The Key to Slowing the Aging Process? It’s All in Your Head
Think age is more than just a number? You’re not alone.
Researchers have found that by age 24, the brain’s response time begins a gradual slowdown. Also among the findings: Older Americans compensate for their shortage of speed with increased strategy and efficiency. So, while growing older is inevitable, it doesn’t have to slow you down.
That’s counter to the ageist stereotypes we see and hear every day — “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up.” “You’re having a senior moment.” — and other comedic clichés.
It turns out that mindset plays a significant role in how people age. Harvard researchers coined the term “super-ager” to describe people age 70+ with the mental or physical capability of their decades-younger counterparts. Their results suggest that embracing new mental challenges may be the key to preserving both brain tissue and brain function.
What you can do to become a super-ager
Being mindful can help transform how you really feel about growing older. It’s never too late to shift your way of thinking:
Reject the stereotypes. Don’t let negative stereotypes about stamina or productivity become a self-fulfilling prophecy. In recent years, a growing number of retirees have competed in marathons, making experts second-guess the conventional wisdom regarding age-related changes in physical capacity. In 2017, 88 runners age 75+ competed in the New York City Marathon, including 78-year-old Ginette Bedard of New York City who finished the 26.2-mile course with a time of 04:33:42.
Separate myth from fact. Yes, aging can be a physical pain. But medical research has found that the older population is in better mental health than people in their 20s and 30s. The younger generation reports having the highest levels of depression, anxiety and stress, and the lowest levels of happiness and well-being. Conversely, people age 65 and older have better community ties, more financial security and more supportive relationships to keep their spirits high. Let go of the myths and let yourself enjoy the benefits of your later years.
Embrace mental and physical challenges alike. Tackle new tasks like learning to play a musical instrument, volunteering for a local cause or campaign, or mastering the New York Times crossword puzzle. Get your heart pumping with regular workouts. If you’ve always been a cycling fan, mix things up by trying a rowing machine or a Zumba class for your cardio fix.
Supporting your super-ager lifestyle in retirement
Another pro about aging? Retirees may be eligible for a reverse mortgage loan. This financing choice for homeowners and homebuyers age 62 and older allows you to borrow against the equity in your home, giving you access to immediate cash or a line of credit that you can use to supplement your income, pay for healthcare or renovate your home. A reverse mortgage loan can help you delay the need to tap into your retirement funds, while you retain ownership of your home and have more control over your finances. As with any mortgage, you must meet your loan obligations, keeping current with property taxes, insurance, maintenance, and any homeowner’s association fees.
Whether newly retired or approaching the next phase, super-agers eagerly embrace new thinking, challenges and experiences. That means using smart planning and money management to help maintain an active retirement lifestyle. Speak with an experienced reverse mortgage specialist from Reverse Mortgage Funding to learn more about the benefits of reverse mortgage loans. Call 888-277-1567 today to set up a convenient phone appointment.
SEE WHAT FUNDS YOU MAY HAVE AVAILABLE
If you have equity in your home and believe you meet the eligibility requirements, a HECM may be the option that could help you retire smart.