According to recent Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) retirement budget advice, senior Australians can expect to pay approximately $77 a week from their retirement funds for health-related expenses. While the same research estimates that a retired Australian will need roughly $790 a week to live on comfortably, this shows that health costs can account for around 10 per cent of a weekly budget. Even when these numbers are reduced through tighter budgeting of nearly $39 a week out of a more modest approximate $430, a lower standard of living still means forking out a considerable proportion on health services.

Another way to reduce the amount that health takes out of your retirement allowance is to consider adopting a more healthy lifestyle. This will give you long-term benefits to your well-being as you age, as well as the financial savings that it may contribute to. While many of us realise the importance of looking after our bodies, especially as when get older, how can you ensure your lifestyle allows for healthy senior living?

Exercise

Keeping active is essential for our health, and this is not any less so for elderly people. While you may have to adapt some exercises to your individual abilities and needs, there are still plenty of options for staying fit and moving frequently for older people. The Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines for Older Adults suggest 150 minutes of exercise a week and those 2.5 hours are likely to be just as beneficial for senior Australians too! Consider joining a gym or going swimming, or for more gentle movement, a yoga or Pilates class. See exercise as a opportunity to be busy, connect with those around you  and keep fit.

Diet

Bearing in mind any medical requirements or other specialist advice, you can use your free time to pay more attention to your diet. Eating a mixture of balanced foods supplemented by plenty of vitamins and minerals is particularly important as we get older to help our bodies function and repair themselves.

"Elderly Australians … are at risk of debility from under-nutrition", according to the National Health and Medical Council of Australia.

This reinforces the need to fuel our bodies with healthy and nutritious food. Plan healthy meals to suit your budget and lifestyle – perhaps this will reignite a passion for cooking or quickly become a new interest!

By thinking about how your health may be affected as you get older, along with having plans for healthy ageing in place, you can enjoy your retirement more!

Best tips to stay healthy when you retire