Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Americans Living Longer, Fitter, Wealthier Lives

Surprise would be the adjective I'd used to describe myself after reading this blurb on NPR's web site; older Americans are living longer, with more money, and are more fit than prior generations.  I should probably qualify the adjective, pleasantly surprised.  According to the study cited, Americans live longer, are healthier, and have more money than prior generations of elders.  Better health is attributed to advances in cardiac and stroke health care, and more money is associated with the fact more women work (in advanced years) than ever before.

While there is still room for improvement on obesity rates, the news is refreshing.  If you are 65 today, you can expect to enjoy another 20 years of life.  Not quite as long as the number one ranked nation, Japan, where their current 65 year olds can expect to celebrate an 89th birthday.

So, if one makes it to 65, there is a good chance they'll close in on an 85th or 90th birthday.  With that advancement will come other social changes.  Later retirements, greater need for money tucked away for retirement, voting blocks.

As I make my way through another work week, I'm pleased to read some positive is too infrequent.


Anonymous said...

Lots more need for planning as well. Luckily, many of the current set of retirees had good pension plans and social security to provide steady incomes. But living longer means they will also have more property, more pieces of family history that they will want to keep track of and pass on to the next generation.

Have you covered how people can plan for passing on pictures or videos? Think of all the family trips and gathering that can now be digitally stored and available down the line.

Melinda Gustafson Gervasi said...

Thanks for reading! Another issue that is raised by folks living longer is them outliving people they may not have thought of. My grandparents for example are very fit 90 year olds, and sadly lost their oldest daughter (my aunt) to cancer. Often times older folks assume their kids will be able to help them out, and that may not always be the case.

I love your suggestion about photos and other digital heirlooms. Watch for a future post!