While my main role as my clients’ financial advisor is to focus on their economic health, I often counsel them on matters related to their physical, emotional and spiritual health as well. No matter how you define your retirement, you have to prepare for it by nurturing all four aspects of your life.
The easiest aspect is the one that has inspired thousands of cottage industries in this country. But your physical health doesn’t require an acai berry shake, a thigh master or the latest how-to-lose-weight-and-eat-what-you-like book. It’s much simpler than that. Keep an eye on what you eat and include plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Pay attention to the source of your food as well. Exercise even if, like me, you don’t think you enjoy it. Try to get enough fresh air every day and enough sound sleep every night. Don’t avoid your annual checkups.
Just as important as your physical health are your emotional health and spiritual development. Take time to nurture your friendships. We’re all busy, but we can and should find time to chat with our friends, play a little Bunco or enjoy a special meal. Value the time you spend with your family members. Spend some moments in quiet reflection and appreciate your faith. Find ways to strengthen it, through prayer or study.
Pay attention to your finances too. Choose wisely the means by which you’ll grow your investments. Don’t allow someone to sell you a product when they should be helping you formulate a plan. Understand that even with vigilant attention to your physical health, you could face unexpected threats to your financial health. Accidents, illnesses, financial setbacks to love ones, all pose threats to the retirement you envision. Review your plan quarterly and reevaluate your goals and your risk tolerance.
Even if you don’t plan to live until you’re 156 like I do, you need to plan carefully and pay attention to your health!