At first glance, the prospect of living longer sounds great. If you lead a full and happy life, why wouldn’t you want more of it? And even if you’re only just mildly content with the status quo, you might want additional time on Earth to set things right and find your bliss.
The question then becomes: How can I afford and enjoy my bliss? The answer may lie in several key behaviors, such as strategic financial practices, good diet and regular exercise. But, if you are or have been less than physically and financially well in life, you might have anxiety about whether you have the fitness to proceed into retirement.
Following are three indications that Americans are worried about retirement readiness, and three ways to feel better about retirement prospects fast, at any age.
Worry 1: Living longer
According to a recent Pew Research Center study regarding how we view artificial life enhancements Opens in new window, 69% of respondents specified that the ideal human lifespan is 79 to 100 years. Respondents also reported skepticism about artificial life extension (such as synthetic blood and brain chip inserts for enhanced cognitive function, etc.) on the grounds that these advances may only be available to the wealthy, or that there might be unknown harmful side effects incurred by these medical options. Ergo, even though science may enable us to live longer, we might not be ready to do so.
With living longer also comes the fear of being unprepared for all the health challenges that come with aging, such as diseases, falls and other injuries.
Fix 1: Get moving
It is likely that human beings will live longer, and we can only do our best to make that reality less frightening by staying in good shape for as long as we possibly can.
Mayo Clinic reports the seven benefits of exercise Opens in new window to include controlling weight, and combatting health conditions and diseases. This might stave off your need for medical care. And the benefit of mood elevation might help with any residual anxiety you have over outliving your natural optimum.
New to exercise? Remember to check with your physician for guidance, especially if you have a physical challenge or disability. You might be able to start small and build. You might also be able to choose low impact activities such as swimming, chair yoga, or walking with a group. If it intimidates you, think of exercise as ‘movement’ or ‘activity’ rather than labor.
Worry 2: Not having enough money
A recent Gallup poll suggests that 64% of Americans worry about not having enough money Opens in new windowsaved for retirement, with just over half of those polled citing not being able to keep their standard of living as a factor deterring them from retirement. About 60% of respondents are also concerned about not being able to pay for medical services in the event of serious accident or illness.