My friend Larry loves Sudoku and plays it, he says every day. I hate the game but each to his own. The reason Larry loves Sudoku is because he is worried about his mental health. Are you worried about your mental sharpness declining faster than your Retirement savings, like my friend Larry? Fear not, because Retirement communities and companies have got you covered with brain fitness exercises, games, and classes. They promise to keep your memory intact, improve your attention span, and make you more productive than a squirrel on caffeine.

Apparently, these brain games are all the rage. In fact, the brain fitness market in 2009 had sales reaching a whopping $295 million. In 2021, it is worth about 4.2 Billion dollars. The market is primarily driven by the rising elderly population and an increased understanding of the need to preserve brain health. Retirement communities are also jumping on the bandwagon, with 60% offering some sort of mental acuity program. And let’s not forget the software developers who promise to keep your brain on point with personalized “training programs” and games that range from a few dollars to several hundred dollars.

But hold on to your hats, because experts say these exercises may not be worth the extra cash. In fact, they say there’s no firm evidence that these tailor-made brain games are any better than reading or doing a crossword puzzle. So, if you’re looking for an excuse to sit down and do the daily crossword, give your brain a workout without breaking the bank.

Despite the lack of scientific evidence, Baby Boomers are more concerned about staying mentally sharp than running out of money. And they’re significantly more afraid of losing their memory than they are of dying. So, it’s no surprise that they project the market for brain fitness products and services to hit $8 billion by 2025.

But before you shell out your hard-earned Retirement savings, remember the adage: if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. So, buyer beware!

Originally Published on

I served as a teacher, a teacher on Call, a Department Head, a District Curriculum, Specialist, a Program Coordinator, and a Provincial Curriculum Coordinator over a forty year career. In addition, I was the Department Head for Curriculum and Instruction, as well as a professor both online and in person at the University of Phoenix (Canada) from 2000-2010.

I also worked with Special Needs students. I gave workshops on curriculum development and staff training before I fully retired

Tagged: ,