Typically, most people do not expect to live to 100. Some of us who have long-life traits in their ancestry might think it’s possible, but for most of us, we’ll be happy with 90. What’s interesting in the 21st Century, however, is that becoming a centenarian is more realistic than you may have imagined. What was once considered medically impossible is no longer the case, and many people are living to be 100 or more.
The Census results for 2010 make this argument even more compelling. It revealed that there were more than 50,000 U.S. citizens that have reached the milestone of 100 years of life. Even though many are suffering from illnesses and ailments that most seniors deal with, over a third of these centenarians continue to live at home, and 25 percent are cognitively intact.
If you are concerned about living to 100, or if 100 is your goal, your lifestyle and diet must support your efforts of survival.
- Your Exercise : The human body was not designed to be sedentary. We can burn calories through regular exercise while remaining fit and mentally sharp. Most of us remember Jack Lalanne, who was 96 when he died as a result of pneumonia. Exercise kept him healthy and happy until then.
- Your Diet : What you eat and how you eat it makes a considerable difference in your physical and mental well-being. Researchers have found that people in countries where the diet is primarily fish, vegetables, and fruit, have a much better chance of living longer than those who consume fatty meats and processed foods.
- Your Stress Level: Believe it or not, most Americans don’t particularly care for their jobs, but many put their jobs before their health. Doing what you love and keeping a balance between working and relaxing will go a long way toward reducing stress and staying healthy.
- Your Meals away From Home: Americans that eat out frequently are typically less healthy than those who do not. Most popular restaurants are not as concerned about your health as they are about how much you’ll spend. Eating at home allows us to be in control over the food we eat and how it’s prepared.
- Your Partner in Life: Who you share your life with is very important. According to a Duke University study, married couples or those in a partnership, tend to live longer than single people.
- Your Teeth: Yes, your teeth are very important to your overall health. People who brush and floss two or more times per day have healthier teeth, which reduces the risk of heart disease, dementia, and stroke.
Long-term Financial Planning
When we consider living to 80, 90, or 100-years-old, it’s important to prepare and plan for our financial future. When working is no longer an option, we will need a retirement fund so that we can continue to live comfortably and not becomes a burden to our family or friends if we live to 100. Most of us would be unable to do this with only a Social Security benefit, so we must make additional plans and start saving now to be able to enjoy tomorrow. Doing this sooner, rather than later, makes it a lot easier to achieve our retirement goals.
While many people implement a retirement plan on their own, others will hire a professional to design a plan that they can afford and manage. Thankfully, since the financial planning industry has become so competitive, hiring a financial planner to help design and manage a retirement plan that will help you meet your needs, has become more affordable as technology evolves.
Preparing to Depart
Even if your goal is to outlive many friends and family, and live to 100, it is important to prepare for the expenses that are involved when you leave this world. The fact that you will one day pass away and leave expenses behind you makes it incumbent upon you to prepare for these costs in advance, especially knowing that life insurance costs more every year you wait to get a policy in place.
For those who want to be positive that a death benefit will be there when your surviving loved ones need it, you should consider buying permanent life insurance (e.g., whole life, universal life) because it provides a death benefit for your lifetime and the rates can never change when you become older or sick. Although term insurance is much more affordable, there is a very good chance that you’ll outlive your policy and then unable to afford it at renewal.
An even more affordable scenario would be to have a whole life policy that will cover the costs of your funeral and other final expenses, and also a term policy that will cover your debts at a much more affordable rate. Think of it as your term insurance covers living expenses, and your whole life policy covers your final expenses if you live to 100. Remember, a moderately priced funeral will cost at least $10,000, and you certainly don’t want to leave your final expenses to surviving loved ones.
It is Never Too Late
Like many others, you may have consistently put off taking care of purchasing life insurance until your later years. There’s no need to worry because your age and health condition is unlikely to affect your ability to purchase coverage, although your rates will be higher for putting it off.
Most insurers that offer final expense insurance will accept applicants up to 85-years-old and not require a medical exam or a laundry list of health questions. These non-medical policies, also referred to as guaranteed issue, are typically issued quickly and without any medical requirements, but have a waiting period before a full death benefit is paid if death results from natural causes.