Retirement Ages Around The World

Written by Carol Trehearn

As we get older, we start to think about retirement. Not just when we will retire, but how we will, what we will do with ourselves and where we will end up. Around the world, retirement ages are very different, however. Some of us may have to stay working a lot longer before we can get to take some much-deserved time off.

Looking after yourself once you’re retired

While ages may vary across countries in terms of retiring age, we all still have the same concerns when it comes to where we’re going to live and thrive. For some, with lower retirement ages, it’s possible to continue living in our own homes, enjoying our new-found free time and going on holidays, taking up new hobbies or hanging out with friends.

Countries with older retirement ages may not be so lucky. by the time you’re able to retire, you may not want to be fending for yourself or living alone. Places like Brandywine Senior Living make retirement a much more pleasurable option as it provides full care to retirees. With options like this available, retiring can be a hugely enjoyable, and social life experience!

Many actively retired people opt to move home to a different region or even a different country once they have retired. In America, Florida is often seen as the retirement state. Many people move here from other states as retirement income is not subject to taxation. There is no state income tax here either, meaning that retirees who want to take on a part time job to keep them occupied take home more of their money too.

For Brits, Spain is viewed as an excellent place to retire to. Living costs are cheaper, meaning that British retirees find that their money will go further. There is a good healthcare system in place and the UK is only two hours away by plane, which makes visiting friends and family a lot easier. The weather is also a contributing factor, with Spain enjoying a much warmer climate than the UK.

Retirement across the world

When it comes to the differing ages for retirement around the world, a lot of it is actually linked to life expectancy. For instance, with an increased life expectancy in a particular country, by default, the retirement age will also rise, meaning you’re going to have to work that little bit longer until you hit it. Across Europe, retirement is generally 65 years.

Europe

Traditionally, state retirement has been seen as a ‘golden goodbye.’ In the UK, retirement for men was set at 65 in the late 1940s as men lived until the age of 68 on average. This meant that they could enjoy their retirement for three years before they died. However, with people increasingly living longer, the state retirement age has been increasing across Europe to keep in line with this to some extent and to save the governments money.

France, Spain, and Germany are all about to raise their retirement age up to 65-67 with the UK already beating out all of them with an average retirement age of 68. But if you want to see the oldest retirement can go, take a look at Norway that has a retirement age of up to 75 for men!

Asia

Some of the youngest retirement ages can be seen in the Asian continent. For example, in Bangladesh, the retirement age is 59 and in Sri Lanka, people retire at the age of 55.

What about the US?

Currently, the United States is one of the countries that does not split the genders when it comes to retirement. Despite being a rather large country, the retirement age is the same across all states, sitting at 66 years. Unlike some of the other countries that are seeing big jumps, it’s projected the US retirement age will rise to just 67.

Gender dependent retirement age

It’s also interesting to note that the retirement age will also differ depending on gender. For years, women retired at a much younger age than men. However, with the increasing rise in the retirement age, likely, women will soon be retiring at the same age as men. Yet, currently, most countries have a three to five-year age difference in retirement.

For example, Austria’s women can retire at a mere 60 years old, whereas their men have to stick it out until 65! Interestingly, some countries have flipped this around. Australia, for instance, has a retirement age of 58 for men, but 66 for women! However, most countries are planning on phasing this difference out over the years, offering equal retirement across the board.

In the past, a woman’s retirement age was not seen in the same way as a man’s because historically they were less likely to work and more likely to retire when their husbands did. As traditionally women married men who were a few years older than them, this meant that giving them a lower retirement age made sense from this perspective. However, biologically, women have always lived a few years longer than men, which meant that they received a pension for longer than men. From this perspective, it was more expensive for governments to administer.

In the modern age, governments are reviewing retirement ages in line with gender equality rather than longevity or social factors.

Chosen retirement age

It is not compulsory in most countries to adhere to state retirement age. People will receive a state pension at a government set age, but many are choosing their own ways of funding retirements through pensions or investments. This means that they are more able to make their own decisions about what age they retire at, because they are not as dependent on receiving a state income and they can retire early if they want to. It is also common for people to carry on working in retirement. Some people do this as they do not feel physically ready to retire, whereas others want the additional financial security that working in retirement can offer them.

Can Video Games Improve Memory and Prevent Cognitive Decay?

Written by Philip Hargrove

The risk of reduced cognitive function and poor memory increases as one ages. Often, the culprit behind this is the development of neurodegenerative disease (e.g., dementia).

Regular physical activity was long viewed as the primary form of prevention of these conditions. However, recent research suggests that mental exercise is just as important.

Playing video games has shown potential in slowing or preventing cognitive decline. Ever since this discovery, computer, smartphone, and tablet-based games have been gaining popularity with the senior demographic.

· The impact of aging on brain function

The aging process is inextricably linked with some mental decline. As we age, the numbers of neural synapses in the brain decrease. The latter is imperative to cognitive function and memory.

Also, neuro-degenerative conditions, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, are more prevalent with the elderly. These diseases may cause debilitating mental decline among seniors.

The good news is that lifestyle changes and adjustments can combat some of the cognitive decline. Getting enough sleep, drinking less alcohol, and staying physically active are a few examples.

Aside from this, stimulating the mind is of paramount importance too. Some beneficial mental challenges include learning a new language or a skill, pursuing education, and playing some types of video games.

· Studies Reach Various Conclusions

Several prominent universities have researched the relationship between video games and cognitive function in the past few years. The conclusions vary, but overall, it seems that they are in favor of games.

A Canadian study done by the University of Montreal recruited 33 individuals aged 55 to 75. The test group was then separated into three smaller groups.

