The Not-so-surprising Healthcare Challenges That Every Retiree Should Have on Their Radar
Americans of all ages have health concerns. As we age, these concerns tend to push their way to the forefront — especially if they inhibit an active, fulfilling retirement.
It’s no secret that with age comes a higher risk for health ailments. According to the National Council on Aging, more than 84% of Americans 65 and older are managing at least one chronic condition and nearly 8 in 10 will develop additional chronic illnesses as they age.
The most common health conditions affecting older adults include arthritis, heart disease, cancer and respiratory diseases. In fact, a U.S. Health and Retirement Study revealed that retirees are 40% more likely to have had a heart attack or stroke compared to those still working. And as we’re witnessing now, health can also be impacted by unforeseen challenges like the COVID-19 pandemic — especially for those with underlying conditions. The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) has reported that people over age 65 are at higher risk for severe illness due to the novel virus.
Keep in mind that health challenges don’t always manifest in the physical sense. CDC data shows that roughly 25% of the 65-and-over population suffer from a mental health issue. Major lifestyle changes can impact mental health poorly, with many older adults finding their well-being affected by:
- Isolation or loneliness from losing a spouse or friends
- Frustration with ongoing medical challenges
- Feelings of inadequacy as their body ages
- Boredom and depression from lack of routine activities
The CDC’s report, The State of Mental Health and Aging in America, states that this type of frequent mental distress may interfere with major life activities, such as eating well, maintaining a household, working, or sustaining personal relationships.
Taking control of your health
Being aware of chronic conditions and risk factors is the first step to ensuring a healthful future. According to a study by Merrill Lynch, 91% of retirees would make healthier choices to reduce potential expenses in later life. Start now with these simple changes:
Visit your doctor routinely. Schedule regular check-ups and screenings. Ask questions and stay proactive in your care. And don’t skimp on your oral health, making sure to visit the dentist annually.
Review your medications often. Keep a list of your current medications and dosages. Be aware of potential side effects and interactions with over-the-counter drugs, vitamins and alternative supplements.
Stay active. Studies show that retirees age 65 and older should be getting at least 2.5 hours of moderate aerobic exercise every week. To add more activity into your day, take the stairs instead of the elevator, spend time working in your garden or do light exercises while watching TV.
Keep up your social life. Maintaining connections with friends can help you stay both emotionally and mentally fit and maintain cognitive function. Getting involved and staying in touch can also give your life more meaning and joy.
Make healthier diet choices. The right diet and nutrients help people stay active and independent as they age. Read nutrition labels, use recommended servings and keep alcohol consumption limited to one drink a day.
Putting a price tag on your retirement health
Thanks to advances in medical treatments and technology, life in retirement can now span decades. Living longer and healthier is certainly the goal for many, but with that comes increased costs for healthcare.
Homeowners age 62 or older may have the option of a reverse mortgage loan, which can offer a valuable financial safety net for unanticipated healthcare expenses during retirement. To learn more, call Reverse Mortgage Funding at (888) 277-1567 to schedule a convenient, in-person appointment with a loan specialist in your area.
This content is sponsored by RMF, one of the nation’s leading reverse mortgage lenders. We are dedicated to helping older Americans retire more freely, in the comfort of their own homes. As a result of our commitment to providing an extraordinary and positive customer experience, we have earned a 98% customer satisfaction rating; a 4.7-star / Excellent score on Trustpilot; 4.8 out of 5 stars on LendingTree; and an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. Call 888-277-1567 to speak with a licensed reverse mortgage specialist to learn about our retirement financing products and solutions.
Not medical advice. Consult your physician with any health-related inquiries.
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