Baby Boomers tend to think of themselves as the generation that would never repeat the health mistakes of their parents. They perceive themselves as exercising more, smoking less, and eating better.

But the reality, according to The Centers for Disease Control, may be a lot different than the perception.

In fact, recent figures reveal that half of Americans aged 55-64 may be overweight, and may have blood pressure that’s too high. And that’s why – healthy self-perceptions notwithstanding – there’s been a significant increase of strokes and heart disease in the Boomer population. And an increase in diabetes, as well.

In fact, some studies have even shown that Boomers have a less-healthy lifestyle than people in their 70’s and 80’s! Want an example? Scientists are telling us that 33% of Boomers are overweight…as opposed to only 25% of seniors.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out the short-term approach to this problem: Exercising more. Smoking less. And eating better!

But the long-term outlook is not quite as simple. Recent studies have also indicated a correlation between the increase in diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease. Apparently, many people develop a shortage of insulin in their brains as they get older…and this may have a direct causal effect on the development of Alzheimer’s.

Baby Boomers will be retiring en masse in coming years. But their retirement years may not be happy ones unless they take care of every eventuality – especially health eventualities. Anyone who doesn’t plan for (at least) the possibility of Alzheimer’s, stroke, heart disease, and diabetes is fooling him/herself. And that goes double if you’re overweight, or not living a healthy lifestyle.

But let’s not fool ourselves. We’re getting older! (Yes, that really is you in the mirror!) Even those Boomers who do take care of themselves are going to run into medical problems at some point. You’re going to eventually need medical care. You may eventually need long-term medical care. It may be in a nursing home or an assisted living facility. It may require the services of a number of people to help you. Or, it may be your spouse/significant other who may need these things – and it may be you who is the primary care-giver.

Unless you’ve got an effective plan in place to deal with this eventuality – an up-to-date plan – your bank account will be no healthier than the rest of you. You won’t be able to get the help you or your loved ones need. And you may not be able to leave anything to your family – because there may be nothing left to leave your family!

Unless you know something the rest of us don’t, sooner or later (hopefully later!) you’re going to be in this situation. And we can help you prepare for it, with an effective estate or longevity plan that’s custom-made for you. And that protects you and your family where – and when – you need it most.

(If, on the other hand, you really do know something the rest of us don’t – and you’re going to live forever – please let us know your secret!)

If you’re not going to live forever, though, give us a call. We do elder law – and only elder law. And we can help you come up with a comprehensive, up-to-date plan, a plan that addresses all the new legislation, the constantly-changing requirements of agencies such as the VA or Medicaid, and your own changing circumstances.

We can help you come up with a plan that will give you the greatest gift of all for your golden years – peace of mind.

Posted in Alice Reiter Feld Florida Elder Law Monday Memos

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