Hoping to Join the Centenarians Club One Day?
by: Smith and Howard Wealth Management
We wanted to do an article on the rising population of Centenarians in the United States. Being the eldest member on the SHWM team I was graciously elected, as if this distinction made me an expert. I will say the research was interesting. Just eating yogurt is not the reason people live beyond age 100.
A study by Boston University School of Medicine put it best in their New England Centenarian Study. It’s not “the older you get, the sicker you get” but rather “the older you get, the healthier you’ve been.” This does not only mean physically but mentally as well. According to the study, in 2010 there were about 80,000 individuals who reached or surpassed the grand age of 100. Overwhelmingly, women made up the largest percentage of this group at 85%. It has gotten a little better for men if we rely on a 2013 U.S. News/Money article which states women are now only 83% of this group. Most Centenarians live in urban areas of the U.S.
Theories of why people reach and pass the centennial mark are many – with a healthy diet and a positive outlook being at the top of the list. The Boston University study mentioned above identified some commonalities among centenarians such as: few were obese, smoking was rare and they handle stress better than most. Also their genetic make-up played a strong role, as many had parents or grandparents that reached a very old age. Factors that did not appear to play a significant role were education, socio-economic status or race.
An article in Forbes by Lynn Peters Alder (7 Life Secrets of Centenarians) stated that one in 26 baby boomers will reach the age of 100. While the odds are that few of us will become a Centenarian, many of us will reach age 85, 90 or even 95. This means once we retire we could still live for 20, 30, 35 years or more. How do we pay for this? The place to start is with a strategy. Below are some ideas you may have heard before but they make sense and are worth revisiting.
Once you have your budget and are saving, are you saving smart? Here are some tips to help maximize what goes into your pocket:
Apparently there’s more to reaching Centenarian status than eating yogurt. Remember the Dannon television commercials some years ago where people as old as 150 or more were shown? Well that wasn’t quite accurate. The people in the commercials were in the Russian Caucasus region where, truth be known, people would take on the name and identities of their parents, aunts or uncles. The oldest verified person died in 1997 at the amazing age of 122. Still a respectable age if you can afford it.
As wealth managers and “Your Family’s CFO”, we help you prepare to possibly join this small but growing group. Please contact me at [email protected] with questions or if we can be of service.
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