Live your senior life like it’s golden
By Bernard Freeman
Boost Your Income
There are many aspects of retirement to look forward to: the travel, the free time and fewer responsibilities, to name a few. But generally speaking, there is also less money coming in. That leaves many seniors to carefully plan their spending to avoid falling short on the monthly amount they need for groceries, medication and entertainment.
If savings, pensions and Social Security aren’t enough for you to live comfortably, you have many options to set yourself up for a brighter financial future. One idea is to consider delaying your retirement until you stow away a nice nest egg or put more into your high-growth savings plan. Check with your local Social Security office to see what your payment structure will look like if you wait a few years to draw it.
Below are some other tips for boosting your income during your golden years.
Go Back to Work Part-Time
If you’re like many newly retired Americans, it may feel strange waking up with no employment responsibilities. Once you settle into a routine of relaxation, you might still feel the pull to become involved with something that keeps you busy throughout the day.
Part-time employment can help you offset extra expenses and give you the satisfaction of contributing to the workforce. You may find that organizations are looking for someone just like you, especially if you’re looking to apply your background and career expertise to help them achieve their goals.
Check in with your local career advisory firm to see what is available in your area. Be ready to describe what your ideal role looks like and how many hours per week you would like to work.
Vibrant, health-focused seniors can be strong role models to the young people in their lives. Teaching life lessons and giving advice can go a long way in strengthening your relationships with grandchildren, students and the kids in the neighborhood.
But nothing is more important than the eating, drinking and exercise decisions you make in front of the youth around you. Making healthy decisions is not difficult, especially when you consider how much influence your actions have on the people looking up to you.
With a little planning and some common sense, you can make sure your dietary choices give you the essential vitamins and minerals needed to fuel your body in a healthy way. For physical activity, a little effort goes a long way in showing youth how remaining active can reap positive benefits.
Staying committed to these healthy choices can help keep those around you in great shape, too.
Join in with Games
When it comes to physical activity, you can set a positive example by involving yourself with your grandchildren’s games and sports. Offer to play catch in the backyard or learn a new sport. You can be a great role model while also getting in a cardio workout along the way.
The benefits of regular physical activity are both immediate and long lasting. Make an impact on the children around you by showing them how exercise makes you feel better, healthier and ready to take on the day.
Three Reasons You Should Be Volunteering
Senior citizens across the country are taking advantage of an activity that can make them feel better physically and mentally, while also helping others achieve the same.
Volunteering is sweeping the nation during a time when people need it the most.
Senior citizens are rejecting slow-paced retirements and instead focusing on scratching the altruistic itch that they haven’t been able to get to until now. The free time retirement affords can open doors you didn’t know were possible — doors that bring you closer to your community members and help you learn more about what really counts in life.
Bring Your Experience
Many retired seniors with seasoned professional backgrounds are lending their skill sets to make a difference in their town or city. Do you have experience as a business executive? Consider volunteering your expertise to a local nonprofit in need of entrepreneurial direction.
Are you a retired accountant? Your knowledge may be helpful to a community-focused organization in need of expert bookkeeping or financial planning guidance. The list goes on. Whatever your specialty, there is likely a nonprofit in your neck of the woods that could benefit from your volunteer services.
It’s in the Research
Volunteerism isn’t just beneficial for those in need. Research shows that volunteers benefit just as much from their efforts. Mental and physical health has been proven to improve in people who choose to volunteer.
The National Institute on Aging has reported that participating in social leisure activities and meaningful, productive activities such as volunteering may lower the risk of health problems in seniors, including dementia, as well as improving longevity.
According to the Corporation for National and Community Service, those who volunteer experience greater life satisfaction, a sense of purpose and accomplishment, more stress resilience and lower rates of depression.
That’s because of the special relationships and family-like bonds you can experience while volunteering. Seniors are able to work with people of all ages toward a common goal, giving them strong feelings of self-worth and confidence. These types of attributes are key in helping seniors feel more in tune with themselves and the world around them.
International Travel Tips
One of the most exciting parts of retirement is realizing you have the time you’ve always wanted for things like international travel. Trading in the time clock for a flight schedule is a liberating experience — one that helps you get more freedom, spontaneity and enjoyment out of life.
But before you book your flight or pack your bags, keep in mind that preparation is key to any successful trip. From the logistics of the flight to ensuring you bring along any essential medications during your stay, there are many things to consider during the planning phase.
Follow our tips below to optimize your travel experience.
Get help: Have you ever used a senior-focused travel agent before? If not, you may consider one for planning your next trip. Check in with your local travel agency to see if they specialize in senior citizen trips. They may have packages available that fit your travel objectives.
Remember your medication: If there are certain medications you need every day, it is critical that you remember to pack extra. Also, check in to the medical facilities available in the country you’re planning to visit. It’s never a bad thing to be prepared.
Get a checkup: Before leaving the United States, schedule an appointment with your physician to go over any medical recommendations. This can include getting vaccinations required for areas you plan to visit.
Pack wisely: When packing your clothes, bring along appropriate options for the climate of the country you’re visiting. Even a tropical destination can have a cold snap, so it’s important to be prepared with the proper attire.
Ready for the long flight: International flights are lengthy, depending on how far you’re traveling. Make sure your on-board bag contains everything that you might require during the duration of the flight. Items such as medication, books and personal identification are key.
Become Foster Grandparents
Do you have a passion for working with disadvantaged youth? Are you soft-hearted enough to make emotional connections with troubled teens but firm enough to give honest, straightforward life advice?
Through one national organization’s effort, you can turn these strengths into a powerful volunteering opportunity that could shape young minds and lives forever.
What is the Foster Grandparent Program?
The Foster Grandparent Program is a volunteer program funded by The Corporation for National and Community Service. Volunteers like you, ages 55 and older, are role models, mentors and friends to children with exceptional needs.
According to the CNCS, foster grandparents serve from 15 to 40 hours per week in locations including schools, hospitals, juvenile correctional institutions, daycare facilities or Head Start centers.
If you choose to volunteer your time, you will receive pre-service orientation and training, as well as supplemental accident and liability insurance. Some volunteers who meet certain income guidelines also receive a small stipend.
What Will You Do?
The majority of foster grandparents are placed in school settings to assist teachers in providing academic support. Both public and alternative schools are on the program’s list, as are schools inside Department of Juvenile Services facilities.
Volunteers work individually and in groups with their assigned youth, also taking part in special activities of local groups and community advocacy agencies. Activities you may be involved with include food drives, creating greeting cards, building gift bags for disadvantaged children and simply spending time building positive relationships with young people.
More on the Program
The Department of Juvenile Services has sponsored the program for more than 30 years. You will regularly be in contact with your program manager, client driver and other volunteers just like you.
Check out www.nationalservice.gov for more information or check with your local youth organizations to see if they are involved in the foster grandparents program.