57% of retirees worried about their health

mental aging

Expat retirees have many opportunities to keep their brains active. Source: Pepo (sxc.hu)

Staying physically and mentally active in old age is linked with improved health and mental well being. Retirees who move abroad will find new diets and different activities are on offer to help maintain good health.

Research conducted by the insurance provider MetLife, found that 57% of retired people have become more worried about their health, or that of their partner’s, since retiring. For those people above 75 this figure rises to 73%.

According to UK government statistics the average 65 year old man is expected to live to 83 and the average 65 year old women to live to 85.6 years. With increasing life expectancy and worries about health in old age many retirees are taking steps to stay mentally active once they stop work.

Retirees returning to school

There have been many studies that have suggested keeping mentally active as you age decreases the chance of Alzheimer’s disease. There is still a question of how big a part it plays but any form of mental exercise should be encouraged.

Many people are returning to the classroom, either as a teacher or a student, when they retire. As an expat this offers the obvious choice of language learning and teaching. Moving abroad offers the perfect opportunity to go back to school and learn a new language.

For expats who prefer being on the other side of the desk, teaching English as a foreign language is something much in demand around the world. Offering private lessons or joining an academy part time will give flexible hours and the chance to keep your brain active.

“A variety of things is important. People should try certain things because it couldn’t hurt and may be good.” Dr Arthur Toga, a professor of neurology at the University of California told the New York Times.

“Retaining lots of social interaction is really important. It involves so much of the brain. You have to interpret facial expressions and understand new concepts.”