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Healthy retirement quiz

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What keeps your brain healthy? 

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What keeps your brain healthy? 

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Studies suggest that keeping your brain active by reading or doing crossword puzzles has various benefits including reducing your risk of dementia. But physical exercise is good for your brain too and may be even better for keeping the brain sharp. Research discovered that moderate exercise, like playing golf or tennis a couple of times a week, is linked to a 35% reduction in cognitive decline. Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is often a precursor to Alzheimer's disease and people with MCI have a ten times greater risk of developing it.  

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Early retirement is better for your health  

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Early retirement is better for your health  

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There is some truth in “use it or lose it” when it comes to the brain. Mental decline is not an inevitable part of ageing and research suggests the more active your brain is, the better your memory will be. Research also shows that people who retire in their early 60s have a harder time with health than people who stay in the workforce. Part time workers also tend to function better on a daily basis, with fewer major diseases and better mental health.
 

Stress takes a toll on mental health and age-specific events such as retirement, bereavement or divorce are highly stressful. It’s not clear why work may help you stay sharp. It may simply be having something to do and being social. The financial boost of working longer can help reduce stress too.  

The average age of retirement is younger than it used to be  

The average age of retirement is younger than it used to be  

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People are working longer in the UK than they used to. For men, the average retirement age rose from 63.8 to 64.6. For women it rose from 61.2 to 62.3 between 2004 and 2010. As for how long you can expect to enjoy a healthy retirement, the latest figures available suggest men at age 65 have 9.9 years of healthy life ahead of them with a total life expectancy of 17.6 years. Women aged 65 can expect about 11.5 more years of healthy life with a total life expectancy of 20.2 years. 

Being older than retirement age means having no sex 

Being older than retirement age means having no sex 

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Retirement doesn’t have to hinder your sex life. A recent study showed people in the UK are having sex well into later life. The third National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles (Natsal) found that 42% of women and 60% of men aged 65 to 74 said they had at least one sexual partner during the previous year, although the number of partners and frequency of sex declined with age.

Babysitting your grandchildren is bad for your health. 

Babysitting your grandchildren is bad for your health. 

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Some studies do suggest that looking after grandchildren can take a toll on older people, but don’t put the baby out with the bathwater. Other studies suggest that caring for kids once a week can help keep you mentally sharp and improve your mental ability. The key is not to overdo it. Grandparents who look after the grandkids 5 days a week do show signs of strain, so enjoy some quality time but save some time for yourself.

The number of people over 60 getting divorced in the UK has:

The number of people over 60 getting divorced in the UK has:

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An official study shows the number of so-called “silver splitter” divorces has increased in the UK by three quarters in just 20 years. According to the Office for National Statistics, the dramatic change is a result of much improved life expectancy which leaves some people reconsidering if they want to go into their golden years together. More relaxed attitudes to divorce and greater financial independence among women are also cited as reasons for the surge in divorce around retirement age. Some analysts suggest it may be prompted by a greater sense of freedom brought on by retirement and an empty nest.
 

To keep your romantic life healthy, use some of your newfound time to reconnect with your partner. Find activities you can enjoy together or something on your own that can breathe new passion into your relationship.

How many grandparents provide regular childcare for grandchildren?

How many grandparents provide regular childcare for grandchildren?

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Nearly seven million grandparents (58%) are regular babysitters for their grandchildren in the UK. The most significant reason is to allow the child’s parents to work. The Trades Union Congress (TUC) says these informal childcare arrangements are saving working families thousands of pounds in childcare costs, but raises concerns over grandparents who are still working themselves and left holding the baby for the second time in their lives.

Most people are less physically active when they retire. 

Most people are less physically active when they retire. 

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The truth is that most people are more active when they retire. In one study, women increased their moderate and vigorous activity time by 31 minutes per week. Men increased their activity by 42 minutes per week. However, the picture may change as people get older. Age UK says more than 90% of over-75s don’t get the recommended 150 minutes of weekly physical exercise. Age UK says short bursts of exercise a few times a week can make a big difference in your overall health.

People drink less alcohol after retirement.

People drink less alcohol after retirement.

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Estimates suggest somewhere between 2% and 15% of older people are problem drinkers. Some of these will have already had a drink problem when they were younger, while others develop what's called late onset drinking. This  may be caused by difficulty adjusting to retirement; having more time in the day and being able to sleep in. Boredom, loneliness or lack of purpose may be other factors. The death of a loved one or financial worries may increase stress. Whatever the trigger, retirees tend to drink more and heavily. Try to stick to no more than one drink a day for women and no more than two a day for men.

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