As a recent retiree, Bill Storie, Founder of Olderhood, examines the factors of your current lifestyle that you CAN change as you approach “R-Day” … and the factors you probably CAN’T.
Can I change my Health … ?
In all the studies and reports we have read, and the comments we have seen in our various Olderhood sections, the main concern about going into retirement is Health.
The common opinion seems to be that “If I have good health, then I will be able to withstand any, and all, other issues.” No other factor of life even gets close.
The trauma about going into retirement, experienced by some, but certainly not all, people is the realisation that as the years tick away, the window of change slowly closes. The opportunity to mend one’s ways diminishes day by day. Fact.
When we were younger, and had, let’s say, a weight problem, we didn’t get too worked up about it in terms of mortality. We worked on the theory that either medicines would fix it for us, or at the very least, we’d drop a few pounds in later life. Hah…!! Dreamers we were.
Neglecting those extra pounds, and probably high blood pressure, are not things we can go back and fix now. “I promise not drink again … as usual” was a theme song of many hangovers. The body clock only runs forwards, not backwards.
- “My beer belly cost a lot of money.”
- “My love handles could stabilize a cruise ship.”
- “My backside was never this big. Well almost never.”
The fact of the matter is that many of our ailments in our latter years simply cannot be reversed. Try as we might, those extra pounds are now friends for life. C’est la vie.
So, all is lost therefore …?
Not at all.
Taking care of yourself is a self-management issue. Yes, of course modern medicine changes and upgrades every day. New tests and procedures are initiated every day. Lifestyle changes CAN make a difference.
Stop smoking ; cut back on the booze ; exercise casually, but regularly ; keep active ; eat properly ……….. yes, you’ve heard them all before. And in times past, you yawned, smirked, then tucked into the hamburger and fried regardless.
It’s your life, it’s your decision.
But heed this please. If you don’t think about those issues, if you don’t find out more about the cause and effect of some lifestyle elements, if you don’t get checked for this or that…… then you will be FORCED to heed them as you migrate into retirement. Guaranteed.
Think about it this way …… if throughout your entire life you expect to have say 5 years of bad health one way or another. That’s not an unreasonable perspective. And let’s say you’ve been fairly lucky thus far, through pure chance or good management. At which section of your life years therefore will the bad health appear …?
It can ONLY be future, not past.
If it had been really bad, and life-threatening, then because you are reading this, means you survived. Of course, you may fortunate to go through your entire life in the absence of any serious medical issues. Good for you.
The truth is that Health is an issue that affects every one of us. Make no mistake, as you get older, health becomes a rising star in your solar system. It skips very few.
The resolution is in two parts ;-
- Regular health checks + take your medicines + lifestyle changes that are tolerable and sustainable.
- Get on with your life and enjoy it.
Next week Part 2 – Wealth