Tag Archives: Retirement


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Retirement is a goal that most people hope to achieve someday. Many give it little serious thought when they are young, and in good health. It is something to think about occasionally, but no real plan is generally developed.

Current estimates say that approximately 10,000 people retire daily in the United States of America. Many have never developed a workable plan for their financial needs upon retirement.

A healthy retirement is given even less thought! Some may feel that a healthy retirement is not even possible.

Are you among those for whom a healthy retirement seems unattainable? Do you feel that focusing on today’s problems is enough to consider?

If so, let me encourage you to reconsider.

It is very possible to have a solid plan to enjoy a healthy retirement. That does not mean that you may never be ill, but it will increase the likelihood that you will be as healthy as you can possibly be.

Medical science has proven that many illnesses can be prevented, or their effects lessened. The list includes High Blood pressure, Heart Disease, Type 2 Diabetes, Shingles, Hepatitis B, Influenza, and Pneumococcal diseases.

In many cases, these disorders are linked to lifestyle issues. Yes, family history plays an important part in predicting the future of our health, however,it does not always guarantee that we will suffer with the same illnesses as others in our family.

You can fight back if you know your family history, and how these diseases can be prevented !

So, what can you do to be healthy in body and mind during retirement? Here are seven must do’s to help you win the battle:

1.Evaluate your current health.

This will mean a visit to your physician to get a complete physical examination. You will also need to have a frank discussion with your health professional about any test results that may be negative. Ask what the results mean, and how you improve the outcome for the future.

For some this may be scary to find out what is. However, ignorance is not bliss in healthcare. Knowledge is power, as the saying goes. If you know what is true, you can then take appropriate action.

2.Be determined to make your health a priority.

As with everything else in life, what we focus on, is what we tend to cultivate, and nurture. Things that we ignore tend to slip our attention, over time. So, if we want to have a healthy retirement, we need to focus on this, and give it our full attention.

Spend at least five minutes each day reflecting on your health. What is your goal, and what did you do to reach this goal? For example, exercising for 20 minutes each day may be your goal. Did you achieve this, or did you not? If you did, give yourself a pat on the back for your dedication. If you did not, determine what went wrong, and how you can fix this in the future.

3.Write down what you hope your health will be when you retire.

Be very specific. It is a powerful fact, that when you put your goals in writing, you increase the opportunity for them to become a reality. Instead of writing, “ I want to be healthy when I retire- write instead, “ I want to weigh 150 pounds (or whatever is right for you)”.

Do you have a target for your activity level? For example-do you want to travel?

Put your answers in writing, and refer to them frequently.

4.Read more about health issues from reputable sources.

Unfortunately, not everything we read is necessarily true. It is therefore important to investigate your source of information. Enlist the help of your health professional, in locating a trusted resource. Check out the credentials of this source, and their experience with the subject being discussed.

Several well known universities, hospitals, and clinics publish health related topics online. An example is The Mayo Clinic,WebMD,or JohnsHopkinsMedicine.

5.Decide to begin your healthy lifestyle today.

It is so easy to make plans but never accomplish them. If you do not begin now, procrastination may block you from reaching your goal.

Take control of your future, and keep the promises that you make to yourself.

Make a step today, and another tomorrow. Nothing ventured nothing gained, should be your motto. You could begin today, for example, by making a phone call to your doctor to schedule an appointment for a checkup (see #1).

Your future begins today.

6.Seek the support of a trusted friend, family member, health professional, or spiritual leader.

Ask that individual to hold you accountable for the changes that you are determined to make toward a healthy retirement. Meet with them on a regular basis, e.g. monthly.

Review your progress toward your goal. Let them know what you want to accomplish, and what they can do to help you.

Let them know that you need them to ask you pointed questions about your progress, or lack thereof.

Be sure to choose someone who can be firm, but kind in helping to motivate you toward your goal. You may even choose to meet with friends who are also looking forward to a healthy retirement.

The key here is someone who can give you honest feedback, not just what you may want them to say.

7.Be kind to yourself, but be realistic.

You will meet challenges, setbacks, and roadblocks along the way. You are making a long term commitment to a healthier lifestyle.

The key ingredient is to not give up.

Each step that you make, however small, will be important in getting you to your goal.

Sure, you may have illnesses along the way, however, you will be doing what you can to influence your future health.

You are increasing the likelihood that future illnesses, and conditions may not be as severe as they could be.

It is also possible to bypass some illnesses altogether!

A healthy retirement is possible for more of us than we think. If we improve our lifestyle today, we are helping to preserve our health in the future.

