Its no secret that human longevity has been growing due medical advances over the past 30 years. Life expectancy in 1960 was 66 for men and 73 for women; in 2010 the average expectancy was 80 for men and 84 for women. (1)
However, in addition to longevity, one of the issues people have struggled with is a decreased quality of life in a person’s later years. Chronic diseases play a major role in limiting peoples experience and inflicting pain on the elderly and their families… cancer, strokes, dementia, respiratory, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s.
These issues not only reduce a person’s enjoyment of life but affect their financial health as well. The expenses associated with medical care and long-term care are substantial. But baby-boomers are not sitting still…
As a recent article in The Telegraph wrote, “Doctors are touting the benefits of plant-based foods” and “an increasing number of people over 55 are going vegan, predominantly for health and animal welfare reasons. The shift is notable, given that there are about 76 million baby boomers in the U.S. alone. The generation makes up roughly 29 percent of the population.” (2)
There is “a growing bank of research is proving the power of plant-based eating. One study found that a vegan diet could prevent or reverse chronic diseases. Other research suggests plant-based food could lower the risk of developing dementia … Research has linked beef and dairy products to rheumatoid arthritis. Experts say that eating vegan food – like pumpkin seeds – could he could manage symptoms like pain, swelling, and stiffness.”
The Telegraph spoke to 76-year-old Eileen Giles who went vegan in 2017. “I wish I’d done it years ago,” she told the publication, adding that she has “never felt better. I have arthritis in my knees and back, which hurt quite a lot of the time,” she explained. “At one stage, I was taking Tramadol for it, which made me hallucinate. It took the pain away but it took every other feeling away too; I felt like a zombie. But when I became vegan two years ago, the pain became much more manageable, and now I don’t take any medication at all,” she said.
Cancer continues to affect a huge portion of the population. Approximately 38.4% of men and women will be diagnosed with cancer at some point during their lifetimes (based on 2013–2015 data). (3)
Cancer costs exceed $80 billion in America each year. Over half of all cancer patients “experienced house repossession, bankruptcy, loss of independence, and relationship breakdowns.” Up to 85 percent of patients had to stop working for up to six months, putting further strain on their finances.
The stress of being unable to pay for treatment doesn’t help your immune system while going through chemotherapy or radiation. It’s impossible to relieve yourself of tension when your medical costs are bankrupting you and your family. (4)
New study titled, “Death or Debt? National Estimates of Financial Toxicity in Persons with Newly-Diagnosed Cancer” analyzes the impact cancer has on finances of patients and what that means for a patient’s quality of life.
“Of the 9.5 million cancer diagnoses studied between 2000–2012, researchers discovered that 42.4 percent of patients (median age 68.6±9.4 years) spent all of their money, averaging $92,098. As large financial burdens have been found to adversely affect access to care and outcomes among cancer patients, the active development of approaches to mitigate these effects among already vulnerable groups remains of key importance.” (5)
“…As large financial burdens have been found to adversely affect access to care and outcomes among cancer patients, the active development of approaches to mitigate these effects among already vulnerable groups remains of key importance.” (5)
Recent studies have shown that by reducing the consumption of Meat and other processed foods cancer rates can be significantly reduced. “The WHO’s cancer research unit now classifies processed meat as “carcinogenic to humans” based on evidence from hundreds of studies, and linked it specifically to colon, or colorectal, cancer. The report outlined that simply eating 50 grams of processed meat each day — the equivalent of two slices of ham — can increase the risk of such cancer by 18%.” (6)
Managing risk is key to financial success.
By reducing your projected expenses in retirement through having improved health, retirees can improve their quality of life and long-term financial security. People are becoming more conscious of the need to take control of their financial futures. By critically reviewing your diet and the potential long-term health effects, a consumer can make better decisions that can positively impact their finances, and their happiness.
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