3 Ways to Prepare for a Healthy Retirement

Don’t sacrifice your health to save more for retirement.

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As you prepare for retirement you will make many decisions, such as the suitability of hiring a financial adviser, which asset allocation strategy is best, and how much money to withdraw each year in retirement. But numbers alone do not determine your ability to achieve a comfortable retirement. Try these three strategies that will help maintain your health, so that you will be able to enjoy retirement.

[See The 10 Best Places to Retire in 2012.]

1. You should start exercising. There's no question that staying fit will help give you the health to enjoy retirement. The increased energy you get from regular exercise will also help you to feel better, and perhaps waste less money on impulse purchases. Staying healthy has the added bonus of helping you to be more productive at work, which can potentially increase your earnings power over the course of your working life.

[See The Growing Challenge of Funding Retirement.]

2. Carefully spend more frequently. Spending more frequently while saving for retirement initially sounds counterproductive. But always trying to conserve cash could actually cause you to burn out. For some people, the effort required to save can lead to a huge shopping spree, or even spending on a credit card that cannot be quickly repaid.

The key to this strategy is to spend often, but in small amounts each time. Instead of taking an expensive annual vacation, try to go on a few mini trips. Consider a staycation or short road trips. Put everything on the table as long as it's fun. Skip buying a brand new gadget every year, and buy more lattes if that makes you happy. You won't be spending more money this way, but you will feel happier because you aren't depriving yourself as often. This will ultimately allow you to feel good about sustaining your savings plan.

[See How to Finance Life Until 100.]

3. Try to sleep more too. Most people cite not having enough time as the main reason they don't get enough sleep. Yet, there's time for TV, daydreaming, and multiple visits to the coffee machine each and every day. When you have enough sleep, you will feel better, become more productive, and maybe even have fewer arguments with people around you. This doesn't sound like something that's related to your retirement, but getting enough sleep can keep you healthier, help you to perform better at work, and have positive effects on your social life.

So, instead of spending extra time looking through your retirement numbers, start improving your retirement prospects. Financial freedom is definitely achievable, but you need to have good health to enjoy it.

David Ning runs MoneyNing, a personal finance site aimed at helping others change their habits for a better financial future. He suggests that everyone to sign up for an online savings account to get more out of our hard earned money.