Following these seven steps will propel you to a healthy future, and a healthy retirement.

A trip to Jamaica: Memories from the past!


Last week I took trip back to Jamaica which was my home for the first 19 years of my life. My daughter, son-in law, and my grandson made the trip also.

It had been twenty four years since I paid a visit to Jamaica. Such as long time! I asked myself why had it been so long?

There was no legitimate answer that I could find.

It is true that before retiring, my time was not fully my own. I also had other plans when I had vacation days. My parents are both deceased, and I have very few family members still living there.
Whatever the reason, I vowed never to stay away for such a long time.

What a joy it was to look down from the plane, and to see the majestic mountains stretching across the island!

As we landed in Kingston, I was filled with excitement, and thanks to God that I had been privileged to return.

I stepped out into the hot sunshine, and looked around at the island scenery. Memories came flooding


Driving along the highway from the airport, I noted that the road looked so different from my previous visit. The pavement was smooth, and there were large rocks on one side, and the beautiful ocean on the other.

Every Jamaican has either heard of the road to Morant Bay, St Thomas Parish, or has experienced it firsthand. This road is legendary not only because of the beautiful scenery, but also because it is narrow, and winds through the mountains.

Our driver did not seem phased by the unexpected curves, twists, and turns.

It was picturesque because I could see sudden glimpses of the ocean.

If you are hungry, there are many roadside eateries to satisfy your appetite. There were people selling mangoes, and other Jamaican delicacies, seemingly at every turn.

Others sold Jamaican patties, Jerk chicken, Rice and peas, and other delights.

Our first stop was in the town of Yallahs. This a small but busy town, with men and women cooking out in the open, by the side of the road.

What a treat it was to sample some of the delicious dishes!

I had heard about Yallahs from the time that I was a child, but this was probably my first time stopping to eat there.


Within a half hour from Yallahs, we arrived at our destination in Morant Bay, population about 9,602. This was not my first time visiting this town. My sister and I spent some of our most cherished summer holidays there– many moons ago.

This was the home of my son-in law’s parents. They have a large home situated in a central area in Morant Bay.

Since our visit was for the most part of a religious nature, most of our time was spent in worship services, rather than in sightseeing.

However, I did have the opportunity to meet several individuals who remembered me as a child. The question was, did I remember their names, and faces?

While I was able to recall some names, yet there were others that I could not remember. Everyone was very gracious whenever I drew a blank, and could not remember their names, nor even their faces.

It was heartwarming to meet and greet them, and to hear the stories that they told of my parents, who are now deceased.

What was also special for me was seeing the tropical scenery; the mountains, sugar cane fields, and the breadfruit and ackee ( fruit) trees.

I also realized that driving on the left side of the road was something that I had never tried! I was not sure that I would be able to master this feat, having learned to drive on the right side of the road.

I must say that I was in awe of the drivers who zipped around the corners like a bullet!

I found that the livestock – specifically the roosters, made themselves noticed by their frequent, loud, and insistent crowing. It did not matter the time of day or night. They seemed to be sending an urgent message to each other,in their own language.


Every meal that we ate consisted of freshly cooked meats, fish, and vegetables straight from the garden. Because this was the week of Passover, only special foods could be eaten (i.e. cooked without leavening agent such as yeast).

So many delicious, healthy dishes! Breakfast consisted of callaloo (somewhat like spinach),fresh mint tea, ackee and salted fish, eggs, fried plantain, and a host of other delicacies.

Lunch and dinner were mainly chicken, or fish dishes.

The side dishes included– rice and peas (kidney beans) cooked in coconut milk, green or fried plantain, shredded cabbage with carrots. Several varieties of yams were also included.

The star of the meal was usually breadfruit which is sweet, and has a potato like consistency. The breadfruit is usually roasted in the thick green skin. The skin is then removed and discarded. What remains is a delicious, yellow looking bread like flesh that can be eaten by itself, or with any meat dish.

The drinks included carrot juice, soursop juice (made from the sweet flesh of the soursop fruit), sorrel and ginger drinks- just to name a few.

Snacks included mangoes, oranges, bananas, various plums, and custard apple (not really an apple). Also included was a sweet “pudding” made from yams, sweet potatoes, eggs, sugar, and various seasonings. Sugar cane juice was a refreshing treat!


At the end of my stay in Jamaica, I concluded that this had been one of the best times that I had experienced.

I will treasure the beautiful memories of this trip. I am also looking forward to a return journey in the near future.

Have you visited Jamaica? Are you planning a trip soon? Let me know what your experience has been.