Common Health Concerns after Retirement

The idea of retirement is often romanticized; you’ll have the chance to do what you’d like with your days, without having to worry about work or other daily commitments. It’s true, retirement sounds like a wonderful period of time to look forward to and constantly work towards. When you do retire, you’ll still have things to do and worry about, they’ll just be different than the things you do and worry about now. One thing that you’ll have to start worrying about more, is your health. As you get older, it’s natural for the state of your health to decline with your age. Most retired individuals end up paying a lot more for their healthcare than they did before they retired. Because of that, you shouldn’t wait until you retire to worry about these health problems.



Cardiovascular Health
Make sure that your heart is healthy, before you retire. As you get older, this is something you should be aware of anyway. But as retirement gets closer, make sure you are aware of the condition your heart is in, and if there’s anything that you can do to help. Rates of cardiovascular death increase significantly between the ages of 60 and 70. You’ve worked so long towards retirement, so make sure that you’re healthy enough to enjoy retirement.

The best antidote for heart issues is regular exercise. Eat a good diet and get in 30 minutes each day of gentle cardiovascular activity.

Dementia
It’s highly unlikely that you’ll develop dementia, especially before you are of retirement age. Those that retire early are often at a higher risk of developing dementia at an unexpectedly young age. If you retire on schedule, you are probably delaying the onset of dementia.

Doing activities to keep your mind active, like reading, puzzles, and learning new things and meeting new people can all help you delay the onset of dementia. Additionally, a diet high in whole grains and Omega 3 fatty acids can help keep your mind sharp.



Depression
Depression is a condition that plagues a lot more individuals than we realize. Often underdiagnosed, depression is a serious condition that has swept the nation. You should want to be in peak mental health when you retire, so you can enjoy your retirement. Studies have shown that when someone is no longer working towards something that brings in a paycheck, it’s easier to develop depression. This is a consistent problem among individuals that retire early. As you near retirement, make sure you have your mental health under control and are mentally healthy. Even after you have retired, you should continue going into regular therapy appointments and try to maintain the good levels of mental health that you have before you retire, when you are still bringing home a paycheck.

St. John’s Wort is approved by the FDA to treat depression. You can also try Omega 3 fatty acids (often obtained through fish oil) and saffron to regulate and elevate mood.

Anxiety
If we’re going to talk about depression, it’s worth mentioning anxiety as well. Anxiety and stress are two very different things, but they can often go hand in hand. The anxiety of retirement, specifically retiring early, can affect your mental health even before you actually retire. These heightened levels of anxiety are often brought on by the stress of worrying about finances, when you don’t know how long your savings will last and if you did a good enough job setting up your retirement plans. Anxiety can quietly sneak into all areas of your life, seeping into your brain and laying a net of jittery feelings over your everyday life and everything that you do. Feeling anxious is not uncommon, but being diagnosed with chronic and daily anxiety is a completely different ballgame. If you have a constant feeling of dread, or have a hard time functioning under the weight of all of your worries, make sure you schedule an appointment with your mental health counselor leading up to your retirement, to make sure you are prepared for the life of retirement before it comes.



Alcohol and substance abuse
A lot of people who regularly abuse alcohol and other substances, don’t realize what a problem it is. Or rather, they don’t let themselves what a problem it is. Alcohol abuse rates actually rise dramatically after retirement. Retirees often depend on alcohol as a way to cope. Whether this is due to the increase in free time, or something else, it is quickly becoming an issue. Waiting until retirement to get your addictions and substance abuse under control is a bad idea, because by the time you reach retirement, you’ve often lost a lot of the motivation to correct your problems. Learn more about alcohol abuse after retirement to protect yourself and your mental health.

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