Thursday, March 24, 2011

U.S. Life Expectancy Rising But Falling

Recently the media had a wonderful feel-good story about how the life expectancy in the U.S. has increased according to preliminary government figures from 78 years in 2008 to 78.2 years today. They were practically gleeful in their proclamation that a child born today can expect to live longer than ever in U.S. history.

But they weren't telling the whole truth, as usual. I could not find a media story that included the fact that our ranking in the world for longevity continues to fall. While our longevity rate has improved the rest of the world is improving even more and faster. It used to be the U.S. ranked #38 for longevity but according to the CIA's World Fact Book the current estimate would put us at #51, behind Taiwan and ahead of Bahrain. By comparison #1 Monaco has a life expectancy of 89.73 years.

As long as we're on the subject of living longer, did you know that 29% of our population 0r 65.7 people today are caregivers? That number is expected to continue to grow as our population ages. Caregivers spend around $5,500 out of their own pockets every year and out-of-state caregivers will spend even more, about $8,700. Those are serious numbers and the reason many people worry about the impact it will have on their own retirement. Planning for the future was never more important.

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