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The real secret to a long life: Hard work

If you want to live well into your golden years, a decades-long study says hard work and a late retirement just might be the secret ingredients.With 90 years of research involving more than 1,500 Americans, researchers Howard Friedman and Leslie Martin found that many of the truisms about longevity are really myths. In their new book "The Longevity Project," the two say that optimism, marriage,

If you want to live well into your golden years, a decades-long study says hard work and a late retirement just might be the secret ingredients.

With 90 years of research involving more than 1,500 Americans, researchers Howard Friedman and Leslie Martin found that many of the truisms about longevity are really myths. In their new book "The Longevity Project," the two say that optimism, marriage, going to church, eating broccoli and strenuous exercise have little to do with how long you live.

The study, recently reported in USA Today, has identified five popular myths about longevity:

  1. Thinking happy thoughts reduces stress and leads to a longer life.
  2. Gardening and walking aren't enough to keep you healthy.
  3. Lighten up; being serious is bad for you.
  4. Take it easy and don't work so hard. You'll live longer.
  5. Get married and you will live longer.

"Everybody has the ideas — don't stress, don't worry, don't work so hard, retire and go play golf," Friedman told USA Today. "We did not find these patterns to exist in people who thrived." 

So what do you think? Are you ready to stop contributing to your 401(k) and give up your dreams of retiring early?