They say that early retirement is the best way to shorten your lifespan. According to all available data, they’re right. But that is not the last word on the matter. Retirement does not have to be a painful and brief prelude to that long good night. It can be the best, most prosperous, and most satisfying time of your life.
Some of the pain of retirement comes down to insufficient planning and insufficient resources to make it work. The rest of the pain is quite literal. As our bodies get older, things tend to break down. What once was no challenge is now a painful trial. If you bought a house with stairs in your youth, you may find that you are climbing those stairs a lot less in your retirement years. Pain can rob us of many of the things we once loved.
For the best retirement, we need our health. Most of having good health in our retirement years comes from making good decisions in our early years. Also, genetics. There is nothing you can do about you genetics. And there is equally nothing to be done about the decisions you made in the past. That leaves the present. And there are definitely things you can do to have a less painful retirement than you otherwise would. Here are three:
Try Alternate Treatments for Pain
Pain relief does not have to come from a pharmacy. Topical CBD treatments can be just as effective if not more in some cases. Such treatments have been around for a long time, and have garnered many devoted followers.
It is important to note that not every alternative treatment will work for everyone. Like acupuncture, some people swear by it while others have tried it without success. Then again, that is equally true of every traditional treatment. You have to go with what works for you. And you will never know what works if you never try alternatives to what you normally use.
It is right to trust science-based medicine. But it is wrong to conflate that with modern healthcare systems. One of the most common problems with today’s healthcare system is the over-prescribing of habit-forming drugs to seniors. The tragedy is that these drugs are often ineffective at stopping the pain. And they become less effective over time. If traditional pharmaceuticals aren’t doing the job, consider alternative paths. There is a good chance your joint pain can be managed with a simple topical.
Don’t Stop Working
Retirement does not have to mean the end of gainful and satisfying employment. It might only mean a reduction in responsibility or a break from the job you have been doing for most of your life.
Phil Schiller left his post as SVP of Worldwide Marketing for Apple and became an Apple Fellow. The interesting thing is he did not retire to some beach in an unpronounceable region of the world, he held on to two of the important duties he was doing before.
That said, he has a lot less on his plate than before. He has time to take vacations and enjoy his family along with the fruits of his many years of labor. But he also gets to keep his head in the game. He stays active, relevant, and employed. This is a good model for how retirement should be viewed.
Alternative medicine can address pain. But it is not always enough for seniors to find an effective pain treatment. To keep pain away, one needs to stay employed, mentally active, and emotionally healthy.
That said, don’t forget to stay physically active. Don’t buy the rocking chair for your front porch. Buy a rowing machine instead. Play tennis if you can and golf if you can’t. Grab the rollator and take the longest walks you can.
It is a little like fighting fire with fire. You fight pain with exercise which strengthens your muscles and enables you to do more with less pain. Underutilizing your muscles will actually increase your chances of experiencing pain.
Don’t let retirement stop you from living your best life. The best way to live a more pain free retirement is to fully invest in the notion that your best days are still ahead of you.