For those of us approaching retirement, now is an ideal time to get our bodies and wallets in shape with a greater focus on our ‘financial fitness’.
The health and fitness tips collated here are all ways we can potentially improve our day-to-day wellbeing whilst saving money or boosting our income at the same time.
As we approach retirement, thoughts often turn to how we will adjust to a new routine and reduced budget once our careers have come to an end. By making a few simple adjustments to our daily routines and habits, we can hopefully look forward to a healthier retirement lifestyle and a better cash flow to boot.
So why not give some of these financial fitness tips a try and see for yourself how much money you can save – while watching the pounds drop off?
1. Cycle to work
If your daily commute isn’t too far then you could save money on fuel and give your fitness levels a real boost by cycling to work instead of driving. By burning calories instead of cash, your wallet – and your waistline – will soon be thanking you!
2. Get out in the garden
If you pay a gardener to mow your lawn each week, you will save around £40 a month and do yourself a great favour by taking care of the job yourself. One hour of mowing, weeding and planting can burn around 200 – 400 calories, and the extra time outside will boost your vitamin D levels too!
3. Ditch the takeaways
We all enjoy a good takeaway, but if the habit creeps up to become more of a regular occurrence than say a monthly treat, the effects on our wallet and our waistline can be considerable.
Which? Magazine revealed that the average Indian takeaway meal of chicken tikka masala, plain naan and a portion of pilau rice contains a huge 1,338 calories. Try making your own curry or Chinese stir-fry at home, it’ll be far healthier and the ingredients will cost much less than the takeaway equivalent.
4. Walk to the shops
You can burn around 100 calories a mile just by walking, so make the most of the warmer mornings while they last and try walking to the corner shop for your Sunday paper. For many of us the majority of our car trips are to run local errands, so you will be burning pounds in weight rather than cash in no time.
5. Stress less
Work-related stress is an issue for most of us at different times in our lives, but if your job or financial situation is noticeably affecting your health as you approach retirement then you might benefit from a reduction in your hours sooner rather than later.
If the financial impact of a reduced salary is a concern, for those 55 or older, there are retirement income products available that could enable you to access the 25% tax-free cash in your pension fund to help clear your mortgage or pay off loans and credit cards. Speak to an annuity specialist about topping up your income with regular payments from your pension fund.
6. Kick the habit
More than 1 in 10 people aged over 60 are regular smokers, but if you manage to kick the habit then after just one year your risk of heart disease will reduce by half; and if you had previously smoked ten a day you will have banked at least £550.
7. Dodge the coffee shops
Buying a fancy drink from a high street coffee shop will set you back around £3 each time, or £60 a month if the visit is part of your working day routine.
Remember that caffeine can affect how well you sleep, and drinking 2 – 3 cups of tea or coffee a day can trigger heart palpitations, high blood pressure, increased anxiety and migraines. Do your wallet and your health a favour by giving the coffee shops a miss – herbal teas are a great alternative.