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Keep up to date with all the latest news in the life insurance industry at LifeInsurance.org.uk.

Long Marriage = Long Life? The World’s Longest Marriages

In a world where bets are placed on how long a celebrity hook-up will last and what the ensuing divorce date will be, it’d be easy to assume long-lasting marriage is a thing of the past. However, with lots of couples still reassuringly choosing to tie the knot and the new homosexual marriage law having been recently passed, more people than ever are committing themselves to one another.

Let’s take a look at the longest marriages of all time and speculate as to whether a strong marriage leads to a longer life:

Until death do us part

The longest ever recorded marriage was between Daniel Frederick Bakeman and Susan (nee Brewer) Bakeman, two New Yorkers with a passion for commitment. Mr Bakeman was born 9th October 1759 and Mrs Bakeman wasn’t too far behind him with a birthday of 2nd January 1758 and they married 29th August 1772.

Both of them lived to be over 100 years old (Susan died at the age of 105 and Daniel lived to be 110) and were married for a total of 91 years and 21 days.

The longest recorded currently living married couple is Karam Chand and Kartari Chand who currently live in Bradford here in the United Kingdom. The pair married in 1925 and are still going strong after 87 years together.

Does a happy marriage mean a longer life?

As reported in the Daily Mail, research has been published in the British Medical Journal suggesting that those who are married tend to live longer and may generally have a longer life expectancy.

Cardiff University academic John Gallacher reviewed the report and said: “Marriage and other forms of partnership can be placed along a sliding scale of commitment, with greater commitment conferring greater benefit.”

But what about those who do not marry, but cohabit in a long term relationship? Mr Gallacher said of these couples: “That marriage generally indicates a deeper commitment might explain why marriage is associated with better mental health outcomes than cohabiting.

“Cohabiting relationships tend to be less enduring. The most widely-accepted explanation is that being in a committed relationship means better social support is available.

“Commitment seems to provide networks of support and helpful relationships, beginning with the spouse or partner, leading to more healthy lifestyles and better emotional and physical health.”

How does this work?

The data would suggest that men and women gain separate things from a committed marriage, all of which can somewhat extend life expectancy.

Men are said to live healthier when married, which is an obvious way in which marriage can extend life expectancy. This is suspected to be due to the care of a wife who ensures they visit the doctor when sick, eat healthily and stay fit.

Women are said to live for longer due to mental health benefits. Many have suggested this is due to the pressure of society upon women to marry and, so, once they are married, they may feel less anxious and depressed.

All couples benefit from the social and material side of a marriage. There is less finance-related stress within a coupling than for a single person who must support themselves alone.

Living in a marriage also ensures both partners experience enough social interaction in their day-to-day lives – a must for mental well-being.

Photo courtesy of: bravenewtraveler

10 Computer Games that are Good for Your Brain

When you think of computer games, the image that’s most likely to pop up into your head is of kids spending hours sitting or lying down, staring at their TVs for hours on end. What you may not realise is that there are some games which can actually help you!

It’s well-known that a healthy mind can help boost life expectancy, but did you know that some computer games can actually help with that? Here are 10 top games that can do just that:

Tetris

This classic puzzle game is available on PCs, games consoles and smartphones. Regardless of the platform, it helps to keep you thinking about where the blocks will fit, and will boost your ability to make snap decisions.

Dr Kawashima’s Brain Training

First available on the Nintendo DS, this game has proved hugely popular with adults of all ages. Its simple puzzles and word games help to stimulate the mind even into old age.

Football Manager

Like the Championship Manager series that came before it, this game deals almost exclusively in stats. It helps with skills like money management and decision making, both of which are important in life as well as this football management simulator.

Pac-Man

It might be a little noisier than some other puzzle games, but this classic is every bit as good as Tetris, especially when deciding to choose which direction to go in to avoid being gobbled up!

Professor Layton

One for the whole family to enjoy, this puzzle game comes with a little added whimsy. It taxes your brain on so many different levels.

Tomb Raider

This classic adventure platform game is over 15 years old now and hasn’t dated one bit. You learn to make decisions, try to go up a level each time you play and it helps to keep you focused.

