“I don’t mind dying; I just don’t want it to be my fault.”
Mental and physical health are the most meaningful asset classes.
Enjoying money if you’re constantly sick, tired, injured, and depressed is impossible. Many retirees possess material wealth but too little of what’s relevant.
Old age doesn’t cause sickness. An unhealthy lifestyle takes care of that. Our bodies function well into our eighties and nineties if we take care of them. Imagine not worrying about market noise, watching incendiary cable T.V., and serial portfolio checking? What would happen if this was reallocated into creating a healthy lifestyle?
Talk about a permanent retiree bull market!
Never telling people to do anything you wouldn’t do is a good life hack. Materialism doesn’t buy happiness for me. My clothes are from Christmas and Birthday gifts. There are zero urgencies in replacing my 2007 car. Everybody’s different, to each his own.
Enjoying the company of my colleagues and liking my clients – Life is good. Absent this; I would’ve been gone yesterday.
Deciding to focus more energy on my health became a 2020 quest. Embarrassing to say, not having a Doctor for 15 years isn’t something to be proud of. Going to the local walk-in clinic on death’s door isn’t a great plan. Doing this despite spending $1400 a month on health insurance premiums made this strategy more preposterous.
Locating a doctor emphasizing lifestyle habits over pushing bills isn’t easy. After finding one, the focus became planning a healthy food and exercise regime, acting as preventive rather than reactive medicine. This is the North Star for optimal health.
Looking at blood work every couple of months, we set goals to maximize the body’s extraordinary potential fully.
After giving up processed and fried foods, sugar, alcohol, and most animal protein, the results speak for themselves. Cholesterol dropped from 200 to 167, body acidity and inflammation markers shrank precipitously.
Weighing the same as my 25-year-old self feels pretty good.
Please don’t take this as a not so humble brag.
Spoiler Alert – I am an IMPERFECT human being. If I can do this, so can you. Take ownership and embrace an evidence-based lifestyle.
You are the cure. Your body is a self-healing machine. Our habits and environment determine our health.
My wealthiest clients possess optimal mental and physical health, not the greatest financial wealth.
Use this diversified 7-step program to create your own lifestyle portfolio.
Follow a Healthy Diet: 40% of Americans are clinically obese. Eat food that doesn’t require labels. Plenty of vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, and legumes do the trick. Diversify the colors. The deeper, the better. Assuring a variety of anti-oxidants nourish your body. Drink at least four glasses of water a day. Replace some coffee intake with herbal teas. Delete soda and excess alcohol. Stand back and watch how your body begins repairing itself. Nutrient-dense foods are essential. Drink a vitamin and mineral-packed smoothie as a potent delivery system to begin every day.
(Just don’t spill half on the countertop like me.)
H=N/C. Health equals Nutrients per Calories Consumed. Use this formula when deciding what to ingest.
Exercise Daily: Variety is key. Combine weight training (Free weights and Bands) with aerobic activity. Jogging, rowing, jump-rope, bicycling, or walking are excellent daily activities. Stretching should be done before and after each workout. Get a Foam Roller. The key for retirees is maintenance and avoiding injuries. Work on different body parts daily, avoiding stress by concentrating on one area too much. Keep moving.
(Isola Garage Gym sans heat and A.C.)
Get More Sleep: Getting 7 hours of rest without medication is optimal. Don’t drink, take caffeine, or expose yourself to computer/phone screens for at least a couple of hours before turning in. Avoid eating in the evening. This interferes with your body’s ability to repair itself, focusing on digestion instead. Try to intermittent fast for 12-16 hours each day. The longer you can go, the better. A side effect, working out on an empty stomach in the morning burns fat.
Stay Connected: We are pack animals and crave connections to our peers. Loneliness can be equivalent to smoking 15 cigarettes daily. It’s harder to make new friends as we age; focusing on renewing older friendships is smart. Find people to hang out with within different age groups. This will keep your perspective fresh and vibrant.
Don’t Stop Learning: Your brain needs exercise and challenges just like your muscles. Start new hobbies or fall back on old ones. If you always wanted to learn how to play the guitar, do it. Learning new things gives opportunities to create new friendships. Watching and listening to political partisans isn’t recommended.
Frankie Says Relax: Find ways to reduce anxiety. Turning to your faith, meditation, and spending time in nature lowers your blood pressure and lightens the mood. Get a pet. Gardening is a terrific stress reliever. Going on long walks or bike rides allows you to double-dip. Live for what comes now, not next. Remember, simplicity is a strategy.
Give Back: Get involved with a charity. Mentor younger people, Set up a charitable fund. This not only increases happiness but makes the world a better place. Live as though today is your last day. Prioritizing what’s essential needs to take precedence over daily noise.
Just like investing, retirees need to diversify their lifestyle choices. Just doing some of the items mentioned, life improves substantially.
Never let the perfect be the enemy of the good.
Need to add some Baco’s to that salad? Go right ahead.
One soda is better than two. A ten-minute daily walk sure beats lying on the couch. Add vegetables and fruit to your regular diet. Going Cold-Turkey is a bad idea. Gradual implementation is the key to success.
Take the words of the famous Cellist Pablo Casals to heart. When asked why he still practiced three hours daily at 93, he replied: ” I’m beginning to see some improvement.”
Constantly continue compounding your healthy lifestyle.
Nobody gets out of here alive. The real shame would be stamping your own departure ticket.
Eat For Health by Joel Fuhrman, MD
How Not To Die by Michael Greger MD
The New Rules of Aging Well by Frank Lipman MD