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California retirees enjoying freedom and fun during the golden years

Individuals planning for retirement and end of life matters are often forced to make many important decisions. When most people think about their retirement years or estate planning, money and finances are the primary focus and concern. While it's important that individuals take the necessary steps to ensure they have enough money to live during retirement and enough money to pass on to heirs after their death, there are also important matters related to quality of life during the retirement years.

California residents have likely heard the saying "money can't buy happiness". While money can definitely enhance an individual's ability to live comfortably during their golden years, there are other important non-financial factors that should be addressed.

Many older Americans struggle with health problems as they age. For these individuals, trips to the doctor become far more frequent than those they envisioned taking to visit grandchildren or friends. As modern medicine continues to advance, Americans are living longer. It's wise, therefore, for individuals of retirement age to take care of their bodies and eat healthy and exercise regularly.

In addition to taking care of one's body, it's also important that retired individuals continue to grow emotionally, mentally and spiritually. For couples, this may include taking the time to focus on their relationship. For individuals, it may mean seeking counseling to deal with unresolved past issues or joining a church or some sort of community group.

Gone are the days when retirement was viewed as simply being one step closer to death. Today, retirees can enjoy years of an active, happy and fulfilling life outside of a career or raising children. In order to ensure these years are lived to the fullest, it's wise for individuals to take steps to ensure for both their financial and personal health.

Source: CBS Moneywatch, "Retirement planning: Get non-financial help," Steve Vernon, March 6, 2013

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