Once people retire and become empty nesters, they often enjoy their freedom to travel, make their own schedule, and have some time to themselves. But after a while, they might experience a lack of social connections and a loss of purpose that a career previously provided. There are so many ways to spend your free time in retirement, and getting a pet is one. If you’ve ever looked wistfully at someone walking their furry friend in the park, or maybe missed a dog or cat you used to have, it might be time to get one of your own. Besides the companionship, there are also health and social benefits to pets.
Let’s state the obvious – pets are fun to have around. They’ll play games with you, get into mischief, and take naps with you. Dogs in particular are social and can be there for you emotionally even if you are otherwise alone. It can take some work to train a dog but watching his or her progress as he or she grows up is rewarding and helps form that special bond with man’s best friend. Whether you’re enjoying a long walk, or cuddling on the couch, a pet is a valuable companion. In fact, just petting your car or dog may help lower your stress level and your blood pressure.
And, there are other ways having a pet can be good for your health. A dog can get you outside and moving. A study looked at retirees who walked their dog every day, and found that they exercised more often, had fewer doctor visit, and lower BMI. A dog can help to get you off the couch and in the routine of exercising daily, rain or shine.
Pets are excellent companions, and they can also help you stay connected to humans as well. You’ll be surprised by how many people will drop by if you tell them you’ve gotten a puppy to kitten. Owning a pet also makes you part of a club – dog and cat owners often like to discuss their pets. If you’re walking your dog at the park, you might pick up some fellow dog owner friends along the way.
At O’Donnell Financial Group, we want to help you with the financial side of retirement so you can focus on what makes you happy. We know that retirement isn’t just about money, it’s also about lifestyle. Click here to schedule a complimentary review so we can get started on your personalized retirement plan.