Is Feeling Younger the Secret to a Longer Life?

“You don’t stop laughing when you grow old, you grow old when you stop laughing.”

~George Bernard Shaw

While some people accept getting older as a natural part of life, many others are on a mission to fight the aging process and maintain a youthful attitude and appearance. Although we are often reminded to “age gracefully” – to accept our older selves just as they are – research shows those who stay young at heart may just be on to something.

If you’ve ever experienced the feeling that the image in the mirror doesn’t quite match up with how you feel on the inside, you’re not alone. In 2015, the Journal of the American Medical Association published the results of research conducted over an eight-year timespan.  The initial survey of about 6,500 people ages 52 and older revealed that almost 70 percent of respondents felt three or more years younger than their actual age.

Eight years later, researchers went back and resurveyed the participants. They found 86 percent of the people who reported feeling younger than their actual age were still alive, as compared to 82 percent of the people who felt their actual age and 75 percent who felt older.

What’s the lesson here? This study and a variety of others point to the idea that feeling young actually helps us live longer. It’s the idea to stay “psychologically young”: maintaining a positive outlook, staying active physically and mentally, and enjoying a life of quality even into our older years. But how can we feel younger? Here are four tips:

1. Eat right. Maintain a healthy diet, including plenty of veggies, fruits and protein. Also, make sure you’re getting plenty of omega-3 fatty acids, found in salmon, nuts and seeds. These help prevent inflammation in your body, which affects you both mentally and physically.

2. Get some exercise – physical and mental. Feeling younger means moving more. You need to challenge not only your body, but also your brain. The Alzheimer’s Association suggests things like taking a college course, finishing a daily crossword and enjoying an occasional play or performance as ways to stay mentally active.

3. Set goals for the future. Goals give us something to work toward and look forward to, no matter your age. Your goals can be related to health, family, career, travel or anything that sounds interesting to you!

4. Look on the bright side. A positive attitude can help you live longer. For example, a Harvard study of 70,000 female nurses found the most optimistic quarter of respondents had a 31 percent reduced risk of mortality. Sometimes keeping a positive outlook on life can keep you going, even when there may be negative external circumstances.

While it pays to think positive and keep a youthful mindset, lifespans of all people in general have gotten longer over the years. If you’re fortunate enough to live many years after retirement, you’re going to need a well-thought-out retirement income strategy. Using a variety of insurance products, we can help you create a strategy that helps you to live the kind of retirement you’ve worked hard for. Contact us today to get started on your retirement income strategy for a long life.


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Raymond C. Lantz, Jr. is the president and founder of USA Wealth Group, Inc. Ray has many years of experience advising clients in retirement and sophisticated tax planning strategies, multi-family and commercial real estate projects, and legacy planning. Ray is a graduate of Clark University, holds a law degree from Boston College, and a master of laws in taxation from Boston University. You can hear him every Sunday on Money Wise with Ray Lantz on WBSM 1420AM or on the Radio Pup app.


Interested in reading more?  Here are some articles that may be of interest to you:

Feeling Old vs. Being Old: Associations Between Self-Perceived Age and Mortality

Feeling Young at Heart May Help You Live Longer

10 All-Natural Ways to Stay Young

Stay Mentally Active

Optimistic women are less likely to die prematurely of cancer or heart disease, study says

 

 This material is intended to provide general information to help you understand basic retirement income strategies and should not be construed as financial advice.

The information contained in this material is provided by third parties and has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed; it is not intended to be used as the sole basis for financial decisions. If you are unable to access any of the news articles and sources through the links provided in this text, please contact us to request a copy of the desired reference.

Retirement Investing

Retirement planning looks much different than it did a century ago. With lifespans and retirements lasting longer, it’s not just about planning for a financial future; we must also create a post-career strategy that takes into account emotional, intellectual and quality of life challenges during later years.

