What Retirement Planning Requires

People start to naturally lose muscle mass in their late 20's. Lost muscle mass, as well as loss of bone density (the fancy words are sarcopenia and osteopenia) is what makes people frail in old age. Aside from greatly diminishing quality of life, frailty can be be very expensive. I've shared the picture of the 78 year old guy at the gym I used to go to doing decline bench press with 500 pounds. Here's a link to a video of an 89 year old man deadlifting 405 pounds for reps. Neither one will have to deal with frailty. A less dramatic personal example that I think I have shared before involves shoveling snow. We have real winters here and while I can plow our road there is plenty of shoveling that needs to happen. I've always liked shoveling snow because it is a great work out but after a while my lower back would stiffen up. It wasn't problematic, I would describe it as normal discomfort after a lot of work. I've been deadlifting for about four years now and that normal discomfort no longer happens. If you live in a snowy area, did you shovel as a kid and not get sore? Then did you shovel and get sore in middle age? I suspect that without lifting weights, more and more things will cause soreness and discomfort. If lifting weights can kick that can down the road, N=1 it can, then arguably you are turning back the biological clock.

Lifting weights or body weight exercises like pushups, dips, pull ups and so on will greatly reduce the odds of becoming frail and thus remove one potentially large expense.

Now reread the above but substitute cutting carbohydrate consumption in for lifting weights and substitute metabolic problems in for frailty.

Many people are skeptical, ok but there is no downside to being more fit and eating less sugar.

Carrying the thought a little further, aging expert Ken Dychtwald wrote What Scares Me About Getting Old. I took it as a lesson for some things not to do. He described some changes his body has gone through. He said he does yoga for exercise. There are many types of yoga and depending on how it is done, it may not do much for building or maintaining muscle mass. Yoga can certainly be good but for Dychtwald it does not sound sufficient. He also said he hasn't eaten meat in 30 years. It is very difficult to get enough protein and some vitamins and minerals without meat. The bioavailability of protein from vegan food is much less than from meat, Dychtwald did not say he was vegan just that he doesn't eat meat.

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