It’s a constant question for us aging folks- how can we continue to have carefree meaningful active days.
Foremost, the finances must be in order. It is a waste to spend money on things you don’t really love or need, cannot afford or just don’t make sense. Always buy only what you absolutely love and can’t live without. If you want to help the kinder, contribute to your grandchild’s education and their 529s. Another huge money waster is overtreatment in unnecessary health care with unneeded tests and scans, drugs and supplements, and high-cost procedures. Get that second opinion.
Another big waste of money is to create debt or accrue late fees and no matter what Henry Winkler tells you (Shame on him) reverse mortgages are never the answer to financial problems.
There is also a lot to consider about a winter home in the sun. Be critical of retiree timeshares, vacation condos, and even long-term rentals with hidden taxes, maintenance fees and assessments and be sure to get profession advice before making the commitment.
The 90+ Study, initiated in 2003 to study the fastest growing age group in the United States found:
People who drank moderate amounts of alcohol or coffee lived longer than those who abstained.
People who were overweight in their 70s live longer than normal or underweight people.
Over 40% of people aged 90 and older suffer from dementia while almost 80% are disabled. Both are more common in women than men.
About half of people with dementia over age 90 do not have sufficient neuropathology in their brain to explain their cognitive loss.
People who exercised as little as 15 minutes a day on average lived longer than people who didn’t exercise. Forty-five minutes of exercise a day is the best. More time does not increase life span.
Non-physical activities -book clubs, socializing with friends, board games are all good. Another study, The Synapse Project, showed that elders who actively learned a new skill like digital photography or quilting that required cognitive, physical, and social learning over a period of months had significant improvement in memory and practical reasoning abilities.
At the end of the day, it helps to have accomplished something of substance. Be good to yourself, include regular exercise, eat well, get out of the house, socializing with family and friends and enjoy your slower leisurely pace. You earned it.