Longevity is the nature of our business. But its definition has changed a lot since just referring to lifespan. For 2021, let’s recap what longevity really means.
On its surface level, it’s easy to say that longevity is just another synonym for life expectancy. The reality, however, is that there’s a lot more to longevity than what you might initially think.
First, there’s the fact that modern medicine and diet has already brought up our lifespan considerably. However, we're also spending a lot more time in hospitals and hospice. As it turns out, those extra years don't really mean anything -- the reality of our extra years is that they're spent in fragile treatments and therapies. Because of this, longevity isn't just lifespan.
Instead, we need to bring healthspan into the equation. Healthspan is the time we are healthy. This creates a much greater goal, but also a more difficult challenge. Because of this, we see longevity as the combination of healthspan and lifespan.
Healthspan in general is something that is best combated incrementally and in a tangible way. In order to hit these requirements, we look at three key aspects to longevity: physical, mental, and financial.
Physical longevity is what most may think of first when they think of ways to expand their health. Fitness, diet, and sleep all make up keys to higher physical healthspan. Traditionally, you want to tackle these keys in reverse order -- that is, work on getting 8 hours of sleep before fixing your diet. Try to fix it all at once, and you’ll realize you’re not motivated to fix any of it at all! Hence is the basis of incremental improvement, one of the big focuses of Shanah.
Another aspect of longevity relates to mentality. There’s a lot about age-related mental diseases such as Alzheimers that we don’t know about, but we do have an inkling that strengthening up your mental fortitude helps at least a bit in deferring dementia. Play logic games like chess, read widely, and meditate to keep your brain active and the neural plasticity running!
Inner mentality isn’t the only part to having a healthy mental lifespan, however. Social keys are important as well -- building strong relationships, being optimistic, and even altruism are tied to a longer and healthier life!
Financial longevity is the last aspect, and confuses some people at first glance. But think about it. Say you were going to live until 70, but with all the compound interest you’ve received from your consistent mental and physical workouts, you’ll now live until your 90. Only one problem -- your finances are a mess! So, do you really want to spend your extra 20 years working even longer just because you didn’t have enough money to live in retirement? Didn’t think so.
Building a strong nest egg is the key here. You’ll want to start as early in the game as possible, to work off of the market’s long-term returns. You’ll also want to keep diversified, and stay away from any “gains goblins” that look like they’ll be good investments but will actually only serve to damage your portfolio.
If you have any interest in knowing more about these aspects in depth, we wrote a free guide exploring more on the topic. Or, if you want to try out building a longevity habit yourself, you can dive right into what Shanah can offer!