 

After all, we don’t just stop enjoying life after age 65, 75, 85 or older. As long as we’re alive, we want to enjoy the things that make us happy. When you start the retirement planning process, it’s important to think about things you’ll want at each stage of your golden years -- from the active stage, to the slowing down stage, and even the periods when you can reasonably expect to have health and/or mobility challenges.

 

Savings, investments and insurance are at the crux of retirement planning -- providing income now and for loved ones who may survive you. If you’d like help developing financial strategies for each stage of retirement, please give us a call.

 

Among the first things to consider in retirement investing’s earliest considerations is regular contributions and the power of compounded interest. Obviously, the earlier you start, the better your chance of accumulating earnings. There’s also the added advantage of getting a current income tax deduction on tax-deferred contributions to qualified retirement accounts.

 

However, by mid-career it’s also important to consider the value of tax diversification. It can be a burden to pay taxes on plan distributions once you’re retired, so it’s worth considering strategies that diversify your retirement portfolio in terms of account types and tax obligations to help avoid a huge tax bill on your retirement income.

 

It's also important to consider how much market risk you should take on during retirement. On one hand, you don’t want to lose long-accumulated earnings to a market decline. On the other hand, living 20+ years in retirement requires continued growth opportunities. It’s a good idea to work with a financial advisor to help establish a mix of retirement investments for your circumstances, taking into account your goals, risk tolerance, investment timeline and the composition of your overall portfolio, as well as including a high-yield savings account for emergencies.

 

A Roth IRA can help address tax diversification through long-term compounding and access to funds in retirement. The Roth allows you to withdraw original contributions tax-free and penalty-free at any time for any reason. Any money in a withdrawal that exceeds the amount of your original contributions is considered “earnings” and is subject to possible penalties and taxes. To withdraw earnings without paying taxes or penalties, you must follow very specific rules. Not only do you not pay taxes on qualified distributions from a Roth IRA, but that income doesn't count when calculating taxes on Social Security payments.

 

Converting to a Roth IRA may be beneficial to those approaching retirement who are concerned about the potential tax liability on their qualified assets. Individuals can use their current income to help pay the inevitable income taxes on the conversion throughout a number of years. However, they’ll enjoy freedom from income taxes on qualified Roth distributions during retirement. Again, this strategy should be considered within the context of one’s overall retirement portfolio, and we’re happy to help you assess if this would be a good fit for your unique circumstances.

 

Since the post-career period is generally longer these days, retirees also need to pay attention to the current economic environment when making financial decisions. For example, recent and expected hikes in interest rates by the Federal Reserve Bank, CDs and other fixed income vehicles offer a conservative option for retirement funds. While growth is important in the long-term, retirees may need to strike a balance between preserving the funds they have now and what they may need to earn for the future.



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Raymond C. Lantz, Jr. is the president and founder of USA Wealth Group, Inc. Ray has many years of experience advising clients in retirement and sophisticated tax planning strategies, multi-family and commercial real estate projects, and legacy planning. Ray is a graduate of Clark University, holds a law degree from Boston College, and a master of laws in taxation from Boston University. You can hear him every Sunday on Money Wise with Ray Lantz on WBSM 1420AM or on the Radio Pup app. 

 

Interested in reading more?  Here are some articles that may be of interest to you:  

Quantifying the Value of Retirement Accounts

6 Low Risk Investments to Build Retirement Income

The Simplest Move To Reduce Your Tax Bill

Does Switching To A Roth IRA From A Regular One Still Make Sense?

Investors Perk Up As Bank CD Rates Near 3 Percent

Neither our firm nor its agents or representatives may give tax advice. Individuals should consult with a qualified professional for guidance before making any purchasing decisions.

We are an independent firm helping individuals create retirement strategies using a variety of insurance and investment products to custom suit their needs and objectives. This material is intended to provide general information to help you understand basic financial planning strategies and should not be construed as financial advice. All investments are subject to risk including the potential loss of principal. No investment strategy can guarantee a profit or protect against loss in periods of declining values. 

