Everyone has their own definition of the ‘best retirement plan’ but in general, it comprises two important factors – health and wealth. While saving up for our retirement is important, finances are not the only thing we need to plan for our retirement. Without physical and mental wellness, we won’t be able to enjoy the money that we have saved from our working lives.
Here are some simple activities you may perform to maintain your health in the long term so that you are able to enjoy your retirement to the fullest.
1. Go for Regular Screenings
Critical and chronic illnesses may strike unexpectedly at any time, especially if you have been leading an unhealthy lifestyle, or neglecting your health for a long time. According to SATA CommHealth, many disorders like diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol do not give any early warning signs. Hence, it is best that we make plans to detect them early and receive treatment.
Going for health screening is one of the best things you can do, to not only detect disorders early, but also to identify any potential risk factors for specific diseases. For example, you may take a stool test to detect any blood in your feces, as it could be a sign of colorectal cancer. Regular health screening will help you to ensure that your health status is being monitored, so that you can nip major illnesses in the bud and improve your chances of retiring comfortably and healthily.
2. Maintain an Active Lifestyle
One of the best things you can do to reduce your risks of suffering from any illnesses and to enhance your overall well-being is to maintain an active lifestyle. According to an online article posted by HealthXchange, exercising helps an individual lose weight, relieve stress, sleep better, reduce high blood pressure and stay robust during retirement.
An active lifestyle is not just about engaging in physical activities. It is also important to maintain an active social life and stay mentally stimulated. According to HealthHub, these two lifestyle habits help reduce one’s risk of suffering from dementia by slowing down the process of brain decline. An active social life may take the form of participation in community events, and gathering with family and friends for meals or activities. Some other ways to stay mentally stimulated include reading, writing, and engaging in board games and solving puzzles.
3. Eat Healthily
Planning a luxurious buffet every meal may sound like a dream come true… unless your body is protesting. It is normal to eat less when we grow older because our metabolism will gradually slow down and less energy is needed from food. This makes it difficult for our body to obtain the vitamin and minerals it needs to maintain our health. Hence, it is crucial that we include food with high nutrients in our diet as we grow older.
Some of the best dietary tips for leading a healthy, retired life include:
a. Increasing our intake of wholegrain staple food such as brown rice or oats
b. Reducing salt intake and/or replace salt with natural food flavourings such as mushrooms and tomatoes
c. Increasing our intake of calcium
d. Increasing our intake of protein
As Dr. Amy Khor, the Senior Minister of State for Health, mentioned in an article in Straits Times, “If we eat right, we can age well.” Please note that while all care is taken to provide you with the best information, the health status of each individual may differ. Hence, do consult a nutritionist for more comprehensive advice.
4. Ringfence Your Retirement Funds with Health Insurance
Sudden tragic events, such as accidents and critical illnesses, can occur at any time. Apart from causing mental stress, they can also derail your retirement plan when they wipe out your savings via hefty hospitalisation and/or medical costs. Subsequently, any absence of proper treatment or care will affect your health in the long term, which will then turn your best retirement plan into your most distant fantasy.
Health insurance is one of the best tools that can help reduce the financial impact of these issues because it covers our hospitalisation, medical, major illness and caring costs. Some common health insurance products in the market include medical expense insurance, hospital cash insurance, critical illness insurance, disability income insurance and long term care insurance. Your financial adviser should be able to identify such products according to your needs, and help you implement them.
We hope these suggestions can help you to maintain not only your physical well-being, but also your mental well-being, at an optimal level in the long-term. Alongside with adequate financial planning for retirement, you can expect to enjoy your golden years to the fullest.