Unfortunately, as we get older our ability to remain independent is often called into question. Sometimes such questioning is justified because of the effects of diseases like Alzheimer’s or dementia, and sometimes it is simply called into question because we are older. If you would like to remain independent for as long as possible, the following steps may be of use:
STEP 1: Stay physically and mentally active
Study after study has shown that as we get older we become much more likely to just sit around. If you want to remain independent, however, then you need to stop sitting around and start getting active again. You may not be as spry as you used to be, but you can still enjoy life – go for a walk, ride a bike, take up gardening, try a water aerobics class, etc.
Independence also requires mental stimulation, not just sitting and staring at the birds (unless you’re doing it as part of a bird watching club). Read a book, explore websites devoted to cognitive development, or join a social group. Having a peer group is an important part of maintaining a healthy mind.
STEP 2: Manage your finances
Financial independence is about setting a realistic goal. One of the best ways to do so is to consult with a financial planner who can help you assess how much money you will need during retirement, how much you currently have, and how much you need to save to reach your goal. He or she can even devise a budget for you.