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The Cost of Your Retirement Just Went Down

Oct 10, 2007
So, this is the good news, bad news. Deal with it or fix it. You get to choose! A report just came out from The Associated Press stating that although we are living longer, there are 41 other countries that are living longer than we are! If we are supposedly this great country that everyone is dying to get into, why are we so low in the rankings? Here's and idea of why:

*As adults we have one of the highest obesity weights in the world.

*Compared to other industrialized nations a relatively high number of our babies die before their first birthday.

*We smoke too much, don't take care of our blood pressure, cholesterol and we don't regulate our blood sugar resulting in diabetes.

Granted our life expectancy is higher than it has ever been. But, what are our excuses for why so many other industrialized nations surpass us in life span? Japan, France, Australia, Sweden, Canada and the U.K. are all ahead of us. Twenty years ago we used to be in 11th place, we have dropped to 41st. Shame on us. Even Jordan, Guam and the Cayman Islands are ahead of us.

This is all according to the Census Bureau and the National Center for Health Statistics. Apparently, one of the reasons is that 45 million Americans do not have health insurance, but I believe the bottom line is we are not taking care of ourselves the way we should. Period. If we did take care of ourselves our cancer rate, heart disease and lung disease would all be reduced. But we don't.

What do you think it will take us? How important is it to you to live a longer, healthier life? Not very important according to statistics. What does this say about us?

Childhood may be where much of this begins. As more American children eat poorly and exercise less the rate of asthma and diabetes rises. (Keep in mind this is not just children of lower income families.) A chronic illness in childhood often sets the stage for adult health problems. One of the biggest is diabetes in our children which is a result of obesity rates. This turns into more sedentary behaviors which in turn lead to other health troubles.

There is good news here, if you take advantage of it. As parents and grandparents, you have the opportunity, and the responsibility, to role model for your children and grandchildren. Children do what they see adults do, not what adults tell them to do. So, here's your chance! YOU eat well, exercise, get enough sleep and do whatever it takes to take good care of you. Not only will you overall health improve, but those of the children around will also. Now, that's not so hard is it? What will your first step be?
About the Author
Kim Kirmmse Toth is a certified life coach. She works with baby boomers on the many transitions faced including the non-financial side of retirement planning. She may be contacted at: kim@myretirementbydesign.com or at her website: http://www.myretirementbydesign.com
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