Weekend Reading: Good Genes Are Nice, But Joy is Better

This article appears as part of Casey Weade's Weekend Reading for Retirees series. Every Friday, Casey highlights four hand-picked articles on trending retirement topics and delivers them straight to your email inbox. Get on the list here.
Weekend reading relationships and longevity Weekend reading relationships and longevity
Weekend Reading

What lends to a happy, long life? While genes and taking care of your body are important factors, an ongoing Harvard study states it also draws down to how healthy your relationships are.


The power of partnership: According to research (spanning nearly 80 years), “Close relationships, more than money or fame, are what keep people happy…” Even more shocking, for those in their 50s, the level of satisfaction felt in relationships was a bigger predictor of physical health than cholesterol levels. On the other hand, loneliness can have a severe impact. Researchers found that “it’s as powerful as smoking or alcoholism.”

A recipe for longevity: The security found in strong relationships over time is a surprising longevity leverage. The study showed that even for married couples that experienced bumps in the road, an overall feeling of knowing they could count on their partner overpowered any conflict. Combined with physical activity, an absence of smoke/alcohol abuse, a method for managing stress, and continued learning, relationships are a prime factor for healthy aging.