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Can you afford to live longer?

Poor health in retirement could cost you everything

Today, we are living longer than ever before, but millions of people still don’t know howto use this precious gift. There may not be such a thing as the Fountain of Youth, but because of modern advancements like clean water, less manual labour, improvements in sanitation, and a better diet, living for decades longer is not only a possibility - it has become a reality for most people.

OLD AGE IS MAKING HISTORY

Can you afford to live longer?By the year 2030, life expectancy in the UK is projected to spike even further. In more affluent areas of the country, male babies born in 2030 may live up to 85.7 years on average, and female babies may live up to 87.6 years.1 Based on 2012 statistics, the most recent year surveyed by Prevention and the CDC, a child born in America today has the potential to live the longest out of any other time in history - 76.4 years for men and 81.2 years for women, on average.2

Living longer is a relatively new concept that most of us are not prepared for. We have been taught to faithfully invest in our retirement funds, but we haven’t a clue how to invest in our health.

YOU CAN’T PUT A PRICE ON GOOD HEALTH

Without a plan, the gift of a long life could end up costing you thousands of dollars a month, as health inevitably declines. The older you get, the more likely you are to end up penniless if you are aging without nutritional support or a lifestyle plan. As the aging population grows larger in the UK, so do health care costs. It’s no coincidence that national debt, which has finally dropped to healthier levels, is expected to climb again in 2030 to support a boom in preventable health care costs for the older population.3

If you want to spend your golden years traveling and enjoying your family, it’s important to have a plan in place far before the first signs of age-related disease appear. Using a good health plan before and after retirement will ensure that you age gracefully, without wasting money on costly medical care:

1. Change your diet. Inflammatory foods feed inflammatory lifestyle diseases at an early age. Breads, pastries, cookies, rice, potatoes, parsnips, cereals, and wheat pasta (even organic grains and cereals) can be replaced with Really Healthy Foods, especially green vegetables at a recommended 9-14 servings per day. Some of the most common, and the most devastating, age-related diseases like dementia have been directly linked to a high-carb diet.4
2. Replace missing nutrients. There is one unfortunate fact about growing older that many of us do not want to hear - the body has a harder time digesting and absorbing essential nutrients. If there was ever a time to take a high-quality supplement to support daily health, it is now. Taking daily B vitamins can protect against one of the deadliest threats to the older population: heart disease. A large-scale Japanese study discovered that women with a diet high in vitamin B6 and folate (B9) were less likely to die from stroke and heart disease, while men were less likely to die from heart failure.5
3. Stay active daily. It is never too late to start exercising, especially if you want to stay mobile in that extra decade of your life. When University College London researchers assessed the health of 3,454 adults, average age 64, over an eight-year period, the benefits of exercise were clear - even for people who started exercising for the first time in their 60s. Regular, frequent exercise over four years increased the chances of living a healthy, disease-free life in old age by seven times compared to the sedentary adults in the study.6

If you’re not ready to close the final chapter yet, this is welcome news. Living a longer life doesn’t have to be a financial burden when you invest in your good health plan the way you invest in your retirement plan. Making a few simple lifestyle changes can set you up for the best possible outcome in old age.

 

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Sources
1. “UK Life Expectancy Expected to Rise to Late 80s by 2030.” Health News.
2. Frizell, Sam. “Americans Can Now Expect to Live Longer Than Ever.” Time Magazine.
3. Elliott, Larry. “Ageing UK population will increase strain on public spending, OBR warns.” The Guardian.
4. J Alzheimers Dis, 2012; 32: 329-39.
5. Renzhe Cui, Hiroyasu Iso, Chigusa Date,
Shogo Kikuchi, Akiko Tamakoshi for the Japan Collaborative Cohort Study Group. Dietary Folate and Vitamin B6 and B12 Intake in Relation to Mortality From Cardiovascular Diseases. Japan Collaborative Cohort Study. Stroke, 2010; DOI: 10.1161/STROKEAHA.110.578906.
6. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 2013; doi: 10.1136/bjsports-2013-092993.