Increasing Your Happiness Before Retirement
This year, Bank of America Merrill Lynch released a study showing the various levels of well-being people reported feeling during their lifetime. While people in their late 50s and older reported having increasing levels of happiness and well-being, preretirees in their early 50s reported some of the lowest levels across the board.
If you are a preretiree in your early 50s and you’re feeling down, here are some things you should know.
The Transitional Phase of the Early 50s
For many people, the early 50s is the time when they first start noticing some significant effects of aging. Their face, skin and hair might look different, their muscle tone might have changed, they may be facing greater health problems and declining energy and some may experience the death and illness of friends more often than in the past. In addition to these troubling trends, preretirees in their early 50s might also feel very pressured about retirement savings and may be concerned that they haven’t saved enough to retire when they originally planned—a seriously depressing thought.
Taking Power Over the Transition
There’s no question that a transitional phase such as this can be difficult to get through. But that doesn’t mean you have to lie down and accept it. Instead of getting depressed over the process of aging and dealing with preretirement pressures, use your early 50s as a time to start taking charge of your health, your money and your happiness.
One of the things you can do is talk to a doctor and nutritionist about creating a food and exercise plan that helps maintain both your health and your youth. By changing the way you eat, the nutrients you get and the way you exercise, you could find yourself in the best shape of your life during your early 50s.
Another step you can take is to refine your budget so that you can pay more attention to reducing debt and maxing out retirement savings. Making financial sacrifices while you’re still earning an income is one of the best ways to reframe the outlook of your financial future and begin feeling more confident about your ability to retire.
There is no rulebook that tells us all how to age in the healthiest, most positive way. The good thing about that is it gives us each the opportunity to define our own way to age and to decide the steps that we’ll take in order to feel empowered and hopeful during every phase of our lives.