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We all know what retirement means, right? Sitting back, relaxing, watching the world go by … while that may be okay for a little bit, the best retirements aren’t the ones that just allow you to relax … they’re the ones that allow you to revive your lifestyle. What does that mean, exactly? Well, a lot of that depends on you and what you want from your golden years.

“Today’s retirement is not the same as it was in past decades,” says Mary Scott Russell, Director of Community Relations of East Ridge at Cutler Bay, Miami-Dade County’s only true Life Plan Community. “For today’s retirees, this time of life is a chance to reinvent themselves. It’s not putting yourself away and quietly living out the rest of your years. Instead, it’s the chance to throw off all the chores and worries that held you back in the past so you can live the life you’ve always wanted.”

Yes, retirement can be vibrant, exciting and fulfilling. In fact, it’s not just possible – it’s expected. “We’ve heard lots of our residents say that they’re sad they didn’t move here as soon as they retired,” Mary Scott says. “There are still a lot of people who think that senior living and retirement means that you’re ‘old,’ but these days, that’s not the case. Residents at East Ridge at Cutler Bay know that moving here doesn’t mean that they’re slowing down … in fact, it means that they’re turbocharging their life moving forward.”

Reviving your lifestyle can mean many different things. At its heart, it speaks to the idea of finding your purpose and passion, which will keep you engaged and fulfilled for many years. This is something that drives us throughout every stage of our lives. When we’re young, we want to find our place in the world and determine what we’ll do with our lives. In middle age, we seek what it means to be a good parent, spouse or employee. Once we retire, that purpose and passion doesn’t go away. In fact, it becomes more important than ever.

“Many studies have shown that an engaged, fulfilled lifestyle has significant benefits for your physical, emotional and mental health,” Mary Scott says. “Having a purpose increases your longevity, boosts happiness, reduces loneliness and increases well-being. In other words, reviving your lifestyle means aging well and being well all throughout your golden years.”

Mary Scott says that retirement is one of the best times in your life to revive your lifestyle, because now you have the time and resources to do it right. “Throughout the majority of life, we focus on responsibilities and our future goals,” she says. “Once you retire, you can say goodbye to many of those responsibilities – and say hello to the goals you’ve been putting off and the things you’ve always wanted to do.”

So what does reviving your lifestyle look like? It really depends on what you’re looking for – it can look very different from person to person, depending on your goals, your dreams and your purpose. To help you discover what a vibrant retirement might look like for you, we’ve outlined a few tips and tricks for finding what a “reviving” lifestyle could be:

Reviving through … work.

Many people dream of retirement as a time when they never have to work again. However, a surprising number of older adults end up returning to the workforce after retirement. The difference between working before retirement and after retirement is generally personal motivation: the chance to work in a field or for something that motivates you.

While some seniors choose to continue the same work they did throughout their career, others take this opportunity to launch new careers or businesses based on their interests and passions. Others choose to volunteer their time to worthy causes, which is still work, even if you aren’t in it for the money. Maybe you were a CEO who now wants to do woodworking. Or you’re an engineer who now wants to be an author. Finding a revived lifestyle through work is an excellent way to increase happiness in retirement.

Reviving through … personal relationships.

Finding excitement and engagement through love and friendships is a wonderful thing. Even making brief connections with strangers can be a source of happiness and meaning. Lots of seniors spend their golden years forming meaningful friendships or deepening their relationships with their spouses, children, grandchildren and lifelong friends. Having strong social connections helps reduce anxiety, depression, stress and can even lessen your risk of diseases like dementia, diabetes and hypertension.

Reviving through … the small joys of life.

Reviving your lifestyle doesn’t have to be a big, lofty thing. In fact, learning how to enjoy the small pleasures of life and living in the moment is a great habit to integrate into your daily life. Taking time each day to count your blessings can boost happiness and improve your mental and emotional health. Too often, we can focus on the negative things in life and get lost in our thoughts and worries. By practicing techniques and habits that better allow you to live in the moment, focus on the good in life and appreciate the little things, you’ll be happier and healthier. It also helps you inspire others in your circle of friends – and what better purpose is there than to help others live their best life?

Reviving through … a healthy lifestyle.

Many of us think that exercising and eating right is something we have to do. But what if you flipped the script and made it part of your revived lifestyle? By eating well and staying physically active, you’ll have the energy to do the things you enjoy. For older adults, this also means you’re able to live independently for as long as possible – and that’s pretty important. Aging well means you’re able to do more, live better and live longer through your senior years.

Reviving through … creativity.

All humans are creative in some way, shape or form. Whether you’re a talented musician or make the world’s best cookies, all of us have something we do well that also fills up our creative bucket. Using our innate creativity also allows us to become kinder and more empathetic, which can make life more enjoyable in so many ways.

Being creative also allows us to express our identity. Take Grandma Moses, for example. She didn’t start painting until she was in her 80s, but she’s influenced so very many even in her short “official” career. Creativity isn’t limited to the young – in fact, seniors can be some of the most creative and inspiring individuals thanks to their life’s experience.

“As you can see, retirement is an opportunity for you to reinvent your lifestyle in any way you want,” says Mary Scott. “One thing is certain: at East Ridge at Cutler Bay, senior living doesn’t mean sitting back and disappearing. In fact, it means that your life – your revitalized, engaging and vibrant senior life – is just beginning.”

About East Ridge at Cutler Bay

East Ridge at Cutler Bay is Miami-Dade County’s only true Life Plan Community. The nonprofit community draws from the neighborhood charm of suburban Cutler Bay and the vibrancy of Miami in a lush tropical setting of 76 acres, located at 19301 SW 87th Avenue. The community offers a continuum of care including independent living, assisted living and memory support residences in a neighborhood setting; respite care, skilled nursing and rehabilitation services are available within Three Palms Health Center.

For more information or to schedule a tour, please call 305-256-3564.