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"Eat Your Spinach" + "Take a Walk" - Demonstrably valuable FINANCIAL advice

"Eat Your Spinach" + "Take a Walk" - Demonstrably valuable FINANCIAL advice

| September 25, 2020

Less than 100% physical functionality

With us "early" ("older") boomers now past 70, more and more of our contemporaries - and / or our still-living parents / aunts /uncles, siblings, cousins etc. are dealing with the challenges of less than 100% physical functionality. 

"Aging" on the Tennis Court

Dad was an avid golfer (Mother golfed, but not as enthusiastically,) and all 4 of us kids were "encouraged" to go that direction. My 2 younger brothers were good enough to play varsity golf in high school. I was JV. At least, though, at the time, us "junior" golfers carried our own clubs when we played. So our teenage golfing constituted some exercise.

Fast forward to their move to Florida at mother's age 50-ish. They bought a home on a golf course near Ft. Lauderdale and just didn't care for it. They then looked around and found Treasure Island Tennis & Yacht Club (TTYC) on Treasure Island - a barrier island next to St. Pete. Mother and Dad were some of the original residents. When Mother died in 2019, she had lived there 47 years.

At the time they moved there, TTYC had, from memory, 16 Har-Tru courts and a very active program for members, who were not just the residents of the 2 adjacent high-rise condo buildings. But there was enough activity to provide a great social focus for them, and I believe as much tennis as they both wished to play. 

When Mother died at her age 97, she had only "retired" from playing tennis the year before, at her age 96. After I got my titanium right knee in 2018 and began playing again, I told that story to another tennis player, who said, "that's why she lived so long!"

By contrast, while Dad did play a good long time, he had some health challenges earlier that, over time, resulted in some non-Alzheimer's dementia for some years before he died at his age 90.

PS: My brother Marc also switched sports. He and his doubles partner won the Mens' 65 USTA (Amateur) National Hard Court Doubles. And Marc now still gets invited - singles & doubles - to the Mens' 70 national USTA tournaments! 😊

"Use It or Lose It!" Wellness Is a Growth Industry

At some point a couple years ago I probably sent away for one of those Free Reports that you can pay for later or return, or get an ongoing newsletter. Many big academic names including Harvard, Mt. Sinai, Cleveland Clinic, Mayo and others have multiple offerings. Sometimes useful, Sometimes not. It does seem to me on a very basic level that if you keep "doing," you will be more likely to be able to continue "doing" .... whatever it is that you are doing!

It is also becoming more and more clear that the more sedentary you are, the more risk you subject yourself to.

Alternative forms of housing are another growth industry

I climb stairs every day of my life. Many times. At one point in my past before I got my new knee, I was worried about it. Less so now. But I know people who can't. My guess is that most of us know someone who can't climb stairs. Some readers might already be in that situation. While a one-floor residence might be readily available, if there are other physical limitations that require more extensive modifications, such modifications might be possible ... but less readily available as well as more costly.

Health is demonstrably valuable for your financial picture

If you have to move because one spouse no longer can climb stairs, in addition to the hassle, it can be a meaningful expense and, possibly a hit to your retirement income. Extensive modifications even more so. Long-Term Care, with or without LTCi - Long Term Care insurance - can be a whole other level of expense. Paying even a part-time caregiver to come into your home costs. Even more if full-time care or a facility is required.

Food can arguably be a challenge

The pandemic clearly exposed some institutional challenges to our country's nutrition. I have never been in the restaurant business and have no desire, but I feel bad for the owners and employees who have been hurt. The silver lining for some has been re-imagining some or all of their business model simply to survive. On a personal and household level, cooking is my indoor hobby. (Tennis is my outdoor hobby.) For those who have no desire or interest in home food preparation, challenges abound. I didn't do the data research. But I believe food that is commercially prepared, either to eat in a restaurant or take-out from a store or restaurant, is typically and generally less healthy than food we prepare ourselves. For those of us who might have to watch "the bad stuff," commercially prepared food can be a minefield.

Nutrition Action Healthletter by The Center for Science in the Public Interest

Is a non-profit organization. You can look at their site for free. And I just discovered they also have a free Nutrition Action Healthy Tips e-newsletter. I'll be subscribing.  Also the 2nd page of the image at the top is actually a "Naming Names" of good and less good food choices, specifically including well-known restaurant items. Check it out

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