Ponte Vedra author reveals ‘secrets of longevity’

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As the president of Petros Estate & Retirement Planning and the founder and president of Woman’s Worth, LLC, Ponte Vedra Beach resident Jeannette Bajalia has a wealth of knowledge regarding future planning. In her new book, “Planning a Purposeful Life: Secrets of Longevity,” she reveals the secrets behind how many men and women have continued to live happy, healthy lives well into their 90s.

“Longevity is the ultimate double-edged sword,” Bajalia said. “Who doesn’t want to live longer, if a high quality of life can be maintained? If we have our health, our family and friends, and a compelling reason to get out of bed each morning, longevity becomes a great thing.  Unfortunately, it also brings with it the very real and frightening risk of outliving one’s money.” 

As a retirement planner, Bajalia advises men and women every day on the steps they should take to ensure their financial security after they have left the workforce.

“Many of the clients that I serve currently, when I say, ‘We need to create plans to make sure you don’t run out of money if you live to 90 or 100,’ most people don’t believe they’re going to live that long,” she said. “But the fastest growing segment of the U.S. population is the 90-plus segment.”

Recognizing society’s growing need for effective longevity planning, Bajalia decided to ask some nonagenarians and centenarians about their secrets to success.

“I wanted to hear from the 90-plus generation, so I spent two years interviewing them,” she said. “I wanted to learn what they do differently, what they attribute their longevity to, and a lot of it is simple living and a healthy lifestyle.”

According to Bajalia, her interviewees’ lifestyles not only allowed them to enjoy physical health, but also financial health, into their 90s and beyond.

“That generation tends to keep moving, and they overlook life’s obstacles,” Bajalia said. “They have strong mental health, strong physical health, strong emotional health and strong spiritual health, so they are able to not worry about running out of money, because they’re keeping themselves healthy and well.”

Bajalia found that this realization tied in with the subject of her previous book, “Wi$e Up Women,” which addresses the connection between a woman’s health and her wealth.

“Women are living so long, that many of them will be living beyond 90,” Bajalia said. “If you’re going to live beyond 90, you need to focus on preserving and maintaining your health, because you don’t want to be spending all of your retirement assets in the healthcare system.”

Bajalia said that some of the key pieces of advice that she received from her more than 25 interviewees included “don’t sweat the small stuff” and that it’s important to keep focused on a purpose.

“They all reported that their friends who are no longer with us, when they retired, they didn’t have anything to retire to; they didn’t have a purpose, and they got sick very quickly,” she explained. “I asked them, ‘What suggestions would you give to people currently thinking about retirement?’ and they said, ‘Don’t retire from something unless you know what you’re going to retire to.’”

“Planning a Purposeful Life: Secrets of Longevity” is now available for purchase in bookstores and at Amazon.com. For more information about the author, visit www.womans-worth.com or call (904) 824-5656.

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