The short guide to dealing with stress in later life

Boredom in retirement -that'll be the day!
Boredom in retirement -that’ll be the day!

Of course stress has no respect for age.We know it’s part of life.Its destructive nature can affect anyone at any time, and the long term effects can creep up like a shadows in the night inflicting their damage to our health, catching us unawares.The natural ability to withstand the persistent onslaught of stress is much degraded,as we grow older, but succumbing to ravages to health is not inevitable. Continue reading “The short guide to dealing with stress in later life”

5 mythbusting articles you may have missed at the60life blog about your health in later life/feed//feed//feed//feed/


There are many misconceptions about getting older.One of these is that older people inevitably will suffer from significant age-related decline in health.This is what many parents and grandparents of those now in their 60s and 70s were led to believe.With a lower life expectation they also seemed to be condemned to a short retirement in ill-health before death. Society and culture did not expect any more from older people. The stereotypes were out there with ‘pipe and slippers’ often the onlyreward at the end of a working life. Nowadays so much has changed and with good reason.Apart from people wanting more out of life the realisation has surfaced that in reality something can be done to prolong an active life.

Myth 1: Trying to improve fitness in older age is pointless Continue reading “5 mythbusting articles you may have missed at the60life blog about your health in later life/feed//feed//feed//feed/”

Why this is no age to retire



Today, one in six of the UK population is aged 65 or over.

Until quite recently people of a certain age felt defined by what passed as appropriate for their parents, and their forebears. This earlier attitude, bringing with it all things ageism, was reinforced by a lower life expectancy, and by the many legal and social rules in our society which dictated what should or should not be done at certain times in life, particularly in later life. This was no less apparent than Continue reading “Why this is no age to retire”

Ease into the Mediterranean diet today

cestino di pane con verdure - dollarphotoclub
cestino di pane con verdure – dollarphotoclub


Media headlines often tell it all:

Sensible diet cuts heart attack risk within weeks (The Times)

Obesity threatens chronic ill health in older age

Dire warning of [adult] obesity as [youngsters] pile on the pounds(The Daily Mail)

but many of us still don’t respond to the headlines, or even read the rest of the article,news item,or report we maybe reading.

Despite the sheer volume of scientific evidence written today about the likely consequences of poor diet Continue reading “Ease into the Mediterranean diet today”

Focus on the public face of dementia

iQoncept @dollar photo club
iQoncept @dollar photo club


Much has been said lately about the scourge of dementia in all its forms.And now,just a few days ago,Sir Terry Pratchett,author of the fantasy book series Discworld, and recently often considered a public face of dementia, passed away. He had been diagnosed in 2007 with early-onset Alzheimer’s.

According to the Alzheimer’s Society, an estimated 850,000 people currently suffer from dementia in the UK.The government is promising a new,long term strategy focused on boosting research,improving care and raising awareness of dementia. Not before time a deep searching light is to be shone on this growing mental disease which threatens to grow into a worldwide epidemic. Continue reading “Focus on the public face of dementia”

Great Life Expectancies


Born 1902 in Russia, Max Lerner, American journalist,writer and educator contributed as a columnist for the Los Angeles Times over period of 20 years.

He is quoted as saying:  “I want to die young at an advanced age.”

I can relate to that.

He was known as a ‘possibilist’ , one who was considered neither an optimist nor a pessimist.

Max died in 1992 aged 89.

Towards a healthier later life : walk to live

By staying physically fit we can both extend our lifespan and age healthily.Fact. This message is the clear conclusion of an extensive study carried out by researchers at the UT Southwestern Medical Center and the Cooper Institute.

Today, there is such overwhelming medical evidence out there from many of the best research centres in the world that we can greatly improve our chances of living not only much longer, but without many of the chronic diseases that often beset people in their later life. It has been long known that adjusting our lifestyle -even a little- can be good for our health. We are advised to  exercise more; reduce alcohol intake; stop smoking; and maintain a normal weight. We know it’s right. It’s just that we treat these lifestyle changes much like new Year resolutions, and frequently fail to act. What the above study report tells us is that even a little exercise – just 150 minutes a week – can make so much difference to our longevity and our quality of life.Even regular light walking as on a gentle stroll, is good.

It is never too late to improve for the long term our fitness and our lives. Although the Southwestern study reported on the beneficial effect of being physical fit in your 30s,40s,and50s when reaching 65 and over, the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, as reported on the British Medical Journal website,has produced research results which point to a benefit of an extra 6 years in people over 75 who have reduced some or all of the above risk factors causing chronic ill health. Activities seen as particularly beneficial include walking and swimming.



Working on in the UK after state retirement age

According to the The Office of National Statistics (ONS), older UK people in the labour market are working longer beyond state retirement age.

