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Prepare for Retirement

Updated on February 23, 2016

Average life expectancy continues to increase, and as the poet Robert Browning wrote, "The best is yet to be". This can be true if you have made some preparations for your golden years. So, just how do you prepare so you can enjoy your retirement?

There are four areas in which you can prepare. They are financial, physical, mental and spiritual.

Temporal and Financial Preparations

As you approach retirement, you should avoid debt and save as much money as possible. Put other temporal affairs in order including preparing legal documents expressing your personal wishes should you become unable to care for yourself. Tie up any financial ends and make decisions should you or your spouse become incapacitated. It is not fun or easy to look at these details, but will be best for you and your family.

My father and mother purchased their own cemetery plots so that their children would not have to. You can even write out what you would like to occur at your funeral. These things will make it easier for those left behind. Share your plans with your children so they know where to find important documents, and will be able to follow through with your wishes.

Physical Preparation

Common sense rules. Get regular medical and dental care, be physically active, eat a healthy diet and maintain a proper weight. If you can't run, walk, If you can't walk, swim. Try to find a physical activity that you can do regularly to keep active. Scientific studies have shown that if you stay physically active and exercise on a regular basis, it can help prevent disease and disability. Even moderate exercise or physical activity can improve your health. Your health will suffer much more from not exercising than by exercising.

Mental Preparation

The brain needs exercise as well. Keep your mind sharp by reading, doing puzzles, or being involved in other mental challenges. Science has shown that we do not lose brain cells as previously thought. Our brains can actually develop new neural pathways well into our later years. Taking dancing lessons or learning a musical instrument can help your brain keep active and growing. Start a blog and have your grandchildren teach you how to play games on the computer.

It is very important to keep a positive attitude. You no doubt will have adversity as you age, but the way you react to it will be a major factor in how happy you are.

Have something to do every day - make plans. If you have something to look forward to, it will really make a difference. Volunteer in your family, community or church to help others as long as you can. You can do family history, take senior classes and keep a garden or be involved in sewing, quilting or art work. Worthwhile activities can enrich your senior years and also bless the lives of others.

Being willing and able to change plans when necessary is important also. Sometimes health problems arise that restrict you from doing what you have always enjoyed doing. You can turn to other interests when this happens or you may become bitter and unhappy.

Spiritual Preparation

Your beliefs become more valuable as you reach your golden years. If you believe in God, you will most likely want to make peace with Him, and reconcile differences with friends, family and enemies. These later years can be spent immersing yourself in the scriptures and sharing your feelings with others. They can learn from your experiences. Keep a journal, write your feelings and leave a legacy of love for your posterity.


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