Showing posts with label life expectancy of Americans. Show all posts
Showing posts with label life expectancy of Americans. Show all posts

Saturday, December 30, 2023

Top Retirement Stories of 2023 - What Interested Baby Boomers the Most?

Once again, it is time to review the articles which interested retirees the most during the past year.  I was delighted to see that the article on volunteering was, by far, the most popular topic of the year.  This is so important because it is also a way that people can achieve other goals, such as postponing dementia and maintaining our mental health.  Other topics of interest this years included starting a business to help caregivers, saving Social Security by making a few small changes, eliminating the unfair WEP / GPO programs that reduce Social Security benefits for certain groups of people, learning how our political policies can affect our life expectancy, knowing what to expect if you are diagnosed with lung cancer and, finally, discovering the relationship between getting routing vaccinations and lowering our risk of dementia.  

These are a wide range of topics which interested my readers this year, and it shows that Baby Boomers continue to live active lives with varying interests throughout their lifetimes.  Below are the ten most popular articles on this retirement blog for 2023.  The links are included, so you can easily read them for yourself!

Volunteering on Vacation or in Retirement - Improve Your Life and the Lives of Others - This article was read more than twice as often as the second most popular article on my blog.  It lists several agencies which can help you find the right volunteer opportunity for you all around the world.  These experiences can be life changing, and I sincerely hope that this article inspired a number of people to do something fantastic with their lives!

Dementia - Are You Increasing Your Risk - As always, the topic of dementia also attracted many readers this year.  While some causes of dementia cannot be changed, there are certain behaviors which can substantially increase your risk, including our diet and leading a sedentary lifestyle.  Read more about what you can and cannot change to reduce your chances of getting dementia.

Help Senior Caregivers by Starting a Support Business - Have you ever thought about starting your own business?  Once area where there is a lot of demand is in the area of support businesses for people who are taking care of others.  There are a number of different services you could offer to family caregivers including counseling, transportation, caregiving assistance and food services, depending on your background and interests.  This article explains some of the practical considerations you need to consider in starting any new business. 

Can Social Security Be Saved? Yes With a Few Changes - This article offers practical, realistic solutions to saving Social Security for our generation, as well as for our children and grandchildren.  With the Social Security Trust Fund expected to run out of money within another 10 years, it is time that Congress stepped up and made the necessary changes.  This is more likely to happen if people understand what needs to be done, and make the effort to contact their Senators and U.S. Representatives and ask them to take action.  The alternative is that benefits could be cut at some point, which would simply force more people onto unfunded government programs such as welfare and food stamps.  That makes no sense at all.  Read the article and tell your government officials what you would like them do.   

Teachers, Public Employees, the WEP - GPO and Your Retirement - Did you know that public employees and teachers in about half the United States have their EARNED Social Security benefits cut by as much as 67% because they also get a public pension.  So, if they work as teachers or public employees, but spend part of their adult life working in the private sector, they get very little Social Security, even though they earned it.  In addition, this only happens in about half the U.S., because some states allow public employees to get their full earned Social Security benefits.  Learn more about this, and find out if your retirement benefits, or the benefits of someone in your family, could be affected.

Life Expectancy Differences Between Democrats and Republicans - Did you know that how you vote and where you live could make a dramatic difference in how long you might expect to live?  In fact, there is a 20 years difference in the life expectancy of Democrats who live in Democratic leaning counties, and Republicans living in Republican leaning counties, with Democrats having a life expectancy of 86 and Republicans having a life expectancy of 66.  This article comes complete with a long list of reference material at the end, so you can investigate the sources for yourself.  While this author is not a member of either political party, this information may give some readers something to consider the next time they go to the polls.  Do you really want to vote for candidates who have want to implement policies that could shorten your life or the lives of your loved ones? 

Lung Cancer Diagnosis - What Happens Next? - This article hit very close to home for me, since I was diagnosed with lung cancer in March of 2023, just six months after a close friend died of it.  Because I was so familiar with the topic, this article covers the symptoms, stages, treatments and resources to help lung cancer patients.  Having gone through this myself this year, I was particularly gratified to know that so many of my readers also were interested in learning more about the topic.  Unfortunately, that probably also means that many of my readers have either been diagnosed with cancer themselves, or have a loved one who has been diagnosed with it.

