When we’re young, it seems anything is possible – the world is our proverbial oyster. We’ve been told to dream, and dream big!
But as we age, the realities of life start to set in. Our expectations tend to drop, and things like dream vacations fall by the wayside as we start families, transition jobs, get mortgages… the list goes on and on. It makes sense that we could become less happy, as we realize our great expectations probably won’t come to fruition.
But I’m here to tell you, things aren’t so bad! Rather than a reason to despair, getting older can increase your daily joy! So how do we hang on to happiness and de-stress as we age? Let’s take a look at some things we all can do to make sure we get the happiest future possible.
Enjoy The Job You’re In
With each passing generation, the frequency with which people change careers has increased… by a lot! It’s estimated the current generation will change careers 5-7 times, while some speculate this could increase to as many as 15 times in the near future.
The state of the economy and the job market has changed, so how is one supposed to find happiness when there’s job instability? Instead of looking at this instability as a negative, try framing it as an advantage. If you’re currently stuck in a job you don’t enjoy, you can find comfort in the knowledge that you’ll more than likely transition out of it. Use your current income to pay off any debts you might have, and start saving for your future.
When we were kids, we were told to save for a rainy day, and that proverb holds as much weight now as ever. While you’re slogging away at your no-so-dream job, set aside as much of your income as you can. Consider starting a GIC, or Guaranteed Investment Certificate. Not only will you be saving for your future, but when your investment matures, the money you’ve made in interest can help you achieve your dreams.
Knowing you’re saving for your future, with the knowledge you’re not going to be in the same job forever, can help to free your mind of the stresses you may have come to associate with your workplace.
Plan For The Future, But Keep It Real
Retiring when you’re 35 with a summer home in Provence would be amazing, but it’s not likely to happen for most of us. But goals are still important, so realistic expectations can you have for your future?
While lofty goals can inspire you to work for them, the goals most beneficial to long term happiness are the ones that you actually achieve. That means setting small, manageable goals that you can take steps towards in the short, medium and long term. Whether you goals are starting a business, starting a family, owning a home, a dream car, or taking a yearly overseas trip, set realistic long term goals, then break them down into yearly, or even quarterly, achievements. This will make your progress more tangible, giving you the satisfaction of knowing that you’re making progress.
Of course, most of these things life goals cost money, so instead of focusing on the fact that you might not have the means to accomplish those things right away, look at ways you can manage your finances to better improve your chances of making your dreams a reality.
A great starting place is to look at what types of accounts different banks have to offer, and finding one that suits your needs. With the varied types of accounts there are these days, there’s a pretty good chance that there’s one that can help you save for your future while also providing the banking services you require. Most banks offer incentive plans with their credit cards, so consider signing up for a program that will allow you to earn points towards your dream vacation while you buy your groceries.
Stress is undoubtedly a major speed bump on the road to happiness. So finding ways to de-stress can help you feel better about yourself, and kick up your happiness factor. By joining a social group, starting a hobby, or volunteering, you’ll experience new things that will bring added enjoyment to your life, and provide a great distraction from things that are bothering you.
Possibly the best way to stress less is to participate in a physical activity. Playing a sport, running, or taking a yoga class are all great ways to get out and get the heart rate up, meet new people, and reduce the amount of stress in your life. And taking part in an activity can have the added benefit of helping to lower your cost of life insurance. Certain policies offer fitness trackers, and use the amount of physical activity you get to calculate your premiums. Not only will you be getting the benefit of exercise, but you’ll also save on insurance!
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Get Your Finances In Order
Finances are one of the greatest stresses we experience. The less we have to think about them, the less stress we’ll feel. By following a budget and financial plan, you’ll be able to better manage when times are tight, as well as making sure you’re saving for those things that are important to you.
There are many examples of budgets that can be found online, so why not take advantage of some of the free templates available? Balancing your income against your known expenses every month, and ensuring that you have enough allocated for other costs will allow you to unburden yourself of some potential financial anxiety.
Get Life Insurance
How does thinking about your mortality help ease your stress level? While it may seem contradictory, having a good life insurance policy in place means you’ll know that, in the event of your passing, your loved ones will have the financial support they need. Even if your death benefit is only intended to cover funeral costs, this can help ease any stress you might feel about your family’s financial security after your passing.
If you think that you won’t qualify for life insurance, whether because of medical history or lifestyle, consider a guaranteed life insurance policy. These policies guarantee coverage for individuals up to a certain age, and while more costly than other forms of insurance, they can be a worthwhile investment if you worry about how debts and funeral expenses will be covered upon your passing.
If you’re feeling the stress of aging, and feel that a guaranteed life insurance policy isn’t right for you, there are options. If you’re over 50 years of age, you can still get approved for term, permanent, and No Medical insurance. You can expect to pay higher premiums based on your age, but it’s hard to put a price tag on the security that accompanies having peace of mind.
The Bottom Line: Don’t Panic!
Happiness is something that everyone deserves, and there’s no reason to stress about things beyond our control. By living a healthy lifestyle, budgeting, and planning for the future, you can eliminate some of the unnecessary anxieties that life creates. With these worries eliminated, your road to happiness will be that much smoother.
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