Five Simple Things That Increase Your Lifespan

It is no secret that a healthy lifestyle has a significant impact on your well-being and the earlier you implement a healthy lifestyle strategy, the greater the potential benefit regarding your longevity. Your lifespan can be increased by as much as 14 years for a woman and 12.2 years for a man according to the American Heart Association’s journal Circulation study. The United States is one of the wealthiest countries in the world, but according to the World Health Organization, it ranks about 53rd in life expectancy from birth compared to other developed nations, according to 2015 data.

What are these five lifestyle habits? The first is leading a non-smoking life and the second is not subjecting yourself to other people’s second-hand smoke. If you have ever been a smoker, find a way to quit. Try hypnotherapy, patches, gum – whatever it takes – but figure out a way to stop smoking. Breath is life, and without a healthy respiratory system, you are shortening your lifespan. If you do not smoke now or never have, that is great! Stay on that path and do not subject yourself to other people’s smoking.

Exercising for 30 minutes each day is imperative for longevity and coincides with the third thing you can do to extend your lifespan.  Maintain a healthy body mass index (BMI). The best and easiest daily exercise is to walk. If you are currently out of shape and 30 minutes a day seems unachievable, then begin with 10 minutes. Make a plan and increase your time to 20 minutes as you become more physically able to do so. By the time you are ready for 30 minutes of daily exercising, be sure that your pace is moderate to vigorous. Walk every day in the morning at a set time and make it your routine. Walking will help you lose weight, gain muscle, and reduce your body mass index.

The fourth and fifth things to do are eat a healthy diet and consume only moderate amounts of alcohol. Healthier foods are generally found on the outskirts of your supermarket and include fresh fruits and vegetables, dairy and eggs, as well as lean meats. The inside aisles of a supermarket are packed with food products, not real food. Much of this food is so over processed and chemical-laden that it is not healthy to eat. Consuming moderate levels of alcohol is defined as one drink a day for women and two for men. Adopting a new healthier lifestyle can include days where you choose not to have an alcoholic beverage. If you have fallen into excessive drinking patterns, make changes today. The liver is a restorative organ and can heal itself if excessive damage has not been done.

If these five healthy life choices are something you already do or are willing to implement in your lifestyle and you do add 12 or 14 years to your life expectancy, what if you don’t have the money to survive those additional years? The Social Security Administration says that about one in four Americans 65 or older today will live past age 90 and one out of ten will live past 95. Where will the money come from if you live another decade or longer? Health care costs are skyrocketing and assisted living facilities are expensive. Unless you are already financially independent, 60 is the new 50 and retirement may not come as soon to you. You can make adjustments to your life today that will help you to become more financially fit just as you can make changes to become more physically fit and extend your lifespan.

Saving money aggressively and developing the habit of spending less is possibly the single best way to stretch your retirement assets. Learn to live below your means. Beyond being thrifty, change your trajectory regarding your investment strategy. Talk to a trusted financial advisor to see if you need to shift any investment strategies.

While longevity can only be estimated and everyone will have their own life expectancy experience, increased awareness of healthy lifestyle choices are changing the way seniors are approaching aging. Your longer lifespan will require adequate funding which can be achieved by frugal spending habits, possibly delaying your retirement, and thinking differently about conventional investment strategies in senior years. Getting sound and trusted advice about longevity and your financial aging strategy can bring you peace of mind as well as financial security. Contact our office today and schedule an appointment to discuss how we can help you with your planning.

The Surprising Health Risks of Hearing Loss

The findings from a 10 year study by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) have reported a link between hearing loss and health risks. The risks include a 50% greater risk of dementia, a 40% greater risk of developing depression and a nearly 30% higher risk of accidental falls. While hearing loss is becoming more prevalent in younger people due to the use of earbuds and noise pollution, it is the elderly population who are more quickly and significantly affected by adverse health risks because of their loss of hearing.

There is a wide range of reasons that account for loss of hearing. Some are genetic while others include noise exposure, medications, head injuries, and infections. While hearing loss is a frustrating experience for those who have it, along with their loved ones, the worst option is to ignore the condition. The sooner your hearing is tested, the better your ability to proactively save yourself from associated health risks due to hearing loss. According to Johns Hopkins University, brain scans indicate that loss of hearing has even been associated with more rapid rates of brain atrophy.

One of the first symptoms of hearing loss is trouble detecting high-pitched or soft sounds. This form of hearing loss is associated with stereocilia, which is the damaging of the fragile hair cells that convert sound waves into electrical signals your brain can understand. For example, high-pitched sounds might include children’s voices while soft sounds include phone conversations or background noise in a restaurant. If you are having any trouble hearing these softer or high-pitched sounds, make an audiologist appointment for a hearing assessment to get a baseline reading. Loss of hearing contributes to social isolation and the longer you wait to address hearing loss, the greater the risk of cognition problems. Meaning, you may hear the words but not be able to process their meaning.

Other than cost, there is no downside to hearing aids anymore. They are discreet, easy to learn how to use, and professionally adjustable over time to compensate for increased hearing loss. Once you factor in the cost of a potential fall, increased risk of dementia, social isolation and depression, the cost of a hearing aid is comparatively minimal. If your hearing loss is profound already, there are cochlear implants, which are devices implanted into the inner ear to stimulate the auditory nerve. These devices can help to restore sound perception in adults with more extreme hearing loss. Your walking motor skills are dependent upon your hearing to pick up subtle cues that help you maintain your balance. Hearing loss mutes these critical cues and makes your brain work harder to pick up sounds, which can then interfere with some of the mental processes needed for safe walking.


While it is not yet proven that treating hearing loss can prevent dementia, unintended falls, or social isolation and depression, it is important to investigate as more than two-thirds of adults over the age of 70 have significant hearing loss that can impact their everyday quality of life. Older adults with hearing problems left untreated also incur substantially higher overall costs of health care. At the ten-year mark of untreated hearing loss in an older adults, the incidence of hospitalization increases by 50% or so. There are also higher rates of hospital readmission and an increased likelihood for emergency room visits when compared to those elderly adults without hearing loss.


Communication between patient and health care provider is also problematic for those adults with hearing loss. A patient has less participation in their health care plan and can often become confused as to their diagnosis and possible courses of action for treatment.  Also, following instructions post appointment or hospital discharge can be problematic. Costs associated with untreated hearing loss have prompted both health care companies and insurers to find better ways to serve patients with hearing loss.


Nearly 27 million Americans age 50 or more have hearing loss while only one in seven uses a hearing aid or implant device. Hearing is often the most overlooked of the five human senses: taste, sight, touch, smell, and sound. Your ability to hear is incredibly important and the longer you put off addressing a hearing problem, the greater the possibility of associated adverse health events. Make good hearing part of your overall plan to age successfully. Like retirement planning and elder law planning, the sooner you address the issue, the better the outcome will be. Contact our office today and schedule an appointment to discuss how we can help you with your planning.

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