Retirement could be defined by the three Ms: mobility, mind and money. The three are intertwined, not stand-alone, parts of retirement. The theory of the three Ms was developed by Life Planning Partners in the USA in collaboration with the Stanford Centre on Longevity, which studies the nature and development of the human life span. Their research shows that if the three Ms are actively pursued and well catered for, then people will have a far longer and more enjoyable retirement.
The first M – mobility - is a key ingredient to longevity. “Almost everybody would say they want to live well, but their actions don’t really reflect a desire to live long,” said Carolyn McClanahan, who was a keynote speaker at the Invest In Women conference, held in mid-May.
Running or walking on a regular basis and avoiding risky behaviours enhance long-lasting mobility, she explained. “Sitting is the new smoking,” she said. There has been a drastic increase in the number of people who sit five or more hours a day, she added.
The second M – mind - is also key to enjoying one’s retirement and living longer. Socialising can help keep the mind sharp into retirement and women are better at socialising than men. Married men live longer than single men, and single women live longer than married women and longer than men, McClanahan said. One thing that affects retirees’ ability to socialise is hearing loss, but many older people wait five to 15 years before getting help for it.
The final M – money - enables retirees to do the things they have always dreamed of doing but lacked the time or money to do so. Prudent investing using a mixture of capital gain and income investments is important to ensure the money lasts for not only the projected lifespan but also a bit beyond. Don’t be fixated with staying in your house. If necessary, trade down, invest the difference and have a more enjoyable retirement rather than sitting on a big valuable asset but lacking the income to do things.