When I think of retirement, one of 2 places pop up in my head:
Who hasn’t watched an episode of The Golden Girls where 4 women in their golden years share a house in Miami, Florida? It makes sense. Florida is warm. It has nice beaches. It has palm trees. It makes for a great place to spend the next phase of your life.
As for Arizona, it’s also warm. It is cheap. It seems to be a simpler way of life. Plus, it’s close to California (which is too expensive for many people to live, never mind retire). It’s also close to Las Vegas, which retirees love to go and let loose for a while playing the slots or keno.
The concept of retirement and Social Security was designed when very few people lived into their 60s. The average life expectancy of a person born in 1900 was about 47 years. Fast forward a century later and people born in 2000 are expected to live an average of 75 years.
Those ages are averages. Many people live well into their 80s and 90s. But, for the first time in the history of human development, we have record numbers of people living into their 100s and even 110s. In the next 50 years, we could see that average increase to 100 and see people live into their 120s, 130s or beyond. So instead of retirement becoming the closing 10 or so years of someone’s life, it now becomes the next major phase.
1 – Gain Peace of Mind Through Strong Finances
There’s no bigger strain on your physical and mental well-being than lack of money. Not being able to pay bills is a major stressor in people’s lives. It can cause a host of problems that can shorten your lifespan including:
- Sleep Disorders
- Lack of Concentration
- Increased Alcohol and/or Tobacco Use
- Teeth Grinding
- Skin Disorders
- Gastrointestinal Disorders
- Autoimmune Disorders
- Increased Pain
- Heart Disease
The key to avoiding some of these health issues is getting your financial house in order. Start by saving. Invest in a retirement plan. Don’t spend more than you can afford. Don’t rent your home, buy it so you have the equity.
But there’s more to it than just watching your money. You have to make money. Work for a company that will pay you what you are worth. If you are not at such a company, start looking for a new company. Remember that loyalty is a 2-way street. A company shows its loyalty through pay and benefits.
2 – Eat Healthy
That diet of Mountain Dew, Cheetos, dry Captain Crunch cereal and 5 for $1 ramen packets in your late teens and 20s was cute. It was may have been necessary. But once you hit 30, you need to make grown-up healthy choices.Healthy doesn’t mean going vegan or avoiding fast food altogether. What it means is that you start eating balanced meals. You limit empty calories like that Mountain Dew you took practically took intravenously in college. Eat vegetables, lean meats, fruits, drink water, drink juices, and stop adding cream and sugar to your coffee. These are all steps to become a healthy eater.
In Las Vegas, there’s a huge trend towards healthy eating and a lot of restaurants are leading the way. Restaurant and hotel review site TripAdvisor has a list of several healthy restaurants that you can choose from listed here. If you are overweight or obese (as many are in the US) you can join a program like Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig or Overeaters Anonymous to help bring you back to your ideal size.
3 – Routine Doctor Visits
The old adage “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” hold great weight in the goal to live to 100 years old. Everyone should have a yearly checkup at a minimum. Men should be tested for colon and prostate cancer starting at age 45 if there is no history of the disease in the family, earlier if there is. Women should also have colon cancer testing starting at age 45 unless there is a history of it in the family. Additionally, they should get Pap Smears every 3 years and mammograms at age 40, unless breast cancer runs in the family, then you need to get it sooner. In addition to going to the doctor, you need to follow the doctor’s recommendations. He’s not telling you to do something for his health. He’s telling you to do it for your health.
4 – Start Taking Yoga Classes
Yoga has been around for thousands of years but has only gained a popular following in the West in the last 50. Yoga is about stretching and meditating. Yoga practitioners focus on breathing and form. And science has proven, it’s good for you.
If you practice yoga, it:
- Decreases Stress
- Relieves Anxiety
- Reduces Inflammation
- Improves Heart Health
- Improves Quality of Life
- Helps Fight Depression
- Reduces Chronic Pain
- Promotes Quality Sleep
- Improves Flexibility and Balance
- Help Improves Breathing
- Helps Relieve Migraines
- Promotes Healthy Eating Habits
- Can Increase Core Strength
In Las Vegas, there are more than 40 centers to practice yoga. Each of these offers different types of yoga. You can look for one that meets your skill level and the type of yoga you’d like to practice to achieve what you want.
5 – Fasting
Much like yoga, fasting has been around for millennia. On the surface, depriving your body of nutrition and food may sound counterproductive to your health. It may even sound like a biblical practice that has no relevance in today’s world. But it’s simply not true. Fasting is good for you and science proves it.
According to one study people who practice eating for 6 days and fasting for 1 day showed an increase in activity in the gene related to longevity in as little as 10 weeks. Other than the fasting, no other diet changes were made in the subject’s food intake.
