One of the many things corporate wellness should encourage is a new definition of retirement. This concept of wellness may originate in the workplace, but it extends to employees who are part of the same fraternity of healthy and active retirees - people who embody a lifestyle, which flourishes well after they stop going to the office and relinquish their formal responsibilities.
The duty each company owes its workers, which will make wellness a sustainable lifestyle for future retirees and their families, is simple: Provide employees with options; explain to them that retirement is no longer a false choice between relocating to one warm weather locale (in Florida, California or Arizona) versus another, despite a lack of interest on behalf of individuals to do so.
The goal, instead, should be to think and act more expansively; to consider the best way to maximize personal health, strengthen the value of a pension or fixed income, and have a more diverse selection of places in which live.
In other words, companies need to approach this matter with a global perspective. There should be an emphasis on destinations, which appeal to the exoticism many retirees desire and the tranquility (within the surrounding environment) they prefer. Few areas possess these features in such abundance - and even fewer countries have such a thriving group of American expatriates - than the eco-friendly sections of Costa Rica.
I write these words as the CEO of Kalia Living, which is a village unto itself: A carefully planned - and meticulously managed - community of self-sufficient private estates, holistic solutions and integrated health with the natural environment.
Imagine, therefore, retirement-as-a-philosophy-of-wellness. Envision the amenities and accoutrements of the world's finest resort, paired with exceptional architecture, complemented by a natural preserve on one side and the majestic coastline of the beach and the Pacific Ocean on the other.
This scenario is very much accessible to soon-to-be retirees, but it is also a symbolic shift concerning where and why people may go to certain places, as a way to enhance wellness and transform their relationship (in a respectful manner) with the environment as a whole.
So, rather than bulldozing trees and pouring rivers of concrete in the spirit of PROGRESS, rather than exiling retirees into some uninspiring enclosure of repaved acreage, whose name is a marketing ploy and whose design is an advertiser's attempt at misdirection - rather than succumbing to retirement as the end of something, companies need to treat retirement as the beginning of renewed health and vitality.
Location and Holistic Healing: Retirement-as-a-Retreat and Personal Exploration
By encouraging employees to have a more robust understanding of retirement, corporate wellness can thrive in a place that is physically peaceful and psychologically pleasing. In terms of appearance, picture 33 square miles of untrammeled, protected wetlands, national forests, marine parks and biological reserves. And, throughout this haven, there is an overriding belief in applying the precision of an artist, the pride of an environmentalist and the solemn stewardship of an informed traveler on behalf of retirees.
And therein lies the essence of healthy retirement furthered by a dedication to corporate wellness: Devote yourself to a purpose, in which Mother Nature is your host and canvass. In contrast, avoid the near-constant noise of congested highways - the horns, screeching tires, and the cacophony of shouting motorists and the sounds of thousands of different songs playing simultaneously that creates chaos within famed sites like Malibu, California, and the Hamptons section of Long Island, New York.
Make retirement a holistic refuge and a source of rejuvenation. Seize the healing treatments, nutritional guidance, training and intimate counseling for the mind-body balance people need. Infused with the right principles, this version of retirement is vibrant and fun.
It is a youthful reinterpretation for workers to aspire to, and an ambition companies should seek to provide. In so many words, retirement should be healthy and exciting.That is the true meaning of corporate wellness.
About the Author
Amnon Dahan is the CEO of Kalia Living, a modern and innovative approach to enjoying an eco-friendly lifestyle.