As a nation we are living longer, and it may not be down to just our genes. Improvements in medical treatment and healthier lifestyle habits are all contributing to our extended lifespans.
Do you want to make sure you are on the ever-growing list of people receiving a card from the Queen? Here are 12 scientifically proven steps for a longer, healthier and happier life.
How to live longer
Taking care of your body is very important for a longer and healthier life.
1. Walk, whenever possible – A study suggests in order to stay in peak shape you should aim to take around 7,000 – 10,000 steps a day (approximately 30 minutes). You don’t have to do it all in one go, pottering around in the garden or doing some housework all count towards your daily goal.
2. Don’t overdo it – As you get older, your body may not work in the same way it used to. Try not to overexert yourself; it can strain your nervous system, joints and muscles. In the long run, this could do more harm than good.
3. Avoid stress – We get it, this one is a lot easier said than done. Modern life can be rather stressful! But research has shown that too much stress can be just as bad for cardiovascular health as smoking five cigarettes a day!
4. Get a good night’s sleep – Sleep provides an opportunity for the body to repair and rejuvenate itself. As your body ages, it produces less of the sleep hormone, melatonin, so make sure you have a good sleep routine in place.
Studies suggest that keeping your brain active helps to boost mental function and prevents cognitive decline. The Alzheimer’s Society discovered that over 50s who completed a brain training programme showed improvements in reasoning and memory which lasted for more than six months. We think that’s pretty convincing evidence to follow these next 3 steps.
5. Get a puzzle book- By regularly engaging in a morning crossword or lunchtime Sudoku, you could keep your brain functioning levels up to 10 years younger than your actual age!
6. Download a brain training app- If puzzle books aren’t your thing there are plenty of brain training apps out there. They are specifically designed to test various aspects of your mental ability including memory, focus, reasoning and problem solving.
7. Learn something new- Learning a new skill helps to forge new neural connections keeping your brain nice and healthy.
Rather unsurprisingly, the food you eat has an impact on your wellbeing. Food affects both your health and your mood, and as you age, your nutritional needs change. The older you get, the fewer calories you need so good nutrition becomes even more important!
8. Don’t skip meals- Eating well balanced meals, regularly, is very important. If you struggle to eat three large meals a day, try having healthy snacks throughout the day to keep your energy levels up.
9. Cut out the caffeine- Caffeine can cause anxiety, sleeplessness and other issues, which can all affect your later life.
10. Get your required vitamins and nutrients – Getting the correct amount of nutrients into your body becomes increasingly important as you age to keep you fit and healthy.
One of the best ways to make sure your long life is a happy one is to remain social. Interacting with different people and creating strong social relationships can increase the odds of living longer by as much as 50%. We are social creatures by nature, after all. Here are two easy ways to build new friendships as you get older:
11. Join a Club- Find interesting local groups where you can meet like-minded people. There are plenty out there, from rambling groups to art classes, book clubs to quiz teams.
12. Volunteer- It will keep you active and allow you to maintain meaningful connections. Plus, there’s the additional benefit of the pride you feel, giving back to your community.
Financing your future
So, if following these 12 steps really works, we could all be living longer, happier and healthier lives. Brilliant! But if you do reach the grand old age of 164 (too ambitious?!) you’re going to need around 100 years’ worth of pension in your pot. That’s quite the retirement fund!
You’re either going to have to work for (much) longer or start saving more into your pension pot. Living a long life won’t be as pleasant if you are only scraping by. If you are planning on living well past your retirement, you should be building it into your financial plan.
You may be funding more than your hobbies
Despite following the 12 steps, you may find that by the time you reach 100, you’re far from being a spring chicken. The chances are you’ll need some form of care which could work out to be very costly. Having funds and a plan in place to be able to afford the care you need is vital.
How Face to Face Finance could help
Here at Face to Face Finance, our service is all about planning for life, not just the odd isolated event. We are trusted by our clients to negotiate every stage of their lives and make sure the right plans are put in place to protect them and their families.
If you ask us to help plan for your 100-year retirement, we will:
- Look at your current pensions and make sure they are working as hard for you as they need to be.
- Use our cashflow planning service to plan a route and set you on the road to retirement success.
- Regular reviews of your financial plan are also be incredibly important. You will have regular meetings with your financial adviser to make sure everything stays on track.
Get in touch if you would like help planning for your long and happy retirement!