Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Boomer women and marriage

The Center for Retirement Research asked women about marriage, and I thought the results were very interesting. You can download the full report here

Traditionally, women spent their adult lives married, so it made more sense to study households rather than women separately. The question is whether today’s women are spending fewer years married. The analysis looks at four birth cohorts, ranging from the Depression Era to Mid Baby Boomers.

No matter how you define the age span, the percentage of years spent married has dropped from about 70 percent to 50 percent. The reasons are three-fold: 1) fewer women get married; 2) when they do marry, they get married later; and 3) more women end up divorced.
 Approximately 50% of Boomer women get divorced. Thus, looking at women’s finances separately from men is increasingly necessary for a full assessment of their retirement security.

The bottom line is that women as a group are going to spend less than half of their adult years as part of a couple. This pattern reflects an increase in age at first marriage, a decline in marriage rates, and an increase in divorce. It shows up across race and educational attainment. This change has significant implications for financial planning.

The center for Retirement Research Recognized by the New York Times as “…the nation’s leading center on retirement studies,” their research covers any issue affecting individuals’ income in retirement. Their main areas are: Social Security State and local pensions Health/long-term care Financing retirement; and Older workers

The Center’s work goes beyond economics.  They study the behavioral factors that drive individuals’ decisions so they can craft solutions that work in practice, not just in theory.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Do you believe in ....

I wonder about all the " Alt Right" who claim to be religious and believe in the bible and yet show hate and prejudice every day by their actions. If you are a literal believer in the bible then you believe that humans were created in gods image when Adam and Eve were created. 

So, if you are a literal believer, when it comes to all the other people on planet Earth, what you want to keep in mind is that all human beings are related.

If you are not a believer in the Bible and are a follower of science, when it comes to all the other people on planet Earth, then you believe that humans evolved through time. So as a believer in science what you want to keep in mind is that all human beings are related.

Really, really interesting is it not?

How long do you sit for in a day?

A typical day for many people includes at least 8 hours of sitting - driving to work, sitting in an office, driving home, and watching TV. An international study of over 1 million people shows that 1 hour of moderate physical activity can eliminate the health risks associated with sedentary behavior. Previous research has shown that older adults spend more than 9 hours of their day sitting down.

High levels of sedentary behavior may increase the risk of death for frail adults aged 50 and older who have low levels of physical activity, a new study suggests.

The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans state that adults aged 18 to 64 and those aged 65 and older should aim to get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity every week.

For adults who are unable to meet these guidelines, it is recommended that "they should be as physically active as their abilities and conditions allow."

According to statistics from the 2016 National Health Interview Survey, just 44.9 percent of older adults aged 65 to 74 met the physical activity guidelines last year.

The harms of sedentary behavior have been well documented. A study reported by Medical News Today last year, for example, suggested that sitting for more than 3 hours daily is responsible for more than 430,000 deaths across 54 countries every year.

The researchers set out to determine whether or not frailty plays a role in the increased death risk associated with sedentary behavior. The results were recently reported in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

The study included the data of 3,141 adults aged 50 and older who participated in the 2003-2004 and 2005-2006 United States National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.
As part of the survey, subjects were required to wear activity trackers during waking hours, and the researchers used these data to calculate how much time each adult spent sedentary.

The team also used a 46-item index to assess the frailty of each subject. Frailty is generally defined as an aging-related process characterized by weakness, unintended weight loss, slowness, and fatigue.

Just 1 hour of exercise offsets health risks of prolonged sitting
Researchers suggest that just 1 hour of exercise may counteract the health risks of prolonged sitting.

Among adults who scored highly on the frailty index and did not meet the physical activity guidelines, the researchers found that prolonged sitting was associated with an increased risk of death. This was not the case for adults with low frailty who met exercise guidelines.
"Thus, among people who are inactive and vulnerable or frail, sitting time increases mortality risk, but among those who are non-frail or active, sitting time does not affect the risk of mortality," say the researchers.

There were some limitations to their study. For example, the team had limited activity data on adults with higher frailty levels.
"Our sample size was substantially reduced, especially among the group with the highest level of frailty, which made it necessary to merge frailty groups for some analyses and prevented us from isolating those with severe frailty into one category," the researchers explain.

Still, the authors say that their study further highlights the harms of sedentary behavior, particularly for frail adults.
"Physicians should stress the harms of inactivity with patients, similar to the harms of smoking, to encourage movement. Even something as simple as getting up and walking around the house with a walker or cane can benefit frailer people."

The above was from a report Prolonged sitting and frailty a deadly combination Published in August 2017 and written by Honor Whiteman 

Sunday, October 15, 2017


I have discussed the danger of falling for seniors, and I caution all of us who are older to be very careful. When I was talking to my brother the other day, I asked him how he was, since he sounded like he had a bit of a cold. He replied that he was fine, but then he added that he had fallen a few times and was going to talk to his doctor.

I asked him to expand and he went on to say that in the past six months he had fallen at least eight times. Now my brother is two years younger than me, and he should not be falling. I pressed him to see the doctor sooner than later, but he replied he had his physical in  December so that is when he would see the doctor. 

COSCO Senior Health and Wellness Institute does a seminar on the dangers of falling, but Ronnie over at "As Time Goes By" who is going through some medical concerns talked recently about the danger young children pose to seniors. I had to think about what she said and realized that she is correct. Here is part of her story about why she thinks young children are an Elder Hazard
"Then, just a couple of weeks ago while shopping at the Saturday farmer's market an almost identical situation took place: I was wandering the stalls when a couple of young boys, playing tag or running just for the fun of it, almost set me off balance as one of them brushed my arm in passing.
I wasn't as vulnerable that time as I had been in the hospital hallway, but it frightened me in the way that pretty much all old people are afraid of falling (as we should be at our age: one-third of Americans 65 and older fall each year. Some of them die from the fall).
These two almost-accidents are a new phenomenon for me. Before then, I had never thought of young kids as an elder hazard.
It is one thing for young people to ridicule how old people live in their homes – most of them, like me, will outgrow it. It is quite another for them to endanger the lives of old people - and you cannot help but wonder where their parents are.
In my case, I came to my newfound feelings of vulnerability via a massive surgery but in time it would have happened anyway with the normal debilities of age.
But I know that from this moment forward I will give all young children a wide berth. They are not safe for an old person to be around.
What do you think?