What do dogs and retirement have in common?
Probably not much, you’d assume – except that quitting your job would give you much more time to spend with your four-legged friend.
But actually, dogs can act as shining examples of how best to retire!
If you’re planning to retire in the next few years, here’s what a dog can teach you:
Tip 1: Phase Into Retirement
If you’ve ever had a family dog, you’ll know that as a pooch gets older, he slowly begins to let go of his responsibilities. While in his younger years, he takes on the role of a watchdog, a fitness buddy, and a loyal friend to the kids, he phases these tasks out when he reaches the doggy version of retirement age.
If you choose to follow a dog’s lead and phase into your retirement, rather than quitting work cold-turkey, you won’t overwhelm yourself – emotionally and financially – with one big change at once.
Tip 2: Stay Fit And Healthy
Have you ever seen a dog refuse to play ball or go for a walk? Probably not, unless you’re dealing with a particularly lazy breed. Most dogs jump at the opportunity of exercise, even in their older years. Yes, they might reach an age where they can’t chase after squirrels and keep up with their friends anymore, but they won’t stop unless they have to stop.
It’s worth taking a leaf out of a dog’s book and making sure to get plenty of exercise. Studies have found that keeping fit can improve physical health and prevent cognitive decline, so it’s well worth exercising into old age.
Tip 3: Practice Your Social Skills
Dogs, as some of the most sociable creatures out there, don’t usually know what it’s like to have enemies. They might be a little wary of those they don’t trust, but they’re usually happy to make friends with anyone.
Like dogs, you should open yourself up to all sorts of friendships as you approach retirement. Of course, stay away from anyone who doesn’t seem genuine, or who doesn’t have your best interests at heart. But building your social circle now will mean you always have people to rely on in your later years.
Tip 4: Volunteer
Quitting work can feel like a high of excitement… until day two of sitting at home, when you’re hit with the realization that you’re actually quite bored. Again, you can look to dogs as an example of how to volunteer properly – our canine friends are always willing to offer a helping paw to anyone who needs it, with no discrimination.
Volunteering a couple of days a week doesn’t only keep you busy and motivated. According to Volunteer Now, volunteering also supports the health and wellbeing of people aged over 50, by helping them to stay physically fit and socially connected, boosting their confidence, and much more.
Tip 5: Cut Down On Your Spending
You’ve probably never seen a dog throw a tantrum because you bought him a pack of $1 tennis balls off Amazon instead of the branded ones from the local pet store. Dogs are experts at loving the little things – in fact, many seem to prefer to play with a stick rather than that expensive chew toy you bought – and there’s a lot we can learn from them.
Try to live like a dog and cut down on your expenses where you can. If you don’t need the sixth Starbucks latte of the week, don’t do it. The same goes for uber-expensive material goods, like fancy cars and expensive jewelry. Learning to be happy with the little things will be a massive help when you retire.
That’s it: the top retirement tips from dogs.
If you’re getting ready to retire, take notes from your pooch! He can teach you (almost) everything you should know.
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