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5 steps to a happy retirement

Engage your mind, body and spirit

This article was last updated on June 11, 2021. 

You already know that financial planning is an important part of being retirement-ready. But, there's more to retirement than just figuring out your finances and making sure you understand the different Medicare parts and plans available.

Whether you’re headed toward retirement or in the throes of it, think about how to further engage your mind, body and spirit.

  1. Be your healthiest self

    It’s never too late to live a healthier life. Take it from Cincinnati, Ohio, native Mike Fremont. At the age of 96, he set an American record in the road mile race at the 2018 Grand Blue Mile Opens New Window in Des Moines, Iowa. He credits a healthy lifestyle and diet to his longevity.

    96-year-old Mike Fremont breaks American record at Grand Blue Mile

    Take steps now and you’ll reap the benefits later. Every small change can make a difference, from a daily exercise routine, to eating more fruits and vegetables, increasing your water intake, or putting a stop to a nicotine addiction. 

  2. Clear your mind

    In a society addicted to being busy all the time, it can be hard to clear space on the calendar. Resist the urge to quickly fill up your schedule. Use your extra time to reconnect with who you are and what brings you joy and fulfillment. Plus, downtime can be an excellent source of creativity and strategic thinking.

  3. Rediscover your joy of (fill in the blank)

    Find that creative outlet. The possibilities are endless: from tinkering with cars, to gardening, painting, woodworking, bowling, or hiking. Start a new hobby or reconnect with something you used to enjoy. If it’s work you enjoy, try a part time job and enjoy the extra income it provides.

  4. Get social

    Introverts and extroverts alike need to spend time forming relationships with others. Whether it’s joining an existing group or starting a new one, get yourself out there. Need ideas? Think walking groups, book clubs, classes or study groups.

  5. Give back

    Now is your time to look around and see how you can give back. It can be as simple as picking up trash on your walking route or adopting a garden at the park across the street. Check out volunteer opportunities around your community, get involved with a charitable board, or find ways to teach or tutor. The health benefits of volunteering are wide — it has even been shown to add years to your life.

It's never too late to start planning

The Psychological Association’s Committee on Aging offers advice External Site for people in all career stages on how to transition to retirement. One part of that transition is being informed about Medicare. That's where Wellmark can help. 

To learn the ins and outs of Medicare, request your free Medicare Get-Ready guide Opens New Window. If you live outside Iowa or South Dakota, go to External Site or call 888-630-2583 to find a Blue Cross Blue Shield plan near you.