While many people want to live an extra 20 or 30 years, the truth is most cannot afford to. Many do not have sufficient funds set aside to see them comfortably through old age as it is.
Growing old is expensive. It is costly for an individual and the country as a whole. Like many other countries, the U.S. faces an increasing healthcare crisis due to more people living longer.
Why are more people living longer?
There are various reasons for this situation:
- Medical advances help us to survive diseases, accidents or illnesses that would previously have killed us.
- A lack of major wars means the majority of people survive their 20s and 30s.
- A reduction in the number of children the average couple has means fewer working-age people pay into the tax system.
Not only are there fewer young people paying into the system, but there are more older people taking out of it. When money going out exceeds that going in, it means there is trouble ahead even though those needing to call on the health care system already paid their dues.
There is already a significant shortage of health care workers. A failure to address this will lead to the cost of health care rising, as employers will need to pay more to secure any available workers’ services.
If you do not have a comprehensive estate plan to fund you through retirement, you need to address the issue sooner rather than later. Companies have spent millions trying to develop ways to extend life. So far, they have all failed to stave off death. For the time being, at least, that is probably a good thing.