Pullblox/Fallblox

Broadly similar to Tetris, this game is made up of blocks that can be pushed around. The tasks involve placing them in the right place in each level, giving the mind a great workout in the process.

SpeedThru – Potzol’s Puzzle

Yet another puzzle game straight from Japan, this game shares more characteristics with Tetris, but shapes made of three to four blocks have to be pushed through holes in a short space of time.

MindQuiz: Exercise Your Brain

This simple quiz game is a must for anyone who wants to test their general knowledge. This is one for older gamers who have a PSP.

CrossworDS

For the Nintendo DS, this game is for anyone who likes crosswords but doesn’t want to buy the paper. This is a classic example of a game that can boost your brain power.

Photo courtesy of: Aldo Gonzalez from Miami Beach, US; Uploaded to Wikimedia Commons by JohnnyMrNinja

Unemployment could affect Life Expectancy in Scottish Youth

In all parts of the UK, it seems that youth unemployment is a growing concern, but some areas have been hit harder than most, Scotland being a prime example. The major consequence of being out of work, especially at a young age is not having enough money to eat and live healthily.

Health divide

The past five years have seen the number of under-25s out of work in Scotland double. This is one of the biggest possible indicators that the economic picture in the region remains gloomy, but what could it mean for the long-term health of Scottish youth? For someone to lead a healthy lifestyle, they should have a full-time job that pays a living wage.

This is little more than a pipe dream for many young people in Scotland, especially with job opportunities thin on the ground. Not having a job will mean less money to spend on healthy food, which could help to shorten life expectancy of many poorer people in the area, causing a growing health divide with other more affluent parts of the UK.

Shorter urban lifespan

In some of Scotland’s poorest areas, the average life expectancy for males is 68, well below the UK-wide average of 76. This is typical of inner-city areas of Glasgow in particular, which have been hit hardest by benefit cuts and rising youth unemployment.

A spokesperson at LifeInsurance.org.uk said: “The growing level of unemployment not just in Scotland, but across the whole of the UK, is a worrying trend. It ultimately means that young people who either have a family or are hoping to start a family in the near future may be subject to continued troubles later in life when it comes to protecting their financial security.

“The very nature of life insurance is such that it is much more affordable at a younger age, so the fact many of the UK’s youths are still struggling to find work is sad to see when you think about the future.

“It is not just age that is a factor on a life insurance policy, though. There will always be plenty of opportunities to cover your family when the economy takes a positive turn and more people can find jobs, so don’t worry if you are struggling financially now – individual circumstances are always taken into account.”

Wider poverty

According to theinformationdaily.com, mortality rates in Scotland for those suffering from serious illnesses like cancer are also higher than the national average. This hints at a problem that needs to be addressed sooner rather than later.

Poverty in Scotland varies in different parts of the country, but as child poverty affects as many as one in five, it shows that unless dramatic improvements in the economy take place and employment rates also improve, life expectancy could remain lower than the UK norm.

For a comparison of life expectancy in the UK and across the world, see a recent infographic of ours here.

Photo courtesy of: HelenCobain

Why John McClane would pay a Fortune for Life Insurance

New York Cop an Insurance Nightmare

John McClane may be a walking nightmare for his European enemies, but he’s not made any friends in the life insurance business either. The man appears to be magnetically drawn to explosions, gun fire, broken glass and huge drops, making him a huge liability when it comes to cover.

It all started out in 1988. Before then, he was just a downbeat New York cop with a full head of hair looking forward to getting home for Christmas.

The very last thing he wanted was to be a hero, but as his wife was quoted as saying: “That’s his job.”

Unlike Superman, McClane is not bullet proof, so exposing himself to machine gun fire was a pretty expensive risk to take, as was leaping through a window from the top of a sky scraper. Just to let you know, McClane: you cannot fly.

Evidence from this video would also suggest a medical condition that would be difficult to cover: every time McClane attempts to swear, something nearby explodes. It’s a rare condition and, as experience tells us, an expensive one to insure against.

1990 saw McClane attempt to swear so violently, he sapped an airport of its power.

He has shown a habit of finding his way around through building air vents, which puts his joints at a great risk of damage. His love of gunfire also puts him at a risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome, as well as shoulder and back pain.

