Find Your Purpose.
According to a British study involving 9,000 65-year-olds led by Andrew Steptoe, director of the Institute of Epidemiology and Health Care at University College London, one way to extend your life is by having a purpose. The research study found that “people with the highest levels of ‘purpose in life’ were 30 percent less likely to die during the study period, living an average of two years longer than those with the lowest levels.”
Another university team in Fairfax, Virginia reviewed the study. They pointed out that people who actively search for meaning in life may be better at setting goals and making plans—including making preventive health care decisions.
Certainly one can argue that having purpose doesn’t necessarily mean working. Meditating, volunteering or going back to school have been shown to increase people’s sense of purpose. The point seems to be that having “meaning” in your life is a key component to longevity.
People who retire early tend to die sooner than those who delay retirement, and recent research provides new proof. A 2016 study by Oregon State University seems to confirm those suspicions with some startling numbers. The research, also featured in the Huffington Post, showed that healthy adults who kept working just one year past age 65 reduced their risk of dying from all causes by 11 percent! This included people who considered themselves unhealthy to begin with.
“It may not apply to everybody, but we think work brings people a lot of economic and social benefits that could impact the length of their lives,” said lead author Chenkai Wu.
Planning for a Longer Life
Have you put a financial plan in place to account for the longer years you may live? With the beginning of a new year, there is no better time to stop worrying about the future and start planning for the retirement you want to live.
Have you heard that saying, “Do something today that your future self will thank you for”? Well, planning is one of those things.