Retirement Weekly: Want to live to 100? Here’s the No. 1 predictor you’ll make it.

by | Sep 29, 2023 | Stock Market

What’s the secret to longevity? Take a guess. If you said genes, wealth, fame or high IQ, try again. Yes, healthy habits and environmental factors play a critical role. But there’s an even greater predictor of health and happiness in later life: the quality of your relationships.

The Harvard Study of Adult Development began in 1938, when researchers started tracking 268 Crimson sophomores. Among the early participants: future president John F. Kennedy and Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee. It’s one of the longest longitudinal studies in the world. And it has found that having close relationships is the best predictor of longevity—and helps delay mental and physical decline. That’s reassuring for retirees who are surrounded by loving family and friends. But what if you’re isolated—or estranged—from loved ones? “People do better when they have close relationships,” said Mark Sichel, a licensed clinical social worker in Austin. “And if you can’t have close relationships with family, you can create a second family with close friends.” For retirees who have drifted apart from family members, reconciliation has its benefits. Aside from boosting your odds of living longer, there’s joy in re-establishing a s …

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