You’re Likely to Live Decades Longer Than You Expect, So How Will You Pay for those Extra 30 Years?

10 Apr

Our basic premise is that your body is amazing. You get a do over. It doesn’t take that long, and it isn’t that hard if you know what to do. In these notes, we give you a short course in what to do so it becomes easy for you and for you to teach others. We want you to know how much control you have over both the quality and length of your life.

Recently, I talked about the possibility, maybe the probability, that if you live beyond 2023, the average age of death may exceed 120—with the quality of life you had at age 45. (And yes, you can even improve on the quality of your health at age 45. We consider that in our new book—shameless plug—but it is really good: AgeProof: Living Longer Without Running Out of Money or Breaking a Hip, which was released on February 28th, 2017).

At no other time in our history has AgeProofing been as important as it is now; that’s because we’re living longer and longer—and need more money and better health to last those extra decades (yes, decades). While this change in longevity should be exciting, the truth is that longevity comes with a price. Because we’re living longer, it’s more expensive to fund retirement. That’s true even if you’re in good shape. Traditionally, maybe we lived only a decade or so past retirement, but what happens when we live for 30 or more years after we stop earning? Surveys from financial institutions note that running out of money before running out of time is by far our biggest financial fear. One survey even found that running short of funds is a bigger fear than even death. Going the distance means we need a new set of skills, new strategies, and a new way of thinking.

The problem that many of us face is twofold. For one, we think of money and health the way we think of large-toothed forest-roaming beasts—they scare the heck out of us. Much of that fear is caused because we close our eyes, hope for the best, and are timid about confronting issues that feel as comfortable as a pair of not-quite-dry-from-the-dryer underwear. And that’s something we have to change—that is, our attitude on the topic. We have to be open and honest, and have frank conversations about subjects that can make us squirm.

Not only are money and health important issues when it comes to life satisfaction but they’re also cyclically connected—that is, how healthy you are has an effect on your bottom line, and your handling of money issues has an effect on how healthy you are. That’s because healthcare can be extremely costly (in direct ways, like the actual expenses of insurance and medical procedures, and in indirect ways, like being out of work because of health problems). Financial problems are also the biggest source of stress for Americans. Scientists have directly linked stress to a whole bevy of medical issues, including heart disease, sleep problems, weight issues, and depression.

We have found that there are eight important ways to stay well and eight important ways to stay flush, and they intersect—and your future happiness depends on them. By diving into those areas—and, more important, the science behind them—we’ve developed a new approach to help you control your life and your happiness. What we’re giving you is a new lens through which to view the choices you face, the decisions you make, the behaviors you adopt, and the goals you reach for. All drive toward the ultimate goal: AgeProofing your life by keeping your body young and your finances secure enough to go the distance (I teamed up with the Today Show’s Financial Editor Jean Chatzky—she taught me a ton about finances, which we share with you).

Jean and I found the common principles and themes for how to approach improving both your health and wealth. When you see the links, you’ll gain inside insight into how you can use the same principles to improve your health and wealth. For example, budgeting is something you may think of as something you do with money, but you can take the same approach to how you eat as well. You will also learn how to develop teams of comrades—professional and personal—who can help you face obstacles, make smart decisions, and fend off temptations.

Let me give three summaries from our new book:

1. You can’t take back time. But you can make up for lost time.

2. Don’t think of problems as dead-end streets. You always have the options to find side streets, alleys, and other routes to get you out of trouble and on the highway to healthy and happy living.

3. The thing that scares many people about the problems they’re having is that they know they might have issues that need to be dealt with, but they don’t confront them. Only when you get a full assessment of where you are can you make the changes and employ the tactics to help you catch up.

Yes, the book AgeProof: Living Longer without running out of money or breaking a hip has a safety deposit box full of information, and Jean and I are giving you the key. The AgeProof prescriptions are doable, are helpful, and make sense. I’ll try to summarize many of these for you over the coming year. We hope to help you live much younger & longer—so start preparing.

Thanks for reading. Feel free to send questions—to, and some of them we may know enough to answer (we’ll try to get answers for you if we do not know).

Young Dr Mike Roizen (aka, The Enforcer)

NOTE: You should NOT take this as medical advice.
This article is of the opinion of its author.
Before you do anything, please consult with your doctor.

You can follow Dr Roizen on twitter @YoungDrMike (and get updates on the latest and most important medical stories of the week). The YOU docs have two newly revised books: The patron saint “book” of this column YOU Staying Young—revised and YOU: The Owner’s Manual…revised —yes a revision of the book that started Dr Oz to being Dr Oz. These makes great gifts—so do YOU: ON a Diet and YOU: The Owner’s Manual for teens.

Michael F. Roizen, M.D., is chief wellness officer and chair of the Wellness Institute at the Cleveland Clinic. His radio show streams live on Saturdays from 5-7 p.m. He is the co-author of 4 #1 NY Times Best Sellers including: YOU Staying Young.

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