This Valentine’s Day, you may see many commercials for jewelry, flowers, and nice dinners geared towards a younger crowd. Older Americans are underrepresented in media, despite holding a significant amount of wealth and buying power. And although you might not see yourself represented in traditional Valentine’s Day advertising, you probably celebrate in some way. Whether that’s by spending time with your spouse or loved ones, sending cards to friends and family, or just indulging in chocolates, there’s a lot to love about Valentine’s Day at any age. To put a new spin on the holiday, consider these 3 reasons to love aging this Valentine’s Day.
Aging Might Mean Expanded Brain Use
According to one Harvard professor, the brain uses more of itself as it ages. In one study, MRIs showed brain activity in a teenager, a middle-aged person, and an older person while they worked through a problem. For the teenager, the MRI showed activity on one side of the prefrontal cortex – the side of the brain used for conscious reasoning. For the middle-aged person, it showed some activity on the other side of the brain as well. For the older person, it showed both sides of the brain working equally.
A Longer Learning Process Followed by Better Function
Many studies show that matured brains have advantages. One study looked at air-traffic controllers and airline pilots. Those over 50 took longer to learn how to use new equipment than those who were younger. However, once everyone had mastered it, those over 50 made fewer mistakes while using it. If you ever become discouraged because you think you’re taking too long to learn something new, remember that this can pay off down the road.
An Older Brain May Be a Happier Brain
Many studies have shown that older people tend to have a more positive attitude than younger people. This may be because the amygdala, the area of the brain that deals with memories and emotions, changes with age and becomes less responsive to negative situations. This may explain why research shows that people seem to be more content with their lives as they age.
Hopefully, you’ll take these fun facts about aging to heart this Valentine’s Day. We value you and your brain, which is why we take the time to meet with all of our clients in person to discuss their vision for retirement. We know that everyone has different financial and retirement goals, and we can help you create a plan to suit you specifically. We can help you stay engaged with your finances throughout retirement – schedule a complimentary financial review to meet with us.