Maintaining Mental Health as We Age - One common issue with millions of Baby Boomers is that our mental health often declines as we age.  This article explains how to maintain our mental health through socialization, staying connected, eating right, exercise, getting enough sleep, finding hobbies, and seeking help.  Learn more about how to apply these methods in your life, so you do not fall into depression, anger, resentment and unhappiness as you get older, which happens to far to many of us.

Earn Extra Money During Retirement - Tips for Earning When You are Barely Scraping By - This article provides the reader with a variety of ways you can earn extra money when you are struggling to make ends meet on your Social Securityor pension alone.  These suggestions could also help people of all ages, and includes ideas like renting out unused space in your home, or earning money from your hobbies, as well as many others. Since so many people have trouble making ends meet, especially after they retire, these tips could make a huge difference in your life. 

Can Routine Vaccines Reduce Dementia Risk as You Age? What Else Can Lower Your Risk? - This article is based on several fascinating studies which show a correlation between getting routine vaccines, like those for the flu and shingles, and having a lower risk of developing dementia.  The studies have taken place in different states and nations, and they all seem to show the same result.  It is certainly worth considering.  Read more about the studies for yourself in this article. 

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Thursday, April 7, 2022

Baby Boomer Life Expectancy - How Long Are You Likely to Live?

No one can tell you exactly how long a specific person is going to live, but we can make a reasonable guess.  By considering your current age and health conditions, it is possible to give you an estimate  of your life expectancy, based on the median age of death for the typical person of your age, gender, health condition, and the state where you live.  

Many people are surprised to learn that, once you have passed the age of 65, the median life expectancy of a Baby Boomer is actually several years longer than the life expectancy for the general American public.  This is because the average life expectancy of all Americans includes the deaths of everyone from infants to young adults.  When we estimate the number of years left for the typical Baby Boomer, we are only looking at the remaining years of life left for people who are already in their 60s, 70s or older.  

With these thoughts in mind, below are some statistics which may interest you:

Life Expectancy of all U.S. residents in 2021:  76.6 years

Life Expectancy for 65 year old Baby Boomers in 2021: 82 to 85 years

The life expectancy for all U.S. residents has dropped by over two years since 2019, when it was 78.8 years.  The Covid-19 pandemic had a devastating effect on lifespans around the world.  However, you will be pleased to know that the typical living Baby Boomer is still likely to live into their 80s, especially if they are vaccinated for Covid and avoid getting either that or any other serious disease.

Your life expectancy can vary depending on many factors.  Below are a few.

The state where you live:

If you live in Hawaii, California, New York, Minnesota, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Washington State or Colorado, your life expectancy at birth will be between 80 and 81 years.

If you live in West Virginia, Mississippi, Alabama, Kentucky, Tennessee, Louisiana, Oklahoma or Arkansas, your life expectancy at birth will be between 74.4 and 75.6 years.  

These are based on 2019 statistics, the most current available from the CDC.  If you live in a state which was particularly hard hit by Covid, the average remaining life expectancy could be lower, because life expectancy dropped sharply in 2020 and 2021.

You can see that there is almost a six year difference in the life span of American citizens, based simply on the state where they live.  The reason for this often is because of the typical lifestyle in those places, the normal diet, the amount of exercise senior citizens tend to get, and the quality of the healthcare available.  As a result, if you live in a state with a low life expectancy, but you behave as though you live in a state with a higher life expectancy, you may be able to add years to your life.  

Your Gender:

Women have a longer life expectancy than men.  In New Mexico, the average woman will live 6.2 years longer than the average man.  In Utah, the average woman will live 3.2 years longer.

Your Lifestyle:

People who eat right, maintain a healthy weight, and get regular aerobic exercise are likely to live longer than people who who throw all caution to the wind.  If you are not sure where to start in improving your lifestyle, you may enjoy reading "How Not to Die." (Ad)  It could add years to your life.

