Thinking about senior citizen health care is a critical element of your overall retirement planning. Especially when you consider that a number of studies have concluded that when you get there retirement is bad for your health!
As unlikely as this seems researchers at the University of Maryland and California State University at San Bernardino say the health benefits of working in retirement are likely to be due to the physical and mental activities people engage in at work as well as social contact.
This can be lost when people drop out of the workforce.
"Retirement kills more people than hard work ever did" ~ Malcolm Forbes
Over time our health issues certainly get more and more attention. As we age things just don't seem to work as well as they used to and they get more and more expensive to overhaul and repair!
The inevitable ... ageing!
Although when we look in the mirror we don't appear to look that old (men anyway!) and at most times we don't feel that much older.
However to many of us (mainly women?) the Dolly Parton philosophy of, 'If I see something sagging, bagging and dragging, I'm going to nip it, tuck it, or suck it', may sound like a good option.
More seriously, we don't heal that quickly, or that well, and some of our previously strong, reliable systems will start failing. Men are faced with prostate problems and women with menopause. Hair starts falling out, or growing where it never grew before. Our skin goes from smooth and firm to wrinkly and blotchy.
Which makes me think, shouldn't we all have a sell by date?
Personal and health care
As people live longer there will be more and more need for long term nursing care. This care is very expensive, and more often than not is not covered by medical aid. Consequently it will be out of the financial reach of many people. Therefore it is very important that we keep healthy for as long as possible.
Senior citizen health care will not only be a personal concern but has already started to take on political and social importance.
Take a look at this from The New York Times:
"This year, the system will pay out more benefits than it receives ... accumulated revenue will slowly start to shrink, as outlays start to exceed revenue ... [and] by law, Social Security cannot pay out more than its balance in any given year."
Unfortunately we all know how government's sort out this type of problem … they just change the law!
For many the available senior citizen health care will have an impact on our quality of life and our finances.
Wear and tear and health maintainance
Many of the baby boom generation have continued to be active throughout their lives. Although these activities may have resulted in some overuse injury on the positive side they should have prevented some lifestyle diseases like obesity and heart problems.
To reduce long term senior citizen health care costs there will an increased focus on preventing disease. To make this more attractive we will be offered incentives to continue being physically active.
For the many healthy, active people life will continue along much the same as before. But for others it may be time to look at a new health regime and try and repair past abuse and damage.
“No time!” won't be a credible excuse.
With regard to senior citizen health care, interesting discussions are already starting regarding an individual's right to die. This is a subject with fiercely opposing opinions. On one hand there are the many moral, cultural and religious views. On the other hand the pragmatic issues like the loss of quality of life, loss of dignity and skyrocketing costs and demands made on health care and social services.
As a result of the growing right to die demand some countries and states already have legislation in place for terminally ill people to choose to end their lives.
One thing you can be sure of, health in retirement will never be far from your mind.
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