Staying healthy for a longer working life

At least half of the babies born in 2000 in the UK are expected to live into their hundreds. The average life expectancy of 50% of babies born in 2007 in the UK is 103, and in Japan it is 107. Current retirees, those aged 65 plus, are enjoying relatively good health and also, despite retiring earlier, frequently are not ready to stop working altogether. The current life expectancy for pensioners is 85. Though some suffer chronic illnesses, they are diagnosed and treated sooner; meaning that (thankfully) the survival rate and life expectancy of this generation has steadily increased since the 1950’s.

Many retirees currently choose to draw a pension before they are 65 however often they continue to work. In fact, degree educated 65-69 year olds in the UK are more likely to be in employment and also earn more than unqualified 16-24 year olds.

Though longevity is something that we are all grateful for it is also an economic dilemma. This is because the burden on the young (work force) to support an ever aging one is increasing. And though, to ease this burden, the government plans to increase the retirement age to 75 by 2040…

…Our noughties (2000+) children will be in their forties and facing at least another 30 years of work by 2040.

How do we stay healthy to support a longer working life; and a happy later life?

We have asked Ben Hanton, Elitas gym founder and owner to provide some health advice for working age and later life people. As we age there are a number of important health markers that decline every year, here are some of the main ones:

  • Physical strength;
  • Bone mineral density;
  • Muscle mass;
  • Insulin sensitivity.

Though the decline of these health markers is part of a natural ageing process, we can reduce the decline by making lifestyle changes to exercise, diet and physical activity.

As regards physical activity, the recommended daily amount of steps to be taken is: 10,000 – dog (or grand children) walking could help to achieve this target.

Weekly moderate aerobic exercise of 150 minutes (around 20-25 minutes per day) is also recommended. This could include fast walking/slow jogging, dancing, tennis, kickboxing, participating in or coaching team sports, and swimming.

Two bouts of strength training; which includes using light weights or your own body weight – calisthenics, is enough to dramatically reduce the risk of almost all forms of disease.

As regards nutrition:

Refined carbohydrates – found in cakes, processed foods, biscuits are to be avoided, as are sugary drinks and also alcohol.

Whereas vegetables, fruit and protein should be consumed regularly.

The most effective way to remain healthy into later life is to choose exercises that the individual finds productive and enjoyable. Avoid high impact activities eg road-running and activities that are overly repetitive. Think too about posture when exercising. Posture should be symmetrical and activities should be undertaken whilst standing up or lying down, not whilst seated in an office chair. To get the most benefit from activities make the exercise intense and do exercise or activities in short bursts.

If you are finding this fitness advice a little complex speak to a local personal trainer, they should be able to create a fitness regime with you that meets your needs. Making big lifestyle changes all at once is a big task. It is advisable to choose one small change rather than trying to do everything at once.

So How do we plan for a longer working life?

Whether you are of working age or enjoying later life we at Marchwood IFA would advise you to regularly consult your Financial Advisor as your lifestyle and finance goals and income needs change.

To arrange a consultation with Marchwood IFA please call 01243 532 635. We have specialists that are able to discuss specific options with you.

To discuss retirement and investment plans with us please ask to speak to Richard Smith.

To discuss Life, serious illness and income protection insurances (to protect a debt such as a mortgage or to make sure that your family is well looked after financially after the death of a parent/partner) or equity release to help you plan for income in retirement please ask to speak to Hamish Gairns.

To discuss mortgages and insurances please ask to speak to James Mayne.