“The Longevity Effect”
This generation of retirees are going to live longer than any in history. Today’s seniors are healthier, more active, and receiving better preventative care. On top of that, a growing group of scientists are trying to harness technology and modern medicine to slow down the aging process.
Experts call the cumulative effect of these changes to life expectancy “the longevity effect.” They project that extending our years of healthy living can have tremendous benefits both to individuals and to society as a whole.
Let’s look at some of the cutting-edge advances. See how the slowing biological aging, as well as what experts recommend us to do will help us to stay more than just young at heart.
You’ve probably seen products like Ancestry DNA. This can give you a robust genealogical profile from your saliva. Scientists are continuing to progress on more sophisticated versions of this technology. This will be able to use your genes to test for serious diseases. There’s even hope of being able to test for genes that are associated with longevity, and others that could eventually increase your lifespan.
We all know that the best medicine is preventative. If scientists can perfect this “road map” for life expectancy, the implications for your financial planning could be enormous. An accurate longevity expectancy would make it much easier to plan ahead for significant medical expenses that might not be covered by your Healthcare Insurance. If you had a better idea of when you were likely to start “slowing down” later in your retirement, you might enjoy your early retirement years more and worry less about running out of money.
Fighting “Zombie Cells”
The cells in our bodies are constantly dividing. After a certain number of divisions, cells usually die. Those that don’t – so-called “zombie cells” – can build up in our bodies over time and interfere with how our healthy cells operate.
Scientists are looking for ways to clear out zombie cells via “interventions” such as pills. Clear out the zombies, and you’re eliminating cellular environments ripe for things like cancer, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s, and osteoporosis. The more resistant we are to these kinds of diseases, the greater our longevity will be. And the longer you live without having to cope with a debilitating disease, the longer you’ll be able to work, volunteer, play your favourite sports, and holiday with your favourite people.
In the Meantime
There’s no guarantee that these specific medicines and technologies will be ready for the general public during your retirement. But it is safe to assume that advances both gradual and rapid will continue to improve the quality of your health.
The most important thing you can do to keep aging in check during retirement is to take care of your health. That starts with a visit to your GP. This will help you and your doctor get a baseline reading of your health upon retirement. Taking advantage of the annual fly vaccination, the bi annual bowel screening and any other service offered. Annual visits to your doctor is a must including blood tests.
This might not sound as exciting as fighting zombie cells. However they are the most effective ways to detect significant health problems while it’s still early enough to do something about them.
So while we’re all waiting for the next big medical breakthroughs, old fashioned common sense will go a long way towards a long and healthy retirement. Eat well. Exercise. Wear sunscreen. Pursue your passions with a vigor that will keep your body and mind energized.