Retirement often brings uncertainty and anxiety. These can lead to poor physical health and a decreasing quality of social life, staining a time of life that should be savoured.

Planning ahead to reduce worry and physical and mental deterioration will pay dividends. Comfortable finances and healthy living from an early age can combine to make your post-retirement years truly golden. Here are four top tips for a healthy retirement.

A Good Social Life
A hermit-like lifestyle that blocks out social interaction has been linked with poor health. In the UK, more than half of all people aged over 75 live alone, and NHS studies have found that five million older people in the UK regard the television as their main form of company. No-one should rely solely on Eastenders and Holby City as a companion in life.

If you can, take steps to create a social life in the years leading up to retirement. Find meetings, events and social groups to attend – take a friend or family member for the first one, if necessary. It only really takes one initial event to start the ball rolling, as you’ll soon branch out into nights out and shopping trips.

Enjoying Your Money
You’ve worked hard for more than 40 years, and earned the right to enjoy it. Hopefully you’ve invested in a good pension, or property. That, plus a state pension should give you a good quality of life in retirement. A regular treat such as a meal out or gift will provide joy and optimism as you look forward to the next ‘event’.

If you are looking to invest, always seek out a financial adviser as there is always a trade-off between risk and reward. If you live in the UK and have been made redundant close to retirement, you can check your redundancy entitlements here:

Travel and hobbies
Travel for retirees is a huge industry, from coach trips around Ireland to cruising to Australia or volunteering in a remote Cambodian village. As Mark Chimsky explains in this superb Huffington Post blog, many retirees are now taking what is known as a ‘Golden Gap Year’ of globe trekking before settling down. Read our previous blog post on top travel tips for retirees.

Are there any hobbies that you always wanted to pursue but never had time? Now you have that precious commodity, why not learn a musical instrument or a language, or a cookery skill. Perhaps something artistic, literary or medicinal floats your boat, or even teaching or lecturing?

Strengthening Your Mind and Body
There is abundant evidence that giving your brain and body a regular workout staves off depression and boosts well-being in later life. Attending quiz nights, enjoying sport and exercise, and filling in crosswords are all activities that will benefit you. Eating healthily also has obvious benefits.Your job may help. A study by Concordia University in Montreal suggested that people retiring from managerial jobs or professional roles have a higher chance of retaining their faculties in later life. Perhaps you aren’t ready to leave the working world completely? Read our post on online home-based jobs for older people.

In conclusion, looking after your life pre-retirement will mean that it looks after itself post-retirement. Investment in your physical, mental, and financial well-being now will pay dividends in the future.

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