. a bit of reverse concept.

  2. Both parents were two pack a day smokers and both died from lung cancer. Fortunately, my siblings and I have not been affected by second hand smoke. Dodged a bullet on that one.

    Lost my sister to ALS last year but she had retired years earlier and had the opportunity to travel the world.

    I remember my BNR days when we used to joke that “Nobody, on their death bed, ever said ‘I should have spent more time at the office'”. Very true.

    So life is short. Take time to enjoy it and remember, the enjoyment increases if you have someone to share it with.

    Take care….

  3. Its my body so I did what I wanted to.
    When I got divorced (40) I had some time on my hands to think. And I realized I would like to around to see the kids get married (that is not a given these days, but then they don’t have to get a divorce either. HMM! Wonder if the divorce rate will go down). So with that in mind I started doing floor exercises, pushups, sit-ups, etc, at home before work. Plus I walked about 4.5K almost everyday. So I thought I was in shape, until I started with arthymia, irregular heart beats. Getting past that showed me that just thinking you are in shape is not quite good enough. You need to maintain a BMI porportional to your body size, taller or big boned people may have a higher tolerance for a higher BMI, check that chloresterol and basiclly eat right – three times a day.
    I now jog and have done five 1/2 marathons (Army Run Ottawa) and I still have to watch out what I do with my body.
    As far as I know, no one has come back to say we have more than one kick at the can or than yes, we can bring it with us.
    So take care of yourself if you want to enjoy life. No one knows the cards they are dealt until we play them. But being in shape will let you enjoy more of the pleasures of life.

    Now, where can I get one of those governent pension? LOL


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