It is both a struggle and a blessing to have a balanced life as a Latina. We have to take care of ourselves, our family, our support system, and, on top of that, our elders — all at the same time.
As we grow older, we are expected to have certain aspects of our lives lined up, whether it’s a retirement fund or multiple income streams to get by.
We are expected to be prepared to tackle our day-by-day tasks and have our lives planned out so that when we reach a certain age, we are healthy enough and fully ready to retire. And that’s not even talking about if you are having babies.
As a culture, we are already conscious of the importance of taking care of ourselves. Trust in self-care is so important but often passive when it comes to us Latinas.
We take care of others before taking care of ourselves. Whether it is a spouse, a baby, or our parents, they always come first, and it’s more than likely unintentional. It is part of our instincts and routines — it comes down to how we were raised and what is expected of us.
But how can we balance both the struggles and advantages on time, to live our best lives too? A good start is to recognize our statistics and not fall into them, but use them as tools to guide us to do better.
According to NBC News’ informative article, “Latina longevity is real, but it can bring health, financial challenges.”
Digging closer to the statistics, “69 percent of working Latinos do not own any assets in a retirement account, compared to 37 percent of white households,” as reported by the National Institute on Retirement Security’s research entitled Latinos’ Retirement Insecurity in the United States.
Figuring out our retirement plan is an act of self-care, and it’s something that Latinx should spend more time on. It is too easy to live day-by-day and focus on the present rather than the bigger picture.
Another struggle is our health. Often we are used to eating comfort foods as everyday meals — think of the delicious enchiladas, flautas, sopes, always paired up with a soda.
Knowing that Latinos are more prone to diabetes is not a secret. It is a valuable thing to explore and to switch up to break the generational cycle. It could be as easy as taking a daily half an hour walk or simply substituting your soda/juice for water.
The advantage of these everyday struggles is the amount of information we have online and research articles that can help us become better at life, starting with ourselves.
Moreover, according to the CDC of a Latina woman’s life expectancy increased a year from 2013 to 2014 and is now at 84 years old — so we might as well learn to make the best of it!
Here’s to better health and money plans in 2021!