As you transition from full-time work to retirement, many items on your budget are going to decrease (daily transportation) or even disappear (your kids’ school fees and food). Health care, however, is an ongoing expense that may need to be reevaluated throughout your golden years. As you age and begin to slow down, the cost of maintaining your comfort and care may spike dramatically.
The best health care is preventative, especially in the early years of retirement. Here are three ways to keep your medical costs from negatively affecting your Return on Life.
Find an exercise routine you can stick to.
If you find that you’re not using that gym membership enough to justify the fees, it might be time to shake up your workout routine. The pandemic broadened online fitness options, so it’s never been easier to try a new class or talk to a new personal trainer – sometimes at no cost, and often without leaving your home exercise area.
Once you’ve found a workout that you enjoy doing, set a schedule and incorporate little reminders and nudges into your daily routine. Set an alarm on your mobile when it’s time to jump on your bike. Leave your running shoes next to your bedroom door so it’ll be that much easier to get outside and start pounding the pavement.
Take fun and games seriously.
Retirement is a great time to get good at the things you love doing. Former weekend warriors who want to lower their handicaps or get that hitch out of their backhands can take professional lessons, or schedule weekly game times with friends and family. These kinds of activities don’t just get your heart pumping, they also strengthen your social bonds and engage your brain. When there’s rain in the forecast or your body needs a break, you can keep your mind and emotions engaged by doing a puzzle with your spouse or organising a friendly poker night.
Think about your retirement as having three phases. In early retirement, you hopefully have the time, resources, and fitness to lead an active life. In the middle of retirement, your level of activity will probably start to slow down. And in the third phase, most retirees begin to settle into their homes and prioritise their wellbeing.
It’s in the third phase that health care costs can increase dramatically depending on your needs and your personal support network. Some retirees who anticipate assisted living or in-home nursing purchase long-term care insurance. Others focus on building up an emergency savings fund they can dip into as needed. And others plan to relocate near friends and family once they can’t live on their own anymore.
Sadly, too many seniors put off making these difficult decisions until they’re dealing with a major health or financial crisis. Planning ahead puts folks in a much better position to choose how and where they’re cared for on their own terms.
Get in touch today and let’s talk about how our Life-Centered Planning process can help you prepare to live a fulfilling life at every stage of your retirement.