How prepared are you to retire? You may be putting money into a savings plan, paying down debt, and mapping out your retirement life, but there’s a bit more that needs to be done if you’re going to retire happily. For instance, kicking expensive and unhealthy habits to the curb. You see, once you retire, you don’t have the backup of a steady check nor the youthfulness and health from years prior.
If you made a bad money decision or participate in unhealthy habits when you were employed full-time or young and healthy, chances are you could wait until your next paycheck or bounce back from a health problem. Now, however, you’re getting older and your income is fixed meaning you have to develop good habits that will prolong your life and stretch your budget. Here is a look at some of the most expensive and unhealthy habits to start changing today.
Not Using a Budget
Do you have any idea where your money is going every pay cycle? Are you using your income to its fullest potential? Are there things you could do to cut back and save more? There are questions a budget can easily answer for you.
Neglecting to keep track of your finances in retirement, however, can cause you to fall deeper into debt and drain your savings faster. Start using a budget now to prepare you for the future. There are plenty of applications and software you can use to make budgeting easier.
Smoking and Drinking
If you’re nearing retirement and are still engaging in smoking cigarettes or drinking alcohol, you need to kick these habits - and fast. The longer you hold onto these vices the more damage it does to your body. Both increase your risk of developing diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and cancer and reduce your lifespan by years. Not to mention, they’re both very expensive habits to keep up.
If you’ve been a smoker or drinker for years, beating these habits may be easier said than done. Fortunately, there are ways you can start the process of letting them go for good. For example, you could order a vape kit which doesn’t contain tobacco and begin there. Since vape liquids have varying levels of nicotine, you could wean yourself off of cigarettes. As for drinking, perhaps removing it from your house, steering clear of environments where drinking is involved, and going to addiction treatment if you’re suffering from addiction.
When you’re younger, not exercising isn’t necessarily a big deal. Your metabolisms are high, immune systems are strong, and, for the most part, your health is under control. As you get older, however, your mind and body don’t function the same. They require diet and exercise to remain in optimal health.
Start incorporating physical activities into your day. Whether you go to the gym, start walking around your neighborhood, dance while you’re cleaning the house, walking further from the parking lot to your job, using the stairs instead of an elevator, or walking the dog regularly, it all contributes to shedding pounds, strengthening your body, and enhancing your mind.
How many times have you walked into a store or searched a website and saw something you wanted but didn’t necessarily need? Though it’s nice to treat yourself to something you like on occasion, impulsive spending money can result in serious debt. If you keep this habit up in retirement, you’ll run through your monthly income very quickly.
To stop shopping impulsively you should first start by living with a budget. Having a designated amount to spend on miscellaneous things allows you to treat yourself within reason. Another way to cut down on your spending habits is to try the 24-hour rule. If you see something you want, wait 24 hours before deciding to purchase it. If in the 24 hours you don’t have that same intense urge to buy, then don’t.
Retirement is supposed to be one of the best times in your life. You’ve worked, raised a family, and navigated the ups and downs of life and as a result, made it to the other side. If you want to enjoy these years of your life, it is imperative to keep your health and finances first. Kicking the above-mentioned habits now will help with ensuring that you can live a retirement lifestyle you’ve always dreamed of.