This video shows evidence of McClane’s disregard for safety when driving. Damage to a snowmobile and a jumbo jet mean his car insurance is sure to soar, especially as he is known to park on the street rather than in a secure indoor location.

Events in 1995 prove that these occasions are not taken seriously by McClane or his friends. It is simply a game of ‘Simon Says’, which shows a certain level of immaturity, at least.

Damage to public property became increasingly frequent at this time. He terminated the service of several taxis, an underground train and a boat, not to mention various privately-owned vehicles.

By this point, even he looks tired of these antics and for several years we’d all assumed he’d gone into retirement.

This was not to be the case.

Despite having aged several years, McClane showed an immaturity greater than ever. Taking out a helicopter with a police car was just the beginning of the high-cost antics, alongside smashing cars, breaking bridges and indulging in a faceoff between a truck and a jet plane.

For vehicle and life insurance alone, experts have provided an estimate of £320,000 and it looks like this figure will only rise with news that sightings have been reported of McClane causing havoc around Russia.

Frankly, Mr McClane, we’re not going anywhere near you.

94% of Brits Feel that Wages Haven’t Risen with Inflation, Finds Survey

We recently conducted a Standard of Living survey of 1,000 people in the UK and uncovered, amongst many interesting things, that 94% of those people in the UK are unhappy about the level of pay increase they have seen in the last five years.

When quizzed about whether their wages had risen sufficiently to cover the cost of living, only 6% responded positively.

Furthermore, to suggest that there is still an imbalance in pay in some professions; men were three times more satisfied with their increase in salary in the last five years.

Consequently, more and more are turning to discount stores, charity shops and clothes and food banks to get by in the current economic climate, with 34% using the former for the first time.

A rather staggering statistic to arise from this research was that, on average, Londoners value gadget insurance higher than funeral insurance. Savings, pensions, home insurance and life insurance were consistently valued in the top four most important financial responsibilities in life.

Where can I find the data?

We have published the results of the Standard of Living study here. The data itself can be downloaded via a link at the bottom of the page.

Awesome Apps to Keep You Healthy

Back before smartphones and tablet PCs were invented, if you wanted to keep fit you had to use your imagination or simply go to the gym. Fortunately, technology has advanced so much that everywhere you look there are aids to help keep your mind and body in tip-top condition.

With that in mind, here are some of the best apps around to help keep you fit in all departments:

Nike Training Club

The American sportswear firm Nike created this app for the App Store and Google Play markets and it’s easy to see why.

Users can choose from over 100 custom-built workouts plus exclusive workout tips from celebrities like marathon runner Paula Radcliffe. It also comes with your own personal trainer and you can set it to your own music.

MyFitnessPal

This calorie counter app is a must for anyone who wants to lose weight. How it works is it calculates how many calories are in over two million different foods on its database, helping you to plan a less calorific and much healthier diet that could help you shed those excess pounds in next to no time.

RunKeeper

Over 14 million people have downloaded this running app. Making use of the GPS for your Android or iPhone, it works as a sort of personal trainer. Also, it monitors your heart rate and tracks how long you’ve been running or cycling for, as well as calculating pace and calories burned during your run/ride.

Mensa Brain Test for iPhone

Training of a different kind, this test will help to keep your mind sharp if you’re a student preparing for an exam. It’s tough to do, but if you like a challenge, this is the app for you!

Change4Life Healthier Recipes

Launched by the government as part of their Change4Life healthy eating campaign, this has tasty, cheap and healthy meal ideas that the whole family will love. The database has over 100 different recipes to choose from that are easy to follow and prepare, even if you’re not the greatest of cooks.

Photo courtesy of: Rance Costa

Study Shows that Smokers Who Quit Early Regain Life Expectancy

It’s well-known that smoking can have disastrous consequences for your health. According to NBC News, a recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine suggested that by quitting, smokers could regain years that could have been lost on their life.

A disparity of around a decade in the lifespan of smokers and non-smokers speaks volumes.

