Four Pillars to a Happy Retirement – Health

July 17, 2023

Corey Hodges

A common concern in retirement is keeping in good health for as long as possible. After all, how healthy you are can directly affect your overall happiness, whatever stage of life you’re in. 96% of retirees say that health is more important than wealth to live well in retirement. 1 However, health and wealth often go hand in hand, as financial security can allow for more money to be invested in one’s own health.

While the average American’s lifespan is on the rise every day, our healthspans (how long someone lives in good health) have not caught up yet. Recently, analyses have suggested that the average American will spend around 10 to 15 years in poor health. 2 This means that many retirees can expect to need some form of care in their later years.

So, what does it mean to keep retirees in good health? The idea of “health” shifts naturally with age. While health in your youth may have looked like remaining free of disease and in good shape, it may look like having the ability to do the things you want to do once you reach retirement, even if you have a disability or chronic condition.

Retirement can be a great time to improve your overall health, not just your physical health. Of course, a healthy diet and regular exercise can do wonders for the body, but mental health can also benefit from extra attention at any stage in life. The more you age, the more experience and emotional maturity you gain, compounded by having less stress and responsibility after leaving the workplace. Maintaining or improving your health could look like integrating more healthy meals into your diet, finding new ways to stay active, exploring a new passion project, or simply rediscovering your favorite childhood hobbies.

The more you age, the higher the chance you have of eventually needing care provided to you. An important step in ensuring your physical and mental health needs will be met is having a long-term care insurance policy. Generally, you can either purchase an independent long-term care insurance policy from your insurance provider or long-term care coverage as part of a life insurance plan. 3 To receive benefits from most long-term care policies, an older adult must require help with at least two of the following activities of daily living (ADLs): bathing, eating, dressing, navigating the bathroom, and getting in and out of a bed or chair. 3

It is never too late to start prioritizing your health to ensure a happier and healthier retirement. Every small step towards a healthier mental and physical state can help lead to a happier and more fulfilling retirement. If you have any questions or concerns you’d like to go over in further detail about living healthy in retirement or securing the right long-term care policy to be there for you if you need it, Fortified Futures is here for you. Please reach out to us at (336) 450-2161 to start talking about how to get the most out of your time in retirement. We look forward to helping you!

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