Retirement Redesigned

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Saturday, May 18, 2024

Retirement Redesigned

HomeWellnessLooking After Our Hearts

Looking After Our Hearts

Heart health is a growing concern for older adults

It’s never too late to adopt positive habits that help our hearts

A Note From Johann

Declining heart health is a risk factor for older adults and many of us know of people with various types of heart ailments or may suffer from them ourselves. No wonder that this is a troubling concern for people approaching retirement. We wonder how to avoid heart problems and take the advice of the medical profession all the more seriously in our later years. Many of the lifestyle risks are well known. Keep fit, maintain and healthy weight and sensible diet and don’t smoke! Managing our lifestyle behaviours are key to lowering risk factors for heart disease.

Few of us have perfect habits to boast about, but that doesn’t mean we can’t take positive steps toward improving profiles. And even while we are in great health, there are practical steps we can take to help us stay on course. I speak from experience. I’ve always been fortunate to be in good health and because of that, I had skipped some routine screenings that may have pointed to a lagging heart rate a little sooner. Earlier this year, feeling a little dizzy, I took myself to a clinic to find some relief from the dizziness I had been feeling for a few weeks and thanks to an experienced nurse, a quick heart rate check revealed that I was pumping below par for my age and stage of life. The end result a few weeks later, and after a visit to a cardiologist, was a simple procedure to fit a pacemaker, which has kept me ticking over the past few months. All systems are a go and I’m feeling back to my old self.

I interviewed my cardiologist, Dr Mark Abelson, in our last webinar and his advice is that it’s never too later to take precautionary steps in the right direction. Checking our cholesterol levels and blood pressure is a good place to start. And there are fresh developments, including the development of mechanical hearts, which continually improve our outlook. The best news, however, is how people are taking greater personal responsibility for their own heart health.

We looked at what we have identified in our research as the top 5 challenges of retirement. With some planning, we can counter these challenges to better prepare for and thrive in this next phase of life.

Our top 2 article picks this week:

7 Secrets to a Successful Relationship After 50

Love with the intensity of a teenager and the wisdom of your years.

A mature elderly couple depicting a healthy and successful relationship in later life

Our take:
Although the title alludes to secrets, the tips they share are skills. This is good news because it’s never too late to learn and improve our skills.

Article excerpt:
Whether you’ve been with the same person for 30 years or you’re finding new love half a century into your life, it’s always the right time to brush up on your relationship skills or learn new ones. It’s never too late to learn these seven secrets to a successful relationship after fifty.

  1. Open your heart fearlessly. To be successful in a relationship, you can’t be afraid to be yourself and share yourself.
  2. Create emotional safety. Healthy relationships depend on both parties feeling safe with each other, trusting that you are there for each other.
  3. Address conflict in a spirit of love. A successful relationship requires successful conflict. Approach every disagreement with the intention to listen fully and respond in a spirit of love.
  4. Practice positive communication. The way you communicate with your partner is vital because what you say—and how you say it—affects how your significant other feels, and emotions drive behavior.
  5. Support your partner’s independence. No matter how close you are to your significant other, you remain individuals with your own needs and interests.
  6. Enjoy special time together. Don’t forget to have fun together. It’s important to go on new adventures and try new things.
  7. Build a relationship with yourself. The relationship we have with ourselves is the key to success for all the relationships we build with others.

If you’re dating for the first time in a long time, don’t be afraid to wear your heart on your sleeve. It’s the only way people will know what you want and what you’re about. If you’re celebrating your golden wedding anniversary, remember that even though it may feel you and your partner are one person, you still need to say, “I love you” and show your appreciation.
Click here to read the full article on Psychology Today

How To Do A Life Audit

An image depicting someone doing a life audit

Our take:
Doing a life audit is similar to doing a financial audit except that you’re doing it for all the important areas of your life and not just your finances. This article is a detailed guide with suggestions for how to go about doing an effective audit of your life’s important assets.

Article excerpt:

1. What Is A Life Audit And Why Is It Useful?
A life audit is similar to a financial audit, in that you’ll be listing your assets and liabilities. The big difference is that you’ll be doing this for all important areas of your life, not just your finances.

As with a financial audit, a life audit will help you take stock of where you currently stand, how close you are to your goals and what you need to do to reach them.

A life audit will often help to improve your day-to-day mood too. It often serves as somewhat of a ‘gratitude list’, because you’ll list everything that’s going well in your life.

2. Decide What Categories To Audit
You can choose as few or as many categories as you wish. The more you choose, the more detailed your audit will be, but it will take longer to complete, meaning you may be less inclined to complete it regularly. That’s why I recommend only choosing the categories that are valuable to you.

3. Decide How To Rate Yourself
The most important thing is that your scoring system and the criteria for it is easy to understand, so you can achieve consistency in your ratings for each category during each audit.

4. Decide How Often To Rate Yourself
Some people recommend a weekly audit, although for most of your categories, you’re unlikely to experience significant shifts in your ratings during this time. A monthly or a quarterly audit may prove to be less overwhelming.

8. Measure Your Meaningful Time
Time is the only resource that’s guaranteed to be limited to humans. It’s therefore the most important currency we have. So, it makes sense to dedicate part of our life audit to evaluate how we’re using it.

9. Create An Action Plan To Get Where You Want To Be
For each of your categories/values/questions, ask yourself “what can I do to get a better score next time?” Sometimes, the answer will be immediately obvious. Occasionally, it will take a bit of research. Perhaps there’s someone who has already reached success in this area who you can ask for help. Don’t skimp on this part of the audit, as it’s actually the most important. Take as long as you need to reflect on this.
Click here to read the full article post on

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Other highlights for the week:

Most Popular Daily Thought

Very little is needed to make a happy life. It is all within yourself, in your way of thinking. – Marcus Aurelius
What do you think? Does our thinking affect how happy we feel in life? Can our mindset override our circumstances?
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Quote by Marcus Aurelius – Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking.

Weekly Question

Last week’s question:
We’d like to hear from you! Ask us anything you’d like us to write or post about.
Some of the responses we received from retirees and followers on social media:
• Retiring early & starting a business
• How to approach moving from a big home to a smaller home and what the expected experience would be like.
• Could you do dot point summaries in posts of main points from the articles you share please?
This week’s questions:
Do you know an inspiring elder we should know about? Please let us know for a chance to see them featured in our article lineup.
Click here to answer the question in our Facebook group or here to join our online community!


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Johann is the founding partner of Reset Retirement where we focus on assisting people with planning for the non-financial aspects of their lives after full-time work. He had a long career in executive search and leadership as the founding partner and chairman of Heidrick & Struggles in South Africa where he was the head of the company’s board practice.