Statistics out last month show the following numbers:

  • 1.4 million  the number of people of state retirement age and above, or double the number 20 years ago in 1993 when the figure was 753,00
  • 32 per cent of older workers are likely to be self-employed,as compared with 13 per cent for younger people
  • 8-in-10 older workers have been with same employer for five or more years. Around two thirds of them are working part-time having gone on from full-time with the same employer
  • Men working later in life tend to stay on in higher skill roles while women tend to stay on in lower skill roles
  • Just over a half (51 per cent) of older workers are in small organisations of fewer than 25 employees

Some factors for these statistics are put down to:

  • the number of ‘baby boomers’ reaching state pension age has grown faster than the increase in the general population
  • improvements over the last two decades in health and well-being
  • financial pressures arising from higher ‘elderly’ inflation and the economic climate over recent years
  • mortality rates record that this group are living longer making it necessary to provide for a longer period of retirement
  • a general wish to remain active in society

For a fuller and official report from the ONS including  an interesting animated video  you can go to this link


Satisfaction with Life: the keys to a fulfilling retirement

This post keeps on the theme of retirement. It is well known that life expectancy among those currently retiring in their sixties means they could have some 25-30 years more ahead for them.But what to do with all that time?That is the challenge.

We are accustomed to seeing emphasis placed on good financial planning for retirement. Although having a good income behind you when you finally give-up the 40-hour working week knocks away a high hurdle when contemplating a long period of retirement, this of itself does not guarantee a fulfilled and positive retirement.So if you have looked forward to no longer having to answer to your boss, or the demands of every day business, how can you give yourself the chance to enjoy your new found freedom?How do you find satisfaction in your and real quality of life?

Recently, the University of Greenwich in England, undertook a survey to try and find the answer to the above and other questions. This study in conjunction with Laterlife Learning,looked at the responses to an e-survey conducted for the period October 2008 and January 2010. This study found that the keys to a fulfilling retirement were:

1. Having  aspirational reasons for retiring

2.Going on a retirement course

3.Having an active social life

4.Having someone to share retirement with

5.Having at least three of the ‘the Big Five’ personality traits

6. Money matters:Having a lack of financial resources,though, was not an impediment to satisfaction in retirement, and access to enjoyable experiences.

Some help tips in the conclusions from the survey report briefly are:

  • aim to retire on your own terms
  • find a goal for retirement that excites you
  • have activities that go beyond job work and non-work activities and breach the transition into retirement
  • gain a positive effect by attending a retirement preparation course
  • find an active social circle in retirement doing things you enjoy
  • look on money as only part of the retirement satisfaction jigsaw

You can read the full brief report providing the findings for the keys to a fulfilling retirement by the University of Greenwich

And,if you would like to also see what the pre- and post- retirement counseling course team Laterlife can offer




Why many pensioners in Britain are to be hit hardest by increases in VAT

Why you should plan to make your money last in retirement
· Why many pensioners in Britain are to be hit hardest by VAT increases
· If you like cake try this recipe from 1891


If you have been celebrating Christmas, then perhaps the last thing you have in mind is to bake a cake. Baking a New Year cake, though, seems to have been a bit of a tradition towards the end of the 19th century. So, in case you are a traditionalist at heart, I have posted on site a recipe for such a cake-1891 style.

Also in this final issue for 2010, I give you two items indicating a need for some serious early financial planning next year…

Why many pensioners in Britain are to be hit the hardest by the January increases in VAT
The Daily Mail reports that more than three million pensioners will see their income fall next year. It says:

“Millions of middle-class pensioners will be left worse off next year, despite the Coalition’s pledge to increase pensions.
Official figures reveal that next week’s rise in VAT from 17.5 to 20 per cent will leave many pensioners out of pocket, even after increases in the basic state pension and other benefits are taken into account.” It continues:

“The basic state pension will rise by £4.50 a week to £102.15 in April, leaving pensioners £234 a year better off.
But for better-off pensioners the rise will be more than wiped out by the extra VAT they will pay on goods purchased.

Read more: pensioners hit hardest
Why you should prepare for a long retirement
…and now the better news reported this week: we are all living longer! Well, you may have heard something of this before. However, the specific projections for life expectancy put out this week are quite staggering. The following is a report from the China Daily:

‘One in five Britons to live to 100’

‘LONDON – More than 10 million people living in Britain today, almost a fifth of the population, will reach their 100th birthday, the Department for Work and Pensions said on Thursday…’

‘The rise in life expectancy means many millions of Britons will spend around a third of their lives in retirement, Pensions Minister Steve Webb said in a statement…’

“These staggering figures really bring home how important it is to plan ahead for our later lives,” he said.’

