One of the greatest achievements of humanity has been increasing our lifespan from around 40 years in 1800 to around 78 years in 2020. Today, what may matter even more than the absolute number in your lifespan is the quality of your healthspan – the amount of time that you are not just alive, but also healthy and fully engaged.
We’ve found an interesting correlation between optimism and longer, healthier lives. People who believe they will live healthier and longer lives tend to act in ways that increase their lifespan and their healthspan. If you believe you will be around for a long time, you will do a better job of taking care of your life and health.
Confidence in Health, Despite a Pandemic
In 2020, AGEIST collaborated with Jackson on a consumer survey to discover how the COVID-19 pandemic affected the outlook those aged 50 to 70 had on their future. Surprisingly, we found that although COVID-19 was a massive global health crisis, it did not greatly affect how our demographic felt about their physical wellbeing. Most were still as optimistic about their health and wellness as they were pre-pandemic because they believed it was in their control.
Many scientists support the theory that up to 85% of our healthspan outcome is not a result of our genetics, but of our behaviors. Healthier behaviors lead to a greater chance of a longer and healthier life. We have a great deal of agency over how our later years will be lived, and our belief about how much control we have over our health is one of the key drivers of our behaviors. So, if thoughts about our health continue to be optimistic, it follows that health outcomes might be better than scientific tables could have us believe.
When combined with the dizzying pace of the advancement of modern medicine in genetics, computational medicine, and senolytics, this positive outlook improves our chance at living healthier longer than any generation before. While we may not live centuries, more of us will live to be centenarians than ever before.
An Area of Uncertainty Emerged During the Pandemic
We discovered that while some areas of our study remained surprisingly unaffected, one area, in particular, was filling minds with stress in a way that had previously not: concerns about financial futures. If you are optimistic that your healthspan may potentially be a good, long time then it makes sense that you would want a solid, dependable way to reduce the uncertainty around your financial future.
One way to remove some of this stress and add a bit of predictability to your financial future is with an annuity. Our 2020 study revealed that many people are still unfamiliar with financial planning products that can offer a steady income in retirement.
An annuity may be a useful tool to help reduce anxiety around your financial future. For additional information on annuities, you should speak to your financial professional.