Take Action Now to Protect Your Health in Retirement – Six Action Items For Retirees

Article by Burton Widener

There is probably nothing more important to the enjoyment of the retired lifestyle than good health. Poor health limits your retirement options dramatically. It may restrict where you can live. Your willingness and ability to travel are both negatively affected by poor health. It’s hard to enjoy seeing new places if you can’t get around, or are tied to medical support facilities or special medical devices.

Assuming you are currently enjoying reasonably good health, take action to maintain your health now.

Here are a six tips for maintaining your health:

Select a doctor who has experience in treating older adults if you can. They are much more likely to understand the aging process. It takes some experience to determine if your symptoms are just part of the natural aging process, or signify something more. Get regular checkups. Most experts recommend twice a year physicals for anyone over 65. Follow your doctor’s advice. Why spend the time and effort to visit a doctor if you are not going to listen to him/her? If you don’t like the advice, get a second opinion. Find a way to insure you take any prescribed drugs in accordance with the required regime. If you find you are having difficulty remembering the correct times or dosages, find some kind of a routine to help you remember. Don’t be proud, after the age of 60 or so we all find our memories getting less and less reliable. Stay physically active. Most experts recommend at least 20-30 minutes of exercise three or four times a week as a minimum. The exercise does not need to be all that vigorous. Even walking for 30 minutes every other day can really improve your overall conditioning. Important; you should always consult your doctor before beginning any new exercise program. Don’t delay unpleasant or costly tests or procedures. Again, if you question the need for a particular test or procedure get a second opinion. Nobody likes six foot tubes being pushed into places where the sun never shines, but it may save your life some day, so grin and bear it (no pun intended). Both you and your spouse need to be realistic when looking ahead. If either of you have a chronic medical condition that is likely to result in long term health deterioration, plan for it now. Don’t put yourselves in a position that does not allow you to meet evolving health issues.Pick your retirement location carefully. Often it is prudent to be located near a medium or large metropolitan center. This will usually give you more options in terms of medical specialists or medical facilities. Your health may also determine the type of living accommodations you will select. For instance, restricted mobility may mean you are limited to single floor residences. The need for specialized care may dictate living in an assisted care facility.

Who Is Going To Pay? – Probably You

Health care costs are rising at an alarming rate, and senior citizens are feeling the pain. Only the lucky few have health care benefits that they are not paying for themselves. And even those that do can’t be sure their health care retirement benefits will continue. Ask a retired auto worker or airline flight attendant how precarious retirement benefits can be. Private, full coverage health plans are quickly becoming out of reach to most retired persons. Realistically, most retired persons are going to be dependent on Medicare for their health care coverage. You need to spend some time understanding what your options are. It’s more than likely you are going to want so called “gap” insurance to supplement the standard Medicare coverage. The rules for switching from private programs to Medicare are also important to understand, as a mistake can end up costing you some big penalties.

The latest drug care program is so complicated it’s almost impossible to figure out exactly what to do. Spend some time to read and understand all you can before making any decisions. A good place to start is at the official government website. You might want to consider getting some professional advice as well. Most medical insurance companies have people who understand the complexities of the issue, so they can be a source. Check your local business directory. In some areas, there are companies that specialize in helping you select the appropriate coverage. A word of advice here; prices for standard coverage are regulated, so the major task is selecting the plan that is best for you, and then deciding which insurance company you want to use.

Don’t risk having failing health shorten your enjoyment of your retirement life. Following these six simple tips can help insure you enjoy your retirement well into your senior years. That’s the whole idea isn’t it?

About the Author

About The Author: Burt Widener writes extensively on issues concerning retirement. His website at http://www.allthingsretired.com offers a range of articles and other resources to aid retired persons find answers to common questions regarding retirement. The site is updated frequently to keep the content current. You can contact Burt at: webmaster@allthingsretired.com.



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