Read more : staggering rise in life expectancy

A New Year’s cake recipe 1891 style
And so to more Seasonable fare: A Handsome New Year’s Cake from 1891:

Rub half a pound of butter into half a pound of flour; add one cup of molasses and one of brown sugar, two pounds of chopped raisons, one pound of currants, and a quarter of a pound of chopped citron, four eggs and half a tablespoonful each of cinnamon, mace and nutmeg, and two wineglassfuls of brandy; mix all together and bake in jelly cake tins; keep the cake warm while you make, and bake in jelly tins of the same size, white cake made of half a pound of…read more at


Stay tuned-in! Above all stay warm!
Remember you can pick-up more tips and news here at the60lifePosted on Categories Cost of Living, Life expectancy, Money, Recipes, Retirement, the60lifeweekly e-letterTags , , , Leave a comment on Why many pensioners in Britain are to be hit hardest by increases in VAT

…and the good news is we’re all living longer

The Daily Telegraph reports that :
‘Under the last Labour government, plans were in place to increase the state pension age for women to 65 by 2020 and to 66 for both sexes by 2026. It was then due to rise in stages, reaching 68 for men and women in 2046. However, the new figures show that life expectancy is increasing so rapidly that a child born today will live two and a half years longer than one born when Labour drew up its plans in 2006’

For the full report you can go to :

This rapid change in life expectancy, which seems to continue to take the fiscal planners by surprise, means the inevitable acceleration in the raisng of the qualifying pension age to a level believed to be financially sustainable for the taxpayer. The challenge for us all now is to plan for this change, and to make the necessary social and financial adjustments necessary so as to maximise the benefits to be derived from this gift of extra time.

Super Sixty-somethings

Sticking to the celebration theme of last time, how about the cult of the super sixty-somethings? My attention was drawn to the fact that Sting (formerly of The Police rock band) is in his sixtieth year, and will celebrate his next birthday on 27th September. Encouraging, too, is that he looks in very good form, which I hear  he puts down mainly to having a ‘slim frame’,a  happy marriage, and pilates.

The Times at the weekend, too, was taken with the Super Sixties who were said to be having it all. A peaceful retirement was not in the mindset of  many in a report including a DJ,( 68); male model (67); magazine editor (60); and designer (63).  Emma Soames,(60), editor-at-large of Saga magazine,and looking good herself, reports on the changing lifestyle choices available and being taken by the baby-boomers now reaching pension age (that is,the age that  it is at the moment). Shorn of tying young family and financial commitments,  apparently, with health improvements from medical advances, and a life expectancy for a man likely to be to age 85 (in 1950 this was 67), the super sixty-somethings are making radical choices more in common with forty-somethings than 7o year-olds. Travel rather than ‘a slippers by the fire’ existance is becoming more the norm for a quality of life.

The pin-up of the piece goes to designer Diane von Furstenberg who adorned the Times weekend magazine cover. Her last birthday was reported here

Live longer and prosper

This may be likened to a familiar sci-fi homily, but it can be growing reality and life choice for many people in or approaching their 60s and 70s. Currently bombarded with a welter of figures from the Office of national Statistics, we are learning that  people are living longer [see earlier post]and also working longer than ever before.This maybe because of economic necessity, or a wish to remain active and involved, or both. A recent survey by Saga and the National Endowment for Science,technology and Arts (Nesta) has found that of 13,000 respondents nine out of ten older workers say retirement should be about ability to work,not merely age. So if you are able and want to work beyond a certain age, the statistics suggest that if the opportunities to work arise (and so often do, if we look in the right places) you will be around to do so.For more…

Are you ready to live so much longer?

Source: Office of National Statistics

Live longer,live life given a longer life expectancy

This page usually tries, if anything, to be encouraging.For many people life at a certain age is an attitude of mind and not a number. We can live on hope and expectation, that we will be blessed with reasonable good health and the level of wealth to enjoy the later years. Occasionally , we have to look at the numbers so that things are left not completely to happenstance. Financial and other planning can help to provide a little more comfort.So there is a message for us in official statistics. According to the official ONS data for 2006-08, males at age 65 can expect to live an additional 17.4 years, the corresponding number for females at age 65 is 20 years. For more information behind these headline figures you can go to

The new UK government has decided that the previous government’s plans to raise the retirement age were not ambitious enough given the rising life expectancy and the huge current level of Government debt and future pension liability.So 10 years earlier than planned, it is now proposed from 2016 to raise the retirement age for receipt of state pension from age 65  to 66 (for females this is likely to be from 2020).For more on this… and according to a report in the Times website the plan is for the retirement will rise eventually to age 70. So with the encouraging news of possible longer life comes the challenge of having enough money to see out this extra time. The future aim of these pages, in addition to exploring areas for continuing life improvement generally, is to bring out information on how this challenge of financial security might be achieved.