weekly blog--one for the ages
Life expectancy in the U.S. has risen for the first time since 2014, according to new 2018 mortality data from the CDC. In 2018, the average age at death was 78.7, up slightly from 2017, and which scientists attribute to decreases in cancer mortality. U.S. life expectancy had been on a downward trend since 2014, when it was an average of 78.9 years. Heart disease was the top cause of death, followed by cancer. There was a small increase in the number of deaths by suicide and from flu and pneumonia compared to 2017.
Tips from a super saver. Use tea bags multiple times, dilute dish soap with half water so it lasts longer, wear dark clothes as light colors stain too easily, buy a very affordable home, and drive an old car. Indeed, research from TD Ameritrade, which looks at people who save 20% or more of their incomes, called “super savers”, shows that the single biggest difference between what super savers spent less on, as compared with the rest of us, was housing. Super savers spent just 14% of their incomes on housing, while regular folks dropped 23%.
One of the keys to living longer is having supportive relationships, according to the director of the Stanford Center on Longevity. She says that we tend to prune our relationships as our time horizons shrink, choosing quality over quantity. This process of winnowing down social interaction with only those people who matter most, which she called the socioemotional selectivity theory, may be echoed in two 50+ consumer trends: spending on our pets and our home.
A pet can fill the gap for daily companionship for the one in three adults over age 45 who report they are chronically lonely, according to an AARP Foundation report. Several studies are showing that boomers are not relocating, but are making home modifications to facilitate aging in order to stay at home over the next 30-50 years. Some of the updates: smart thermostats, keyless entries and no step shower entries.