One group was asked to play Super Mario 64 five days a week, another to practice piano, and the last one wasn’t given any task. After six months, the participants underwent an MRI scan.

The researchers concluded that only the group participants who played Super Mario had an increase in grey matter volume. Also, they reported improvements in their short-term memory.

It’s vital to point out that Super Mario 64 is a 3D game. When playing it, the brain creates a mental representation of the map that it’s exploring in the game. This kind of stimulation increases functional activity as well as grey matter in the hippocampus.

A systematic study from 2012 suggests that video games enhance reaction time, processing speed, and overall cognition in older adults (55 years old on average).

The improvements of all three mentioned parameters were consistent across most of the reviewed studies. However, the results on two other tested parameters – memory and executive function – varied. In other words, older adults who played games didn’t experience significant improvements in these two aspects of cognition.

This implies that video games may not be effective in enhancing memory. In the end, this systematic study concluded that more research needs to be done on the subject.

· Games that yield the most benefits

According to the Entertainment Software Association, 25% of people over 50 regularly play video games. And yes, the percentage is on the rise.

As video games are becoming increasingly popular among the older adult population, the market is getting flooded with new releases. This oversupply makes it challenging to decide which games to go for.

You don’t want to play just any game, but those that produce the most cognitive benefits.

Here are a few guidelines on what to look for:

· Games that teach you new information

Our brain’s storage capacity is practically unlimited. Learning new information can strengthen and expand the existing neural pathways.

If you’re a history buff, look for a game that can further enrich your knowledge. There are even games that can teach you a language or a skill like programming.

Of course, you can indulge in “brain resting” classics like Solitaire or puzzles, but don’t make them the bulk of your playing time.

· 3D games

As explained previously, video games with 3D graphics challenge the brain in a beneficial way. Think of it as exploring new territory and thus acquiring new information.

World of Warcraft, a popular multiplayer online game, has been said to boost cognitive ability. This discovery was made in 2012 by researchers from North Carolina University.

The game didn’t help all seniors who participated in the study, though. It only helped those who performed poorly on cognitive ability tests before playing it.

· Consoles that make you move your body

Gaming consoles such as Nintendo Wii engage the player physically and mentally. Since both are important for cognitive function, think of it as killing two birds with one stone. They may aid seniors in improving coordination, balance, and reflexes.

Final thoughts

Based on the available data, it appears that video games can be useful in warding off cognitive decay in aging individuals. However, many of the studies that deal with this subject matter are incomplete. More research is definitely needed with larger samples.

Instead of solely relying on video games for improving cognitive function and memory, one should enjoy them interchangeably with other activities.

How Can Wise Investments in the Stock Market Help You Retire?

Written by Becky Wilcox

The stock market is the home for wise investors. With the right companies, your money will grow over time with inflation. When you keep your money in the bank, it stays frozen. Certain stocks pay dividends and you will share the spoils of their success. You work hard for your money. At some point, you want your money to work hard for you. Analyst ratings today can be very accurate, so stay on top of the news before you make your financial decisions.

The Importance of Planning Early for Your Retirement

Thinking about your retirement early is one of the most important preparations you can make. As soon as you enter the workforce, you should be thinking about your retirement. When you are young, time moves slow. As you get older, time is on steroids. It doesn’t take much to get the ball rolling to establish your nest egg. Saving ten percent of your income adds up over the years. Doing your research online and talking to professionals can give you some confidence. Your retirement years can be the best years of your life if you take the right preliminary steps. But remember, it is never too late to get your affairs in order.

World News and the Stock Market

The stock market flows with the tone of the news. Whatever happens in the world reflects on the market. The thing is, the whole market does not react the same. Certain news can make one sector do good while that same news makes another sector do bad. COVID-19 is the big topic dominating the news right now. This news is affecting the entertainment sector in a negative way. At the same time, biomedical stocks are thriving right now.

It is a good idea to stay on top of current events when making your decisions regarding the market. If you are in the market for the long run, certain news events shouldn’t make you panic. As long as you invest in the right companies, they should stand the test of time.

Technical Analysis and the Stock Market

One of the best ways to study the stock market is through technical analysis. The way you do this is by studying charts of the chosen stock’s historical performance. There are many websites that give you this information on a daily basis. By studying past trends, you can make predictions of how the stock should perform in the future.

Technical analysis indicator tools can help you spot trends, so you can make good investments. These tools are add-ons that you can put on your chart reading software. Here are the names of some of the most popular indicators:

Bollinger Bands

MACD (moving average convergence divergence)

Aroon Indicator

Stochastic Oscillator

Relative Strength Index

How to Read a Stock Quote

When you do research on a stock, it is important to understand the information that is presented to you. At first glance, you will receive data that can give you a rough idea if you should deal with the stock or not. Here is a list of important information to look out for:

Market Cap: The market cap is the number of shares the stock has available multiplied by the price of the stock. The sum of this equation will tell you what the company is worth.

Average Volume: The average volume tells you how much activity the stock has on a daily basis.

Day Range: The day range tells you the lowest price and the highest price the stock hit within that day.

52 Week Range: The 52-week range tells you the lowest price and the highest price the stock hit within a year’s period.

Shares Outstanding: The shares outstanding tells you how many stocks the company has.

Public Float: The public float tells you how many share the company has available to the public.

EPS: This stands for earnings per share. The EPS tells you the profit on each stock.

P/E Ratio: The P/E ratio tells you the company’s share price compared to the earnings per share.

So, should you invest in stocks to prepare for your retirement? The answer is yes. The important thing to do is your research. With proper preparation, stock market investing can be very profitable.