Better healthcare, healthy behaviours, better environments and more prosperity are some of the reasons why we are now living longer. This is according to recent publications from Tilda, the Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing titled ‘Living Happier, Healthier Longer Lives’.
Over the past 100 years, life expectancy has increased substantially with life expectancy at birth in Ireland now standing at 81.5 years. The improvement each year is notable with the increase in life expectancy equal to 5 hours per day or 3 months per year. Half of the baby girls born today will live to over 100 years of age and researchers already believe that the first person to live to 150 years of age has already been born.
What’s interesting about the report and is something that should be considered when planning for retirement is that after the age of 50, quality of life continues to improve and in fact peaks between the age of 65 and 70. Quality of life only beings to decline after the age of 75 years which means that the quality of life can reach levels equivalent to that of a 50 year old at the age of 80. The fact that quality of life peaks at a time when many are leaving the work place should mean that many are continuing to contribute significantly to both their family’s life and society as a whole.
Having a retirement plan, and starting to contribute to your pension plan as early as possible could allow you to live as active a retirement lifestyle as you desire.
If your retirement plan is in hand and you are looking towards retirement here are the 7 secrets to successful ageing that the report suggests.
- Mental Stimulation: Lots of activities can keep your mind active and help reduce the risk of dementia in later life
- Aerobic Exercise: Cardio can strengthen your heart and lungs, give you more energy, sharpen your mind, help you manage weight, reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression and may even keep you young
- Social Engagement: Social engagement can make a big difference to how our brain functions and can help prevent dementia and improve brain function
- Positive attitudes to ageing: Older attitudes with negative attitudes towards ageing had slower walking speeds and worse cognitive abilities compared to those with more positive attitudes towards ageing
- New Learning: Education protects against dementia significantly
- Good Diet: Older Adults can improve their diet to help slow the progression of the diseases of ageing.
TILDA’s Vision is to make Ireland ‘the best place in the world to grow old’ by studying the health, wealth and quality of life aspects of ageing. Something I think we all would agree with.