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A New Take on Retirement (And How It’s Improving Retiree Health)

What’s the first thing you think about when you hear the word retirement?

Does a move to somewhere warmer come to mind? How about days full of rest and relaxation? For some, retirement might feel like a transition into a completely new way of living. The notion of retiring has evolved in the last few years, with some phasing into retirement with part time work and others putting it off until later in life. These folks are, in a way, flipping the script on what ‘retirement’ really means, which is having a positive impact on retiree health.

Approaching This Next Phase of Life

As research continues to surface on the idea of approaching retirement differently, more and more people are open to a new outlook on the next phase of life. Some are simply postponing retirement completely, some are phasing into retirement, and others are finding exciting ways to approach the next chapter. There are lots of reasons for these changes, one being that those turning 65 now can expect to live into their mid-80s and another being that most work is less physically demanding than it was in the past.

Studies show that challenging our brains later in life (or learning a new skill) can lead to positive changes in the adult brain. Dr. Kathryn Papp, a neuropsychologist at Harvard Medical School, says that new connections between brain cells are created when learning something new, by changing the balance of available neurotransmitters and changing how connections are made. This means that the brain is continuously changing the more it’s challenged. And challenging the brain later in life can help reduce stress and improve one’s state of mind – both things that impact your mental and physical health.

If you’re looking for ways to approach retirement differently and improve your own health after retirement, here are a few possibilities:

  • Take a less demanding position at your current place of employment. More and more employers are willing to offer phased retirement to employees.
  • Start a second, less fast-paced career in a new field.
  • Strike out on your own! Launch a new business or sell services as a freelancer.
  • Become involved in local community efforts.
  • Volunteer at animal shelters or hospitals.
  • Schedule different social gatherings like a book club or exercise group.

Remember: The more active you remain, the better for both the body and brain.

Planning for Future Healthcare Costs

Your approach to retirement also affects your health insurance. If you continue working, you may be eligible to keep your current health insurance. But, if you make a change, like volunteering or starting a new business, you may transition your health insurance to Medicare.

An important part of this transition is knowing which health insurance is the best “fit” for you. The healthier you are, the less likely you might be to require health-related services. So, if you’re one of the increasing number of people who reaps the health benefits of an active retirement, this could impact how you choose your Medicare health insurance plan. And that’s where the EasyMedicareSolutions™ comes in.

The EasyMedicareSolutions™ is an unbiased tool that helps people on Medicare better understand their total health care costs, allowing users to pick a Medicare plan that fits their situation, based on the user’s health care usage and lifestyle. For example, a late retiree who maintains an active, healthy lifestyle might not visit a doctor often and may benefit from a more basic Medicare Supplement plan. Those are the types of factors that impact retiree health and need to be considered when making your Medicare choice – and this calculator helps you do just that.