Worries Weighing You Down?
Here’s How Seniors Can Kick Stress to the Curb
Stress is a part of life that we have to deal with - at every age and stage. Being retired is a joy, and it definitely feels good to have more freedom. But our senior years come with their own sources of stress, from financial issues to worrying about your health. What’s most important is that you put a stop to stress (or at least manage it) before it starts to take over your life.
You spent years planning and saving for retirement, and now that it’s here, you may be wondering how to make your savings last. The most obvious solution is to cut expenses, but we know this is easier said than done. For a great place to start, take a look at small savings that add up, like lowering grocery and entertainment expenses, to bigger things, like refinancing your mortgage.
One financial issue of particular concern for seniors is the cost of medical care, but the good news is that you CAN take some control over these expenses. If you don’t already do this, start reviewing your healthcare coverage annually and make sure you know how it works. It’s especially important to know when you’ve met your deductible and which providers are in your network.
In addition to covering your current expenses, another common concern for seniors is whether they’ll leave their loved ones with a financial burden. One solution is to start thinking about funeral planning now so that you won’t have to worry about how your loved ones would handle these expenses.
Lincoln Heritage explains the average funeral can easily cost up to $9,000 or more. If this number gives you sticker shock, the best thing you can do is start exploring options for covering those costs so that loved ones aren’t saddled with the bill later. Honestly, none of us want to think about our own funerals, but making these plans now is a gift to loved ones, which will relieve a lot of your anxiety.
As much as we all dream about the freedom we’ll have in retirement, our senior years come with losses too, including a sense of fulfillment in life. The solution to this stressor is to find that same sense of purpose from another pursuit. As the Chicago Tribune explains, a sense of purpose could come from simple things, like caring for a pet or volunteering.
Even when you find something that gives life meaning, it’s normal to worry about changes that could prevent you from living life on your terms. Maybe you worry that you won’t always be able to drive or live independently at home. The answer to loss of independence isn’t an easy one, but there are still ways you can take charge of your independence. For example, maybe you have a friend or neighbor who will drive you. Or you may want to choose a senior living community that will allow you to live independently and safely.
Independence and health go hand in hand, so it’s no wonder that these are top sources of stress. For many seniors, managing chronic health conditions is their greatest concern, while others worry more about what could happen. No matter what, the most important thing is to stay on top of your medical care through regular appointments and health screenings. One of the best things you can do is know your family history because this can help you prevent health problems or get them diagnosed early.
In addition to staying on top of medical concerns, another tried and true way to take control of your health is to prioritize good nutrition and exercise. We know these changes aren’t easy, and it may feel like you’ve simply replaced one set of worries with new ones. It’s true - stress is a fact of life, no matter our age. But it’s also true that we have the power to manage our stress, as well as the situations that cause it.
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Created by Larry Miller and Tom Owen