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Planning for a healthy retirement: Are you ready?

You might have spent years dreaming of retirement, but have you properly planned for your golden years? People often prepare financially for retirement but overlook its emotional, mental and physical aspects. That said, are you really retirement ready? If so, you should be able to answer “yes” to the following questions.

Do you feel positive about retirement?

Although you can expect to feel some work-world withdrawal at first, you should feel happy and excited about this new beginning. Take time to focus on retirement’s positive aspects, like doing all the things you never had time for. Decide exactly what you want to achieve in retirement. Do you want to travel, take classes or become a novelist? The choice is yours.

Have you considered how you’ll spend your time once you retire?

After working most of your life, you’re used to being productive. Let’s face it, a couch potato’s lifestyle just isn’t you—and it isn’t healthy. In fact, idleness can lead to depression, isolation and loss of self-esteem. Set goals and plan regular activities, such as being involved in volunteer work, a part-time job or a book club.

Did you schedule a pre-retirement medical checkup with your doctor?

You can save a few dollars by having your employee health insurance cover a full physical. With a clean bill of health, you can retire with peace of mind.

Do you know how you will stay connected with others?

Don’t let yourself become isolated. Are you connected to the Web? Do you have other retired friends you can join for social events and physical activities?

Do you have an exercise agenda in place for retirement?

As you age, your metabolism will inevitably slow down. You need to exercise to burn excess calories and prevent gaining weight, which can creep up on you. Being overweight can lead to diabetes, high cholesterol, hypertension and clogged arteries. Schedule a regular time to exercise for at least 30 minutes a day, join a gym or walking club or sign up for fitness or yoga classes in your community.

Do you plan to eat healthy during retirement?

Stay committed to a healthy, balanced diet. Watch your calories and eat at least nine servings of fruits and vegetables, 25 grams of fiber and 1,200 milligrams of calcium a day. Cut out table salt and limit total sodium to 1,300 mg a day (less than one teaspoon).

Have you spoken with your doctor about money-saving healthcare options?

Don’t let a restricted income keep you from getting the healthcare you need. Ask your healthcare provider about cost-cutting tips, such as switching to less costly, generic medications.