Train for Life – What is retirement?

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The days of working at one place for a career then getting a watch and a pension are gone. We are responsible for our own retirement. The financial company commercials tell us that whether we are twenty or sixty, we should be saving for our retirement, but in order to save we need to earn. Even with a heathy earning capacity, due to expenses and lifestyle, it can be hard to save enough by the time we reach traditional retirement age. Many of us will need to work into our seventies in order to have a comfortable retirement. Others will want to continue to work rather than retiring. The problem is that as we get older we are more susceptible to injury and illness and it is hard to continue working if your health suffers.

Earning potential is key to a financially stable work-life and retirement. Earning potential is dependent on work ethic and an agile mind. The greatest killer of work ethic is poor health. Granted any of us can be struck down with a disabling ailment or injury but many debilitating ailments and some injuries are preventable by a healthier lifestyle. A healthier lifestyle includes an active mind. A mind that is set in its ways with no thoughts on the future can become lethargic, which can diminish earning potential.

What does this have to do with martial arts?

Martial arts can be a key factor in your heath management program. A rigorous martial arts program can keep a younger person fit and an older person flexible and resilient. It can also give you confidence to try new things. The qualities that attract people to sending their kids to a martial arts class apply to adults as well. Physical fitness, flexibility and confidence are qualities that are useful to adults as well as kids. There are many styles of martial arts and many styles of teaching, so no matter what shape you are in now, there is a martial art that can work for you.

Why not just hit the treadmill?

Martial arts is superior to traditional exercise due to its need for both physical and mental acumen. Martial arts techniques, kata and fighting strategies need a combination of a strong mind and body. The need to think and move. It can be like playing chess and cross-training at the same time. There are complexities in other exercise programs that require thought but martial arts is unique in its melding of training the mind and body.

Physical and mental acuity are important as we age. Being flexible in both mind and body will help us continue to work and be productive until we can afford to retire. As with a savings program, starting early makes it easier. That being said, starting later is better than not starting at all. When you train in martial arts, you will be fulfilled now, reducing stress and keeping yourself healthy. More importantly, you are also working toward a healthier future you that is a requirement for extending our viable work timeline and increasing our income earning ability. Even if you can retire at a traditional age, you will be able to enjoy your retirement more if you are healthy. You may even become a martial arts instructor yourself.

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