The information contained in this material is believed to be reliable, but accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed; it is not intended to be used as the sole basis for financial decisions. If you are unable to access any of the news articles and sources through the links provided in this text, please contact us to request a copy of the desired reference.

Prescription Drug Trends

A gene therapy treatment recently approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use against leukemia is priced at $475,000 for a one-time treatment. While it’s exciting that new treatments, including prescription drugs, appear to be getting closer to curing society’s most lethal diseases, many of us wonder how we can afford them. Even when such treatments are covered by insurance, the pool of insured participants pay the cost in terms of higher premiums.

The way drug manufacturers determine pricing has become a controversial topic. In the past, the average cost to bring a new drug to market was reported to be around $2.7 billion. However, a new study on cancer medications has arrived at a much lower number: a median cost of $757 million per drug, with half costing less and half costing more. Drug companies dispute the study, saying the cost doesn’t take into account research and development investments made in drugs that fail.

Meanwhile, health care costs continue to rise, with the average family health insurance plan rising 3.4 percent in 2016 from 2015, outpacing wage growth. Even in retirement, when most people qualify for Medicare benefits, health care expenses can be high. Recent estimates project that a healthy, 65-year-old couple retiring this year will need $275,000 to cover their health care expenses in retirement. This sum includes paying for Medicare premiums, cost-sharing provisions and out-of-pocket costs, but when you add in over-the-counter medications, dental services and potential long-term care, that figure could be even higher.

Do you have a strategy in place to help pay for health care expenses in retirement? If not, give us a call. Some insurance products such as life insurance and annuities provide various options you may want to consider. We’d be happy to discuss your options based on your unique situation.

As for tackling the issue of high drug prices, states are taking the matter into their own hands. California recently passed legislation mandating transparency related to how the pharmaceutical industry sets drug prices in that state. In April, New York passed a law that requires prescription drug companies to undergo a review when prices rise and discounts and rebates aren’t offered back to the state for rising Medicaid drug spending. Nevada’s legislation more specifically requires a drug pricing process for diabetes medication. The state of Vermont has had a law on the books since 2016 in which drugmakers must provide justification for pricing hikes or they risk being fined.

Meanwhile, another way to tackle the high cost of prescription drugs could be to introduce a major volume player into the mix – Amazon reportedly has been considering entering the prescription drug market. The pricing power that Amazon wields was enough to drive down the price of CVS and Walgreens stock by nearly 5 percent when a report predicting a potential Amazon move was first announced.

Interested in reading more?  Here are some articles that may be of interest to you:

CLICK HERE TO READ THE ARTICLE “Revolutionary gene therapy approved for leukemia – at $475,000 price tag.” 

CLICK HERE TO READ THE ARTICLE “What Does It Cost to Create a Cancer Drug? Less Than You’d Think.”

CLICK HERE TO READ THE ARTICLE “Employers push health care costs onto workers.” 

CLICK HERE TO READ THE ARTICLE “Expect to spend more on health care in retirement — even if you’re well.” 

CLICK HERE TO READ THE ARTICLE “California just passed a new law that tackles the rising cost of prescription drugs.”

CLICK HERE TO READ THE ARTICLE “New York State Wants Its Prescription Drug Money Back – Or Else.”

CLICK HERE TO READ THE ARTICLE “‘More is possible’: A bunch of states are taking on high drug prices, and it could start hitting drugmaker profits.”

CLICK HERE TO READ THE ARTICLE “Are prescription drugs the next target for Amazon?” 

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Raymond C. Lantz, Jr. is the president and founder of USA Wealth Group, Inc. Ray has many years of experience advising clients in retirement and sophisticated tax planning strategies, multi-family and commercial real estate projects, and legacy planning. Ray is a graduate of Clark University, holds a law degree from Boston College, and a master of laws in taxation from Boston University. You can hear him every Sunday on Money Wise with Ray Lantz on WBSM 1420AM or on the Radio Pup app.