In other words, they ate cookies, fats, cake, etc. and still boosted the longevity gene activity. In addition, intermittent fasting has been shown to hinder cancer and tumor growth, improve symptoms of depression and can help with blood pressure. You can fast in Vegas as easily as anywhere else.
6 – Exercise
While yoga is a form of exercise, it is not the only exercise you should be doing. Being active is important for a healthy body. Walking is probably the best form of exercise you can do to become healthier. Studies show that walking as much as a mile a day can add years to your life and increase cardiovascular health.Weightlifting is another important type of exercise that you need to be healthy. By the age of 40, your muscles start to weaken. There is only one way to keep them in proper working order. Resistance weight training. That means free weights, not Universal or selectorized weight machines.
As luck would have it, there are lots of places to walk around Las Vegas and lots of gyms to work out. You can probably even get a free trial membership at some of them to try it out and see how you like it. When you do decide on a gym, think about hiring a personal trainer to help so you know proper lift form and how the different machines work.
7 – Get Married to Someone Younger
It has been shown that people who are married live longer than those who are single. And it makes a lot of sense. You have a person to help bear the burdens that life casts upon you. But being married to someone the same age, ages you quicker than marrying someone 10 or even 20 years younger than you. And while this is just theory, the old adage is that you are as young as you feel. It goes without saying that a 50 year old hanging out with a 30-year-old will feel younger because they’re being exposed to life as a younger person sees it.
And there is no gender bias here. Men you can certainly look for younger women to marry and ladies, you can certainly look for younger men. It also applies to same-gender marriages as well.If you want to marry in Las Vegas, you’re in the best place in the world to do it. You have a wide array of choices and you can get it done almost immediately.
8 – Hygiene
Keeping clean is important to overall health. Daily showers or baths wash off the dirt, bacteria and other germs that collect during the day. It should be said that overkill is bad for you. You do not need antibacterial hand sanitizer every few minutes unless you are a surgeon in surgery or preparing food for a living. Soap works just fine.
An important aspect of hygiene is dental hygiene. Brushing and flossing are essential for maintaining good overall health. The gums are a very thin barrier for your teeth and head. Oral infections can spread throughout the bloodstream easily, especially if you have missing teeth.
Each infection breaks down the gum line allowing more bacteria in the bloodstream. By brushing and flossing regularly it strengthens the gums and teeth and washes that bacteria away. It has been shown that people with good dental hygiene have lower risks for heart disease, dementia, and stroke. Along with dental hygiene, go and see your dentist once a year to keep those teeth and gums in great working order.
9 – Continue Your Education
According to a university study, people who stay in school for at least 12 years will live longer than those who don’t complete high school. That study was further backed up by a report from the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics stating that those who earned a bachelor’s degree lived 9 years longer than those who only completed high school.But you don’t have to go to school to continue your education. Take free online courses, watch historical documentaries, or go to sites like Udemy, Khan Academy or Code where you can learn new skills.
We learn every day. It promotes good brain health and allows us to grow. By studying we exercise the 4 lb. muscle in our heads and that keeps us young. Las Vegas is a wealth of resources for learning. The University of Nevada at Las Vegas is there. In adding there are public libraries and other venues to learn as well as online options.
10 – Engage in Sexual Activity
If you have sex 2 to 3 times a week, you are at a 45% lower risk of heart disease than those have sex once or less per month. This makes sense too. Sexual activity is exercise. It increases your blood flow, increases your heart rate, and releases endorphins. With a large number of hotels, swingers clubs, and legal brothels only an hour away, there are no shortage of ways to have sexual activity in Las Vegas. Prostitution is NOT legal in Las Vegas or Clark County, though, nor am I endorsing it.
If you already have a partner, there are lots of exciting opportunities for romance in Sin City. Among them are:
- Horseback riding
- Breakfast picnic at Valley of Fire
- A couples photoshoot
- Rock climbing
- Roller skating
- Ice skating
Remember, if you are in a relationship, being romantic takes effort. The payoff will be a long life together.
I started off talking about retirement in this post because of the large influx of retirees moving to Las Vegas over the past few years. But these ideas to increase your years on this Earth need to start a lot sooner than retirement. Also, as you have probably figured out, that these tips can really be applied in a lot of different towns and cities, not just Las Vegas.
Not only did I chose Las Vegas because of the low taxes for residents, but I chose it for the level of excitement that the city has to offer. I like being able to walk around at 3 am and go play a few games of poker or grab a bite on the strip. Not everyone needs to have a 9 pm bedtime as a retiree. Mostly I chose it because if I do live to 100, I want to be in a city that is alive. Not some quite sleepy town that is waiting to put me 6 feet under.