Once you reach age 65, your remaining life expectancy increases, especially if you are in good health:

On average, if you reach age 65 and live in Hawaii, California, Connecticut, New York, Colorado or Minnesota, your average life expectancy is another 20 to 21.1 years.  In other words, on average you have a good chance of living to be at least 85 years old.

The numbers are not quite as good if you live in Kentucky, Mississippi, Alabama, West Virginia, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee or Louisiana, because you are likely to only live an additional 17.5 to 17.9 years, or until the age of 82 or 83.  Still, that is much better than the estimated national life expectancy of a newborn baby, which is only about 77.  

You can learn where your state falls on the list at the Centers for Disease website at:

Illnesses and Chronic Health Conditions Can Affect Lifespan


As you can see from the above charts, they universally show that the older you are when you are diagnosed with cancer, the shorter your remaining life expectancy will be, although the type of cancer can make a difference.  When all types of cancer are lumped together, the life expectancy of a 70 to 75 year old who is diagnosed with cancer can be as much as 15 more years, while the remaining life expectancy of a 90 year old with the same disease is only about 5 more years.  As you can see, getting common cancers late in life may not significantly affect your remaining lifespan, thanks to huge strides which have been made in cancer treatments over the past few years.  Of course, if you develop an especially aggressive cancer, or one which is hard to diagnose, such as pancreatic cancer, your lifespan is likely to be much shorter.

(Journal of Advanced Research, Volume 20, November 2019)


Late stage, severe dementia, on the other hand, can significantly reduce your life span.  According to research by the National Institute of Health, "the mean survival time after dementia diagnosis was 4.1 years, and more than 2 of those years were spent in moderate (14-month) and severe (12-month) stages. Women with dementia lived longer than men, as they survived longer in the severe stage (2.1 vs. 0.5 years among 75-84 year-old women compared to men).

Personally, having had a mother who suffered with severe dementia during the last four years of her life, I am not sure there is an advantage to women living longer under these circumstances.  The quality of life for a severe dementia patient is very poor, and this puts a lot of stress on their families. 

If you want to reduce your dementia risk as you age, you may want to read the article on this blog titled "Cut Your Dementia Risk by 40% in 12 Steps!"  It has useful, scientific tips for avoiding or postponing a dementia diagnosis.  Following these steps could give you a number of additional years of quality life.

Other Illnesses

Most other illnesses, such as heart disease, have already been factored into the estimated lifespan for Baby Boomers, mentioned above.  However, anytime you are given a specific diagnosis of an illness, you may want to go to the website for the Association devoted to that illness.  Most of them have estimators which will help you determine what your expected life expectancy will be, at your exact age, with your specific diagnosis.  Like the charts for cancer, shown earlier in the article, the older you are when you are given a serious diagnosis, the fewer years you are likely to live.  Remember, though, that you are not a statistic, and most senior citizens do not suffer from just one illness.  As a result, you may live a longer or shorter time than the estimator.  However, the health association websites can give you valuable information so you know what to expect and what you can do to extend your life as much as possible.

The Good News

Many people have heard all their lives that the average life expectancy in the United States is around 77 or 78, with men living a couple of years less than that, and women living a couple of years longer.  However, if you have successfully reached the age of 65, and you are in reasonably good health, the truth is that you can hope to live until your early to mid-80s, and possibly much longer. 

You can improve your odds of having a long, healthy life if you try to follow the Blue Zone diet and lifestyle.  The Blue Zones are areas of the world where people routinely live to their 90s and even over 100, while leading healthy, active lives.  If you want to learn how to incorporate the Blue Zone lifestyle into your life, you could start by reading "The Blue Zones: 9 Lessons for Living Longer From the People Who've Lived the Longest." (Ad).  

According to the website, "living until age 90 isn't some wild outlier. The SOA's data suggests that a 65-year-old male today, in average health, has a 35% chance of living to 90; for a woman the odds are 46%."

Baby Boomers should not give up on life.  If you keep eating healthy, getting exercise, and following your doctor's instructions, you may have many more good years ahead!

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Aren't we all just living one day at a time?  You can find gifts for retirees and others, including this beautiful and inspirational coffee mug, at my Etsy Store, DeborahDianGifts. Check it out here:

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