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Life After Retirement: Is Health More Important than Wealth?

By Margaret Manning April 03, 2020 Managing Money

If you listen to the media, getting ready for life after retirement is all about how much money you can stash away. So, like squirrels, we run around, burying nuts all over the garden, hoping that they will last us through the winter. Then, when we reach retirement (or semi-retirement), we realize that money isn’t everything.

Boomers Say that Health Matters More than Wealth

I read a fascinating report by Merrill Lynch about leisure time in America. Among other things, they pointed out that people over 65 have an average of 7.5 hours of leisure time a day. That’s a lot of time to fill!

In addition, they reported that Boomers were 2X more likely than other groups to say that their health has a bigger impact on their leisure time than their wealth.

Having recently spent 6 weeks in Bali, I would have to say that I agree with this assessment. I’ve been careful with my money on this trip, but, it isn’t the size of my bank account that has held me back. Instead, I have struggled with back pain from a previous injury and stiffness from decades of inactivity.

Of course, the truth is that it is never too late to make improvements in your life. I am completely committed to using gentle yoga, cardio and weights to improve my health. At the same time, it occurs to me that, as a society, we put way too much emphasis on the financial aspects of preparing for retirement.

What Impacts Your Leisure Time? Health or Wealth?

I’d love to get your opinion on this. Looking back, do you wish that you had taken better care of your body? I certainly do!

One thing is for sure, I am definitely going to make sure that my adult children understand just how much my semi-retirement years are being impacted by my lack of physical strength and flexibility. I’m also not giving up. I’m going to work hard every day to give my body and love and attention that it deserves.

What do you think impacts your leisure time more, now that you are in your 60s? Health or wealth? Or, are they, perhaps, of equal weight for you? Please join the conversation.

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The Author

Margaret Manning is the founder of Sixty and Me. She is an entrepreneur, author and speaker. Margaret is passionate about building dynamic and engaged communities that improve lives and change perceptions. Margaret can be contacted at

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