In a recent Generational Survey conducted by J&K solutions and sponsored by Genworth, a group of American adults (ages 18 to 80) revealed some very important information about what “concerns” are at the top of the average person’s mind.
Overwhelmingly the top two concerns are:
Health: 71 percent of respondents worry about that.
Financial security: 63 percent of respondents worry about that.
The third issue of concern was mental limitations, which is getting the attention of 46 percent of the respondents.
See also: Eyewitness to long-term care
In that same study, respondents were asked to grade themselves with regard to their health and finances.
Nearly 60 percent said that they were healthy, which at first blush seems pretty good; however, results from the 2010 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey show that over two-thirds of Americans are either obese or overweight, so we may be giving ourselves better grades here than we deserve.
More alarming is the 40 percent who are willing to grade themselves say they have failed in their effort to maintain their health.
When it comes to personal finance people were also asked to “grade” themselves on how well they have prepared for their eventual retirement.
Fifty percent give themselves a failing grade.
And, remember: Based on respondents’ health grades, it seems that we probably are a bit kinder to ourselves than what the scale or the mirror says.
See also: LTC: Why don’t they plan?
For three ideas about how to act on this data, read on.
1. Think like an athlete.
For the last 10 years, I have been giving seminars around the country entitled ‘Physically Strong, Financially Sound’ addressing and highlighting the misconceptions of being physically and financially healthy.
From my background as an Olympic gold medalist through my many years as a long-term care insurance (LTCI) specialist, it has always been clear that the priority of a person’s health and financial “well-being” increases as we grow older.
The very same discipline that provides the best chance for “optimal health” is exactly the same as the discipline that increases the opportunity for “financial security”! When I use the term “discipline,” I’m referring to the definition in Webster’s Dictionary: a “branch of knowledge”. For most folks, at the core of learning a new “discipline” is having a great coach or teacher. Actually to me they are one in the same!
I like to think of aging as preparing for a race, because this is a race everyone is competing in, like it or not.