Aging Options

Where you live matters

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The United States covers a very large area so it’s mostly impossible to make all-encompassing statements.  For instance, the average American lives to 77.6 years and overall ranks 33 in the world for longevity but where you live matters because there is a deep disparity between parts of the county. 

In parts of the United States, retirees live to ages that are competitive with parts of the world that live the longest lives such as France and Spain which are ranked fourth in the world.  By contrast, in other parts of the United States people struggle with health issues that leave them with lives as poor as those experienced in some countries such as Algeria and Bangladesh (92 and 115 respectively).

Some of the reasons for the shorter life expectancy are such things as greater amounts of poverty and lack of education.  But infrastructure such as the lack of health facilities or walking paths can also play a role in the disparities.

Choosing where you will retire should involve a multifaceted approach that includes looking at health behaviors of your peers and choosing a location with a wide variety of options for physical activity, safe streets and walking paths, and access to health facilities exist.  It should also include access to a physician experienced at treating older patients such as a geriatrician.

Of course you can also remain in your current geographic area but choose to recognize the pattern of your own behavior that may cut down your life expectancy such as smoking, obesity and poor physical conditioning and do something to change it.

Washington, you’ll be happy to hear has an average life expectancy of 91.30 years according to Eons Inc., which placed us at number 8.  However, since everything depends upon who runs the numbers, Washington doesn’t even place in a survey by A Place For Mom.

Here’s a U.S. News story on Retirement Places.

Here are characteristics of people who have become centenarians.

We often have a knee jerk reaction that we’ll retire where we’ve been living, which would possibly be fine if at the time you chose your current residence you did so with an eye to your abilities and disabilities at 70, 80 and 90 years of age.  Usually however, we choose our home’s location when we are younger by our younger needs such as better schools or access to work.  We also choose our actual house for its ability to meet the needs of expanding families such as the number of bathrooms, the size of the backyard or any number of things that mattered when we were younger, or when we had children.

Take a look around at the inside of your home.  If your home doesn’t meet your physical needs now, how will it meet those needs from the seat of a wheelchair or with a walker in front of you?  Will you still be able to reach items on your shelves if you shrink an inch?  Contact AgingOptions for an assessment on whether your home meets accessibility standards for older individuals.

For other articles about aging in place:

Is your neighborhood environment good for your health

Housing choices can be overwhelming if you wait

Choosing housing that allows you to remain independent

Need assistance planning for your successful retirement? Give us a call! 1.877.762.4464

Learn how 70% of retirement plan fails and find out how you can avoid this

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