Last year, 105-year-old Dr. Hinohara died after making a life-long and significant impact on Japanese healthcare. Particularly, he studied longevity. In other words, what makes us humans live longer?
In 2009, he spilled the most critical elements of living a happy and healthy life to Japan Times, and it's incredible how similar his findings are with the bulk of the early retirement community.
It's these findings, and, in general, a focus on living a happy and productive life post-retirement, that is most important in longevity.
Energy comes from feeling good, not from eating well or sleeping a lot.
In other words, don't focus too heavily on what you should be doing. This doesn't mean we should purposely deprive ourselves of sleep. Naturally, that's stupid. Instead, focus on how you feel and do what feels natural to you. These insipid one-size-fits-all standards and procedures won't necessarily work well for everyone.
Okay, I totally suck at this part, though my wife more than makes up for my shortcomings in this area. I fly by the seat of my pants, free-wheelin' it as far as momentum will take me. I do admit that I could proooooobably use better planning skills, but that's why our marriage works so damn well. She picks up the slack where I leave a lot to be desired.
There is no need to ever retire, but if one must, it should be a lot later than 65.
Wait, what? Never retire?
No, that's not what Dr. Hinohara means. What I believe he means is, never retire from being productive, regardless of whether or not that productivity originates in a traditional office or from a full-time job. We need a purpose in our life, and if you can find genuine purpose without holding down a full-time job, then you're very much like me. And my wife. Our jobs were critical during the accumulation phase of our life, but now we're on to the next phase.
Share what you know.
Hmm … I try to do that on the blog and through discussion forums. I also did a question and answer post as well as spilled the beans in an FAQ.