Is retirement in the air for you? Whether you’re planning to retire in 2019, have already retired and are looking forward to this next chapter of your life, or if you’ve been work-free for years, this new year is a great opportunity to look at your retirement and resolve to make the most of it.
“These days, retirement isn’t so much a kick-back-and-relax stage as it is a let’s-get-out-and-go stage,” says Angel Van Horn, Community Relations Specialist at Park Manor, the most trusted retirement community in Nashville, TN. “We’ve seen so many seniors move to our community because they want the freedom, flexibility and peace of mind that comes from living here. They see retirement as an opportunity to stop doing chores and rightsize their lifestyle so they can spend time doing what they want to do, not what they have to do.”
This year, we encourage you to make 2019 the “Year of the Retiree” by making resolutions that will allow you to live the life you want. Here are our top five New Year’s resolutions for retirees of all stages.
1. Make a plan for what you want to do with your free time.
The idea of unlimited free time is both exciting and a little daunting. How will you fill all your days? While you might like the idea of sitting back and taking each day as it comes, it’s worth taking some time to plan what you want to accomplish this year. Is there a hobby you’ve always wanted to pick up? Or perhaps you want to volunteer for a cause that’s meaningful to you? Maybe you even want to finally do that nationwide road trip you’ve always talked about but haven’t gotten around to yet.
If the idea of mapping out the entire year is overwhelming, break it down into manageable chunks. Figure out what you want to do before spring (go skiing in the Rockies? Learn to knit?), and then go from there. Planning ahead will give you something to look forward to, a sense of purpose and also help you carpe diem to the fullest.
2. Get healthy.
You didn’t think you could make a list of New Year’s resolutions without doing something health-related, did you? Sure, it’s a resolution everyone makes, but for retirees, it’s even more important. Staying healthy plays a huge role in successful aging, staying active and allowing you to enjoy your retirement to the fullest. While you don’t have to resolve to drop 30 pounds and become a weightlifting champ (in fact, we recommend you don’t), here are some easy-to-accomplish steps to help you live a healthier lifestyle:
- Eat a balanced diet. Fill your plate with vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean meats like fish and poultry, healthy fats like nuts and avocados and low-fat dairy options. Keep sodium and sugar to a minimum, and enjoy alcohol in moderation. Remember, indulging is okay, but not every day.
- Start taking a multivitamin. Talk to your doctor about any nutritional deficiencies you may have, and see if adding supplements or a multivitamin may be beneficial to your diet.
- Get active. Experts recommend that seniors get a minimum of 30 minutes of exercise a day. This doesn’t have to be taken all at once – you can start small with a five-minute walk here, a jumping jack or two there … work your way up to a sustainable level, and then start incorporating different forms of physical activity into your routine. Be sure to get a mix of aerobic and strength-training. For added fun, find a class that interests you, like water aerobics or yoga, and make it a habit.
- Visit your doctor. Kick off the year with a yearly physical and annual wellness visit with your primary physician. This is a great opportunity to talk about your medications, discuss immunizations and age-appropriate health screenings as well as get a good baseline for what “being healthy” looks like in 2019.
- Use your brain. Working your little gray cells helps stave off memory issues and potentially diseases like Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. Whether you choose to do crossword puzzles, learn a new language or test your wits at a weekly trivia night, feed your brain on a regular basis.
3. Put your papers in order.
As you’re looking forward to the rest of your retirement, take some time and look forward to how you want your wishes to be followed. Meet with your financial advisor, attorney and other professionals to review (or write) a will, check out your financial plan and put together important documents like a power of attorney or others. While no one likes to think about their own mortality, the greatest gift you can give your family is clear organization. Having everything laid out and thought about will help them (and you) when life changes.
4. Clean out the clutter.
Get a jump start on spring cleaning by decluttering your home in 2019. By simplifying your life and freeing up space in your home, you’re able to let go of the old, relish the new and hold on to only the things that truly give you joy. Go through each room in your house (not all at once – this can be a year-long project if you wish) and distribute everything into keep, donate and trash piles. Ask your family members what they might like to keep and, instead of leaving it to them in your will, give it to them now so you can see them enjoy it. If you’re considering downsizing or heading to a retirement community in the near future, decluttering now will make it that much easier when you’re ready to move.
5. Know your benefits.
Take a look through the benefits that you are getting (or will be getting) to make sure you’re maximizing them appropriately. For example, if you’re nearing the age of 70 ½ years old, you’ll need to start making plans to take required minimum distributions from your retirement accounts (or else you’ll pay a fee). You’ll also want to take a look at your company’s retirement plan (if they offer anything) as well as look at your Medicare and Social Security benefits. If you haven’t yet retired, this will put you in a good spot for when you finally box up your office. If you’ve already been retired for a while, now’s a good time to look at everything and see what you can do to make everything work harder for you in 2019.
Love Where You Live!
Have you ever asked yourself the question, “Do I love where I live?” If you ask that question of the residents of Park Manor, Nashville’s premier retirement community, the answer would be a resounding, “Yes!” For over 50 years, Park Manor has served Nashville’s seniors by providing a community designed to support an active, independent, secure, healthy and worry-free lifestyle. Located on seven spacious acres in the desirable Nashville neighborhood Belle Meade, we’re proud to provide a lifestyle our residents love each and every day.
Park Manor’s approach to senior living is simple: exceed our residents’ expectations. We strive to provide everything you could possibly need and want to live your life the way you choose. At Park Manor, you will enjoy a standard of living reminiscent of a luxury resort – but it’s not a vacation – it’s your lifestyle! This commitment is why we are held in such high regard by our surrounding community and are known as the premier retirement community offering Independent Living and Assisted Living lifestyles.
For seniors requiring memory care, Park Manor is associated with the prestigious Abe’s Garden® Memory Care Center of Excellence. Abe’s Garden® is committed to transforming the care of those with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia by establishing a national model of residential living and day care programs for those suffering from the disease. Abe’s Garden® provides an unprecedented level of care in addition to a comprehensive array of services and lifestyle options.
At Park Manor, your continued independence is our top priority. Enjoy living life as you choose … in the comfort and privacy of your own apartment, while having the peace of mind of knowing help is available if and when you need it.
For more information, please call 615.277.1107.