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 Posted by Chris Buttigieg

Think you’re old? Some of Canada’s oldest super-centenarians (those over 110 years of age) rank amongst the   oldest people in the world.

Though we can’t all expect to live beyond 110, we’re certainly living longer than ever before. According to Statistics Canada, there are more than 5.3 million people in Canada aged 65 or older, or 15% of the total population. In 50 years’ time, some 78,000 of us will reach the ripe old age of 100!

That said, it’s never too early to start taking good care of ourselves – both with our health and with our finances.  A recent BMO Wealth Institute report reveals that three-quarters of Canadians believe that health and medical costs will have the biggest financial impact on their senior years, and they expect to dole out with an average of $5,391 on out-of-pocket medical costs after they turn 65.1

Here, then, are the Four Keys to Longevity that can help you unlock your potential to age well and move confidently into the future:

  • Nourish the BodyLongevity odds are greatly influenced by your personal lifestyle choices. So be sure to eat well, exercise, get enough sleep, and visit your doctor regularly.
  • Train the Brain – Living your best life depends on a healthy brain. A recent BMO report found that Canadians pondering living to 100 are most concerned with losing their mental abilities (56%), followed by relying on others to take care of them (47%) and losing loved ones (46%). Keep your brain active by honing your cognitive skills (do more reading, crossword puzzles and Sudoku), exercising, working, volunteering, and keeping up with friends.
  • Make a Bucket List – There’s no denying it: 70 is the new 40. Today, senior wanderlust knows no boundaries when it comes to fulfilling dreams after raising a family and retiring from work. Consider spending more time on hobbies in retirement, start a new part-time job or even try learning a new language. A strong social network is also important in enjoying an ideal lifestyle in old age, so be sure to stay connected both face-to-face and virtually.
  • Get Financially Comfy – The more money you’ve saved, the more comfortable you’ll feel as you age. And since we never know when we’ll fall ill, it’s important to tie future healthcare costs into retirement savings. The BMO report found that 74% of Canadians believe their largest expenses in old age will be medical and health-related costs, followed by food, clothing and other day-to-day essentials (57%). Plan carefully by working with a financial professional to develop a sound financial plan that incorporates a wide range of savings vehicles to fund a satisfying retirement lifestyle.

So if you’re looking for a long shelf life, start making positive changes now. It’s easier to keep clear goals in sight when good habits are formed and incorporated over a lifetime rather than as an afterthought. Devise a strategy that will help you remain vigilant about all aspects of your health, well-being, personal life and financial assets. By consciously nurturing the Four Keys to Longevity, you can achieve a long and rewarding life.

This article was taken from The Wealth Room presented by BMO Financial Group; a new blog about how to build and protect the wealth you accumulate in your lifetime.

For more information on wealth management, please visit www.bmo.com/wealthmanagement

1 For more information on the keys to longevity including the importance of a financial plan, please read our recent BMO Wealth Institute report

If you are interested in consulting with a BMO professional, please contact us.

 This blog post is for informational purposes only and is not and should not be construed as, professional advice to any individual. Individuals should contact their BMO representative for professional advice regarding their personal circumstances and/or financial position. The information contained in this report is based on material believed to be reliable, but BMO Financial Group cannot guarantee the information is accurate or complete. BMO Financial Group does not undertake to advise individuals as to a change in the information provided. All rights are reserved. No part of this report may be reproduced in any form, or referred to in any other publication, without the express written permission of BMO Financial Group. ®/™ Registered trade-marks/trade-marks of Bank of Montreal, used under license.