Smoking causes numerous health problems for those who do it on a daily basis. They include:

  • Respiratory diseases such as asthma and bronchitis which can last for a lifetime if not managed correctly
  • A build-up of tar in the lungs
  • Yellowing of teeth
  • Premature ageing
  • In extreme cases, cancer

An extra 10 years

Some experts believe that quitting smoking before the age of 40 could add on average of 10 years to someone’s lifespan. This is a huge difference and acts as a major incentive for anyone to try and give it up. However, quitting while in the prime of life is essential to live longer.

Giving up smoking at 35 or younger is seen as the best thing to do. To try and avoid early death, quitting before that milestone is essential to try and regain all those years. Those who quit between 35 and 44 will gain back nine years, with older people gaining less life expectancy back as they’ve smoked for longer.

Quitting – a real lifesaver

Anyone taking out life insurance will wonder when they will need it. For smokers, giving up sooner rather than later will improve their chances of living for longer, meaning that they can increase their fund for their family.

As they’re likely to live longer, they will be able to leave more behind to pay for funeral costs, mortgage payments and even for the general cost of living.

It seems like a no-brainer, but quitting smoking can be hard. Fortunately, there are a number of aids available and if you’re thinking of giving up, make sure you think about your life expectancy.

Photo courtesy of: SuperFantastic

Five Winter Warming Recipes

Five Winter Warming Recipes

British winters are notorious for being cold, wet and harsh. After shivering at a freezing bus stop waiting for your commute home from work, there’s nothing better than sitting down to a delicious hot meal to warm your cockles. Let’s take a look at five of the best winter warming recipes out there…

Toad in the hole

Toad in the hole is an absolute winter classic and once you’ve mastered the art of Yorkshire pudding batter, it’s really simple. Whether you want to make it really basic, or jazz it up with herbs and rich onion gravy, it will provide all the sustenance you need after a long, hard day.

Smoked fish pie

Smoked fish pie is a delicious and adaptable meal that all the family loves. You can make it as easy or complex as you like, use whatever fish takes your fancy and quite easily make a low-calorie version should you feel the urge!

Spicy parsnip soup

Soup is one of the easiest and most delicious things you can make from scratch and it takes no time whatsoever! Spicy parsnip soup can make a great starter at a winter dinner party, or a satisfying lunchtime meal with crusty bread.

Sweet potato gumbo with cornbread is a great vegetarian option that veggies and meat eaters will adore alike. Slightly spicy and very southern, it’s comfort food at its best and while it’s warming you up, there are fewer calories to be had thanks to the replacement for meat. Happy days!

If you’re looking for a hearty and delicious dessert, caramelised apple topping and cinnamon cake uses all the best winter ingredients to make the perfect dessert. The rich yet light sponge base perfectly complements the stick, crunchy apple crust and will call to mind the toffee apples of your youth.

Photos courtesy of:

Annie Mole

humbert15

stu_spivack

How to Stay Safe in the Sun in 2013

Jiroemon Kimura knows a thing or two about living a long and healthy life and his main credit for this goes to plenty of sunlight.

If you have never heard of Kimura, that’s a surprise because he holds not one, not two, but three world records.

At 115, he is the world’s oldest man, the oldest living person in the world and the longest living man on record.

As you will know if you check out our Age of the Aged infographic, Jeanne Calment is the official oldest person to have ever lived at 122 years and 164 days, meaning that Kimura still has some years to go to make it a clean sweep of world records.

Even so, Kimura has lived an incredible life and has five children, 14 grandchildren, 25 great grandchildren and 13 great great grandchildren.

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Healthy Living: Greece vs UK

As a follow up to our Age of the Aged infographic, we are putting the spotlight on a country with one of the highest life expectancies in the world and comparing it to the UK.

Even despite the economic strife that they are currently enduring, the people of Greece are expected to live on average to the age of 80.4. That figure has risen by nearly 12 years since 1960.

Of course, it’s nigh on impossible to tell whether or not the current climate will have an adverse effect on the average life expectancy of the Greek people in the future, but they are currently enjoying longer lives at the moment as a result of their diet, natural environment and lifestyle.

According to a recent article by the BBC, the people that live on a small Greek island called Ikaria are expected to live more than 10 years longer than their fellow western Europeans.

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