A newly published study done over the course of 14 years and following 6000 American adults has confirmed what I have always thought and seen to be true, that you live longer if you keep busy and have purpose.

My boyfriend’s Dad, Bob Spencer is the perfect example.  He is 79 years old and retired but by no means idol.  He is active in his church and gives rides each Sunday to many seniors, he makes family dinners for his adult kids so they can have a meal together several times a week, he volunteers at Leonard’s Mill building and fixing things all the time, plus a whole lot more and he is the healthiest senior I have ever known and a sure inspiration to me.  Sure genetics hasn’t hurt but good choices and a determination to be productive I think have done more.

In the study done by the Carlton University in Canada they found adults who spoke of having a purpose in life were more likely to still be around at the end of a 14 year study than those who considered themselves 'aimless.' Moreover, what the purpose is does not seem matter; just to feel there is one could be enough.

Their advice to you?  For those about to retire, they suggests you will live longer if they filled your days with activity rather than contemplate doing nothing after giving up work. For example, getting involved in voluntary work or taking on a long term project or even ticking off a bucket list that extends their longevity. Researchers feel this is in part to the fact that when you have aims and goals you make better day to day choices and tend to have a healthier lifestyle so your ambitions can be fulfilled.

They added that the younger you are when you set your targets, the more likely you are to start leading a healthier lifestyle earlier, it added.

A quote from Assistant Professor Patrick Hill said: 'Finding a direction for life, and setting overarching goals for what you want to achieve, can help you actually live longer, regardless of when you find your purpose. And, 'There are a lot of reasons to believe that being purposeful might help protect older adults more so than younger ones.

The study is published in the journal Psychological Science.