HOBBIES ARE GOOD FOR YOUR HEALTH

Do you have a hobby? Hobbies can give meaning and purpose to your life in retirement. As Robert Putnam points out in his book, Bowling Alone, it’s easy to discount the importance of hobbies and social engagements. Putnam details the widespread decline in civic engagement, from PTA memberships to neighborhood potlucks and bowling leagues. Over a couple of generations, Americans have misplaced the concept of free time.

SPECIAL PLANS FOR YOUR SPECIAL PEOPLE

Lily is a beautiful, active and full of personality toddler who happens to have Down syndrome. Lily’s parents and I have been friends for years and I have the continuing pleasure of watching Lily and her siblings grow up. While Lily is becoming a physical therapy rock star and hitting all her milestones in a timely fashion, her parents have started planning for the future.

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WHY WE ENJOY OUR HOBBIES

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a hobby as “a pursuit outside one’s regular occupation, engaged in especially for relaxation.” Hobbies include anything from playing a musical instrument to gardening, bird watching or sewing. A hobby is a way of focusing on something you enjoy just for the sake of that enjoyment. It may also be a way to clear your mental palette. You could be stressed out by a situation at work or the challenges of raising children and need an escape.

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seniors feel lost and depressed after they quit their jobs, so a part-time job would ensure you remain busy.


Living frugally is a lifestyle that covers the basics in the least expensive way possible. You don’t have to give up everything and live like a hermit. Having a thrifty yet fabulous life in retirement is possible with a little discipline and attention to detail.


SOURCES & RESOURCES:

•  Free From Broke (www.freefrombroke.com)

•  Frugal Retirement Living (www.frugal-retirement-living.com)

•  The Street (www.thestreet.com )

•  USA Today (www.usatoday.com)

Many people in the United States with significant savings fear going broke in retirement, according to a recent survey. However, there are ways to live frugally to try to prevent that from happening.


1. Analyze your living situation. According to research, the cost of a home and home-related expenses accounts for nearly 43 percent of spending for people who are 65 to 74 years of age. So, to save money, it may be worth downsizing to a smaller home, which also gives you a chance to earn money by selling items you no longer need.


2. Plan ahead if you are thinking of shifting to another home or a different part of the country. Ensure the area has the amenities you’re looking for, such as medical facilities, places of worship, colleges and universities. Make sure you’re going to be comfortable there.


3. Check out senior discounts, deals and offers from hotels, restaurants, drugstores, etc. Some tickets to museums and live performances come with discounts for seniors, so make use of them. In Florida, people who are 60 and older can audit any college course anywhere in the state at no cost, but they don’t get any college credit.


4. Cut the fat from your food budget. It’s cheaper to make more meals at home after retirement. If you choose to dine out, find places

LIVING FRUGALLY

that offer less expensive meals and again, take advantage of senior discount offers.


5. Be a savvy grocery shopper. Keep a lookout for good deals wherever you shop, including dollar stores, wholesale clubs and farmers markets. Look for coupons in the newspaper and stores and check out online discounts and coupons as well. If you plan your meals for the week and make a shopping list, you’ll make fewer trips to the grocery store and waste less food.


6. Evaluate your bills and costs. If you’re not using most of your cable channels, consider scaling back to a more affordable package. Couples with two cars may be able to get by with one to cut maintenance and gas costs. Retirement is a good time to consider going in for more compact and fuel-efficient vehicles.


7. Take charge of your medical costs. Always ask your doctor what different diagnostic tests will cost.


8. Look for other sources of income. You can even consider part-time work. Many

HARLEENA SINGH

Harleena Singh is a professional freelance writer and blogger who has a keen interest in health and wellness. She can be approached through her blog (www.aha-now.com) and Web site, www.harleenasingh.com. Connect with her on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.

more articles by harleena singh