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A new government website is encouraging senior Australians to take a free online Life Check to see how well prepared they are for their future health, wealth and social wellbeing.

Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care Ken Wyatt AM, says that the average life expectancy is currently 82.5 years and by 2050 there is projected to be more than 40,000 centenarians throughout Australia.

“Taking a Life Check means having more choices for a longer life,” said Minister Wyatt.

“We should be aiming to live well to 100 or more. We’re already living 25 years longer than we did a century ago and we owe it to ourselves, our families and the nation to live the best we can.”

The online Life Check covers four areas that research has shown are keys to our wellbeing: health, work, finance and social life. There are two checks available – one for people aged 45 to 64 and the other for those aged 65 and older.

The idea behind Life Checks is to give people an idea about how they’re tracking in areas that are shown to make a big difference in later life and follow this up with tangible resources to help people make improvements if needed.

“Life Checks aim to provide Australians with a clear picture of how they are currently tracking and how they can prepare for the next stages in their lives,” Minister Wyatt said.

“Just taking the quiz is a positive step, offering encouragement and accessible resources to improve things you may want to change to help futureproof your life.

“They are totally private and no personal information is stored at any time during the Life Checks process.”

Minister Wyatt said the financial questions within Life Checks will reveal how well people are prepared financially for potentially living a longer life.

“An important aspect of Life checks is assessing people’s financial preparedness for the future,” said Minister Wyatt.

“Four in 10 Australians over the age of 55 do not have a financial plan for the next five years, with even fewer people having a plan that extends beyond that.

“Options for employment are also included, whether the focus is to keep earning or to stay involved in the community.

“With so many types of work available and flexible working arrangements, retirement is no longer the only choice.”

The health area of the quiz focuses on risk factors for preventable disease, with research showing that nearly nine out of 10 people over 65 are living with at least one of eight chronic diseases.

Social and community connections are also shown to be essential for healthy ageing, with engagement through some form of work, volunteering or community activities giving people a strong sense of purpose.

With goal setting at the top of many of our minds as we enter the new year, Life Checks could be a good way to get your future planning on track or at least give you some food for thought. To take a Life Check, visit the Life Checks website.

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Belinda Peters
Belinda brings more than 17 years experience in journalism to her role as Seasons Digital Content Writer. As our blog editor, Belinda will take the confusion out of aged care with entertaining and informative stories from across the aged care industry and our Seasons communities.