5 Habits My Husband and I Are Practicing in Retirement to Stay Young (2023)

At what age are we considered “old”? A 2017 AARP article states that people over 65 think it's closer to 74. Well, my husband is already 79 and I just turned 74! Fortunately, we are asked how we stay young. I'm Asian so it's sometimes considered the reason, but my husband is Caucasian, what's the best explanation? The secret must be something we do together. After a bit of discussion, we come to these possible reasons.

1. Make every day an 8 hour day

After we were married, he sold his business, I retired from teaching at the university, and we spent 8 years on our honeymoon.racing across North America in an RV. We postponed acclimatization.

Excited, we couldn't break the habit of lining up what we wanted to achieve each day. For me it consisted of an hour in the gym (we always choose campsites with one), an hour cooking, 4-6 hours visiting one or two attractions in the area we visited, and the rest of the time writing about driving for the day. He took responsibility for keeping the trailer clean, working and playing sports.

When we finally settle down, we decidedMirador-Golfresort, an active community of over 55 that would give us plenty to do. My day evolved into the following: 2 hours on social media and writing, 1 hour in the gym (including jacuzzi and sauna), 1 hour cooking, 2 hours in clubs (going online, photography, karaoke, writing/editing, dancing and poker clubs), an hour in the library and an hour painting. My husband continued to have more athletic days, but joined me at the gym and library.

After dinner, we relax by watching a mutually agreed upon movie and late night TV show, or by reading books or magazines. On the weekends, we prepare for the week ahead by planning our meals, shopping, running errands, and going to church.

So it was a smooth transition from work to "retirement". Our weekdays remained full 8-hour days and our weekends remained the same. But there is a fundamental difference: the activities we engage in are things we doselectwe do, not things we dohaveDoes.

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2. Create special days

Whenever we feel the need, we create special days that break with this routine. And it doesn't have to be the weekend. In fact, weekdays are often better because there are no crowds at theaters, concerts, concerts, restaurants or destinations.

There are movies that we have to see in theaters, not just for the popcorn in the cinema, but for the great experience, especially at the time of the Oscars. classic inHale Theaterthey are as much a part of our duties as the occasional concert or special show in various venues.

To give my husband a break from my "great" cooking, we carefully research and select exceptional dining venues and venues to celebrate special occasions such as Birthdays, Easter, Mother/Father's Day, Anniversaries, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years.

And the trips drag on all year round. Day trips to the parks are rites of renewal, especially on flowery spring days. In the summer we go home to our children and grandchildren (soon to be great-grandchildren). Fall is the time to attend conventions or visit new places to write. And so we spend three winter months in Mexico when Phoenix is ​​"too cold".

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3. Live with lots of fun and laughter

Socializing is an important part of corporate life and we continue it well into retirement. At ViewPoint we don't just have clubs, we also love hosting dinners, meetings and parties. We have actually added a large conservatory so we can socialize better.

During COVID I switched to the Pro version ofEnlargementto be able to organize more and more sessions. Now that we can meet in person again, my mahjong sessions with friends have resumed. So we have Friday dinners with a rotating roster of two other couples joining us. And on our birthdays and Christmas/New Years we have bigger parties. These social events are settings for lots of fun and laughter.

And there are other ways to get dizzy and laugh. Despiteurban myth that children laugh more than adultsIt's been debunked, but I'm keeping the myth alive by being around young children. It's an absolute thrill to play with them and try to think like our grandchildren. Also, we are looking for younger souls (than us) to experience various interests and sense of humor. Over time, we've turned more and more to light action comedies and romantic comedies rather than your usual thrillers and my routine dramas.

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4. Take care of health

I cannot stress this enough. First, health problems will do the opposite of what we want: they will shorten our retirement days. And I think there are several parts: exercise, diet, sleep, hydration and looking good.

practice is key. ViewPoint has three gyms, one of which is just six doors down from us. My husband also likes to walk and hike. Sometimes he manages to make me go with him. And other times, I arrange for him to walk me around the mall (with shopping perks!).

But what we put in our stomach makes the biggest difference. Born in the slums of Manila, I developed a herding lifestyle that always left me on the weak side. And since I've been in charge of the kitchen, my husband has been swimming with me. This lifestyle is based on three principles: portion management, variety, and availability.

Feeding behavior is complexand certain factors can cause people to keep eating even when they are full. We practice portion management by limiting our meals to 4 ounces of meat per person. Then I make the correct batch. Although my husband weighs more, he doesn't want more because his metabolism is slower than mine.

Diversity is important becauseDesire comes from boredomwith the same foods. I've been trying to learn how to cook the ones we like. As a result, I can now cook dishes from 14 cuisines and have developed an array of about 100 dishes in columns of chicken, seafood, vegetables, pork and beef, with my preference for the top three. I use it when planning a weekly menu, following a personal advice: no dish is repeated over the course of a month.

Availability is as simple as it sounds. I don't keep foods at home that are not good for us: sweets, cakes, chocolates, soft drinks and ultra-processed foods. You don't eat what you don't have, as my husband discovered on his nocturnal forays around town. Instead, I eat lots of fruits and nuts.

And then, of course, there's sleep and hydration. mefitbitit tells me my sleep score when I wake up and I intentionally shorten my day when I haven't had a good day. And I try to drink lots of water and a big cup of chamomile tea with honey and vanilla at the end of the day.

With them, good looks will be an advantage for a longer life. But paying attention to a few more details improves that result: colors that match your complexion, cuts that match your body type, hairstyles that match your face type, accessories that complete the look, and makeup that enhances or hides.

5. Live meaningfully

But it's something much deeper than the physical that will really make the difference. Mental and spiritual health is maintained through purposeful living. Early in life I thought being useful was enough. writing totrip waiting, for example, it's rewarding because I can help other travelers in the same way I saw the jobs I chose above.

But helping others and not getting paid for it is much more fulfilling. Not only are you giving away your time and talents for free, you are also sharing some of the treasure you've saved. So many people need help, can't take care of themselves, or just need a little push to improve their lives.

My first volunteer job was withService Corps for Retired Executives(SCORE) to help small businesses that are just starting out and still don't have the money to pay for consulting. Good advice can get them along the way. my husband volunteeredCASA, a court-appointed special counsel who tries to rescue children from the clutches of highly dysfunctional families and the trap of easy money, crime and incarceration. All they need is a little focused attention.

My desire to meet Filipinos in the US led me to other University of the Philippines alumni. We founded the UP Alumni Association in Arizona and today we support at least two fellows in the Philippines with their graduation and help the country. We even became a chapter of the NationalUP Alumni Association in Americawhich is able to support more students.

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In other words, looking and feeling young comes from living a full life, sustained by an openness to diverse experiences. Have eventful days, make days special and fill them with fun and laughter. And don't forget to take care of your health and live a life of purpose.

Related reading:

  • 5 essential steps to a successful retirement transition
  • 6 Things We're Doing Right Now To Try To Get To 100
  • 5 ways to deal with retirement when you fly solo
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