A List of Vices that Turn the Retirement Years Inside Out

An escape from reality – we all just want to run away from it all, when life just doesn’t seem to work out to our advantage. Especially nowadays, with all these news on health care price hikes, varying opinions on the country’s current government (alternative facts, anyone?), and the frustration of planning for one’s retirement. Everything seems too heavy.

And the easy way out from the burden, sadly for most, is relying on vices. To help baby boomers likely or curious in partaking on these forms of escape, we’ve created a short list of vices that would cause the most pain during the retirement years. With this list, we hope that more people can be aware of the possible damage that these vices can cause in their lives, and in turn, avoid them.

4 – Jan28 – A List of Vices that Turn the Retirement Years Inside Out – Blog

Take a break from it all with that puff from a cigarette, or drink your worries away by ordering  some bottles in that bar. How easy it is to forget everything with these vices! But these are all temporary pleasures, which can cause massive amounts of damage when not kept in check. Or, why indulge in these escapes in the first place?

As much as Long Term Care Insurance and Medicare Supplemental Plans can help lighten the load during the golden years, the temporary diversions are something beyond the coverage of these two retirement solutions. Perhaps identifying these vices may help baby boomers in getting into it in the first place. Let’s list down some of the most common – and damaging – vices that boomers are likely to escape into.

Smoking the Blues Away

In what may be the tobacco industry’s fault, smoking prevalence is high among individuals aged 65 years and above. With cigarettes marketed as a hip and smart pastime, older smokers have been a valued market for cigarette manufacturers. According to a study (No Smoker Left Behind – The Tobacco Industry Loves Older Smokers, Why Don’t We?) done by Janine K. Cataldo, an assistant professor in UCSF School of Nursing, one of the main reasons why boomers choose to smoke is because of the message that the tobacco industry sends out. With images of independence, control, and individuality, boomers are more likely to smoke during the retirement years. By targeting – and manipulating – emotional triggers, most older adults have a skewed view on smoking.

The aggressive marketing tactics done by the tobacco industry proved to be a fatal campaign for retirees. Tobacco-related diseases continue to be as one of the leading cause of death among the older population. Additionally, the tobacco industry has also been reported to market against cigarette quitters as well. Retaining loyal consumers, for them, is as important in getting new smokers on board.

One More Bottle for the Road (Every single night, that is)

Booze seems to be a vice of choice for most boomers last year. As the most common and accessible psychoactive substance available for boomers, the damage caused by alcohol is on the rise. Studies showed that more individuals 50 years old and above are binge drinking. With older adults prone to unique vulnerabilities (negative interaction of medication and alcohol, among others) from this particular substance abuse, why do some still bother for another round or two?

It all boils down to emotions. Social isolation, according to a study headlined by Tony Rao (a King’s College London lecturer), is a major emotional trigger for boomers to drink. Especially for divorced and single boomers, the dent in their marital status can be considered as a gateway into binge drinking.

The Drugs May Not Work

Likewise, marijuana dependence has also increased in the past year. Although legalized in certain states, ongoing medical studies have shown a link between marijuana and mental disorders, such as anxiety, depression, and psychosis.

It may be still too early to say if the studies may prove marijuana’s detrimental factors, but one thing is certain. A majority of baby boomers who opt to smoke pot are in to treat depression and anxiety – which goes against results with the links revealed in the studies.

It’s a Tragedy

Regardless of how one chooses his or her poison, moderation (or quitting) is needed to prevent any adverse effects that these vices may cause. Not only one’s health is affected by these vices – family and loved ones’ are as well.

Try to see it this way: boomers into these vices, even when done moderately, have higher risks to get into physical accidents. Relationships with friends and family are in danger when older adults choose the temporary escapes over the people closest to them in their lives. Also, both indulging and treatment of these vices are financial pitfalls.

It’s a tragedy, just as Norah Jones’ ditty from last year goes!

You Have the Power to Choose

Whether to lessen the intake or altogether quit the vice, the choice to change belongs to you alone. We hope the short list above will give you a different perspective if taking that smoke break, toasting those beer bottles, or puffing the magic dragon are good ideas at all. Do you have any thoughts on today’s topic? Please let us know below!


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