The Expert View: How to Feel Younger in Retirement
There are many ways you can feel younger in your retirement we've consulted with an expert life coach to learn more about the benefits this can bring.
According to a recent Homes for Later Living report, moving into a McCarthy & Stone property can make you feel 10 years younger,* but in addition to this there are several other approaches you might want to take which can also improve your quality of life.
Watch this video to see how our residents are enjoying life since moving into their retirement property:
To help confirm and further inform our research, we spoke to Carol Ann Rice of realcoachingco.com, who is one of the UK’s leading life coaches.
What are the wellbeing benefits to ‘feeling younger’ in retirement?
I think that retirement needs to be reconceptualised. In the olden days, you used to get the ‘gold watch’ and then start the slow decline into old age. But, these days, more people are retiring early (even as early as their late 30s), and people envy those who have retired. As a result, retirement should be seen as a ‘launch pad’ rather than a ‘landing pad’.
Instead, it’s something quite exciting. You can set your beliefs around what retirement means to you, which can benefit your wellbeing and mental health. After all, you’ll have more freedom, more choices and more time for creativity.
What other ways can those in retirement feel younger?
There are lots of ways that you can feel young in retirement. My top tips are:
- Have structure to your day: have a routine, including times for waking, eating and sleeping.
- Set the alarm at a decent hour: You don’t have to get up at the crack of dawn, but if you wake up late every day, you’ll lose structure.
- Exercise several times a week: You don’t have to go to the gym, but you should find a form of exercise that suits your lifestyle, like walking, golf or yoga.
- Have something to look forward to every week: Many people find it useful to keep a diary of events. See white space in your diary as a ‘new job’ and actively seek to have an interesting week ahead of you.
- Treat yourself: For women, having beauty treatments regularly or buying new clothing can help. However, the focus should be on looking good rather than looking younger. So, rethink the colours you’re wearing and remember comfort is key.
- Confidence comes with age: It’s likely that you don’t worry about the things you used to anymore, so make the most of this!
How important is having a positive attitude in retirement?
Managing your mindset is incredibly important. This is because having a positive outlook makes us happy and being happy leads to us doing things that can help make us feel younger, such as partaking in exercise, being of service to others (help out neighbours or children/grandchildren) and feeling purpose in what we are doing.
Finding simple things to enjoy day-to-day such as having a glass of wine in the evening or taking part in some retail therapy is important too, as is having a positive intention every day.
What technology can help you feel younger in retirement?
These days, the internet gives ‘connection’ opportunities to everyone and things like shopping, online communities and small business opportunities can all be found online.
To fully embrace technology, you should also think about buying a fitness app for your smartphone, a step counter or a Fitbit. This is because, if you have the tech, then you’re more likely to commit to exercise each day, and the results of seeing your progress can be satisfying.
What are the benefits of bringing back your old pastimes/hobbies?
There are so many clubs, courses and workshops these days that retirement is the perfect time to do something you’ve always wanted to do or to bring back past hobbies while you have more time.
Most people like to choose creative projects like arts classes or health-related pastimes like yoga and Pilates. Some people like to take up new sports like golf and others even take up coaching to help others and pass on wisdom.
How can we encourage other retirees to get into the spirit of feeling younger?
You work hard throughout your life, but you’re not isolated when you retire. In fact, you can become a bigger part of society than you were in your working life because you have more time. So, look to get involved with ‘self-generating good-feeling things’ in your local area, such as green projects, restoration projects and fundraising activities.
* Based on a selection of national well-being criteria such as happiness and life satisfaction, an average person aged 80 feels as good as someone 10 years younger after moving from mainstream housing to housing specially designed for later living.