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The USA's top 10% are becoming increasingly long lived
Old 02-12-2016, 12:23 PM   #1
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The USA's top 10% are becoming increasingly long lived

This is interesting overview of the data and hypotheses as to the cause:

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/13/he...s-growing.html

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New research released on Friday contains even more jarring numbers. Looking at the extreme ends of the income spectrum, economists at the Brookings Institution found that for men born in 1920, there was a six-year difference in life expectancy between the top 10 percent of earners and the bottom 10 percent. For men born in 1950, that difference had more than doubled, to 14 years.

For women, the gap grew to 13 years, from 4.7 years.
From further on, the new number is 87.2. Thus, for planning purposes, many of the males on this board are looking at 37.2 years of life expectancy at age 50--although we still haven't completely closed the gap with the gals. This implicates withdrawal rates, perhaps, and adds additional fuel to the fire of how to fix social security (discussed in passing in the article)
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Old 02-12-2016, 12:28 PM   #2
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The result probably has noting to do with income, and more to do with education. Higher educated people generally make more, but they also know more about health and nutrition.

It does have a relevancy for how long to plan for. I plan for 99 years.
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Old 02-12-2016, 12:36 PM   #3
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In recent decades, smoking, the single biggest cause of preventable death, has helped drive the disparity, said Andrew Fenelon, a researcher at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As the rich and educated began to drop the habit, its deadly effects fell increasingly on poorer, uneducated people.
That's an "interesting" way of phrasing it.
As the article points out, access to health care appears to be only a minor factor in the difference in longevity between high income and low income people.

Maybe there's a root cause that explains both the income disparity and longevity differences? Maybe the quality of decisionmaking would be one root cause? E.g it seems highly unlikely that a college degree provides information to a student that helps them avoid smoking (or obesity, or driving while drunk, or shooting up heroin, etc). But I can easily believe that a person who decides to stay in school and get a degree might also make other lifestyle decisions that have positive long-term outcomes.

Maybe people who are already unhealthy can be expected to earn less?
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Old 02-12-2016, 12:37 PM   #4
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The result probably has noting to do with income, and more to do with education. Higher educated people generally make more, but they also know more about health and nutrition.
...
Agree. The income is a marker for underlying factors. (And the article actually does a pretty good job of acknowledging that. Smoking rates is one big example that it mentions.)
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Old 02-12-2016, 12:44 PM   #5
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that's why the newer mortality tables have "collar" adjustments - blue, white or no
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Old 02-12-2016, 12:52 PM   #6
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That's an "interesting" way of phrasing it.
As the article points out, access to health care appears to be only a minor factor in the difference in longevity between high income and low income people.

...
And you have to read fairly closely to see that the life expectancy increased even for the lowest 10% (albeit not by gobs).
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Old 02-12-2016, 12:54 PM   #7
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Looks good to me, would love to have the extra years as long as I am lucid.
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Old 02-12-2016, 01:02 PM   #8
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From recent comments of some on this board, I thought we were supposed to base our planning on the lifespan of rock musicians like Bowie and Frey, or some random guy you know who died of a heart attack in his 50s. We're definitely not supposed to use statistics.
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Old 02-12-2016, 01:24 PM   #9
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How many hike and bike trails do you see in poorer neighborhoods? If the trails are present how many residents use them?

I would agree that income and education differences drive the disparity in life expectancy.
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Old 02-12-2016, 01:27 PM   #10
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Avoiding violent or drug death, if there's a difference, by richest 10% of men is probably a big contributor.
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Old 02-12-2016, 01:30 PM   #11
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Avoiding violent or drug death, if there's a difference, by richest 10% of men is probably a big contributor.
there is also a testosterone spike (I'm not making this up) to avoid for young males as well
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Old 02-12-2016, 01:40 PM   #12
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Economists at the Brookings Institution found that for men born in 1920, there was a six-year difference in life expectancy between the top 10 percent of earners and the bottom 10 percent. For men born in 1950, that difference had more than doubled, to 14 years.
This is a great study, and when people are deciding when to take social security, it is like having insider knowledge.
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Old 02-12-2016, 03:50 PM   #13
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life expectancy for the wealthiest American men at age 60 was just
below the rates in Iceland and Japan, two countries where people live the
longest.
So, it looks like I can cancel that move to Iceland that I was packing for.
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Old 02-12-2016, 04:04 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by highlow65 View Post
Looks good to me, would love to have the extra years as long as I am lucid.
If it's all based on education, intelligence, and lucidity...I've probably been dead for thirty years.
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Old 02-13-2016, 12:53 AM   #15
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This is a great study, and when people are deciding when to take social security, it is like having insider knowledge.
Interesting.

There is actually much talk among socialist parties here in Europe about giving poor people higher pensions because they tend to live shorter and have longer careers (work at 18 vs. study until 24). I didn't realize the difference was that big.

Note that one can't typically choose the SS (or equivalent) starting age in Western European countries.

Extreme case: poor male dies at 73, rich lady at 89. That's 16 years of SS at typically $15k a year, a payout difference of $240k. Roughly a factor x3.
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Old 02-13-2016, 12:39 PM   #16
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Interesting.

There is actually much talk among socialist parties here in Europe about giving poor people higher pensions because they tend to live shorter and have longer careers (work at 18 vs. study until 24). I didn't realize the difference was that big.

Note that one can't typically choose the SS (or equivalent) starting age in Western European countries.

Extreme case: poor male dies at 73, rich lady at 89. That's 16 years of SS at typically $15k a year, a payout difference of $240k. Roughly a factor x3.
Social security in the US has some aspects of that. Because of the way the benefits are calculated, lower earnings are replaced at a higher rate than higher earnings (and, of course, real high earnings aren't taxed or counted at all once you top out each year). I have not looked into this in a while, but I recall that those factors may ameliorate the longevity impact, but don't eliminate it...
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Old 02-13-2016, 05:45 PM   #17
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There will always be a difference between the top 10% and the bottom 10% in several categories:

- those who eat healthy opposed to those with a poor diet
- those who exercise opposed to those who don't
- those who don't drink or smoke compared to those who do

But, it's always easier (or more politically correct) to pick on rich people for living longer than it is to blame fat people or smokers for dying earlier.
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Old 02-13-2016, 07:19 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Music Lover View Post
There will always be a difference between the top 10% and the bottom 10% in several categories:

.....
- those who don't drink [ to excess ]or smoke compared to those who do

But, it's always easier (or more politically correct) to pick on rich people for living longer than it is to blame fat people or smokers for dying earlier.
Agree, as modified. ;-). We won't give up our wine cellar!
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Old 02-13-2016, 07:40 PM   #19
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There will always be a difference between the top 10% and the bottom 10% in several categories:

- those who eat healthy opposed to those with a poor diet
- those who exercise opposed to those who don't
- those who don't drink or smoke compared to those who do

But, it's always easier (or more politically correct) to pick on rich people for living longer than it is to blame fat people or smokers for dying earlier.
Really? You've always heard longevity "blamed" on being rich rather than exercise, weight control, not smoking? I've pretty much always heard the other factors.

I've also come to learn that when someone uses "political correctness" in their argument, they usually don't have a real basis for their point.
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Old 02-13-2016, 07:44 PM   #20
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I'll start to believe in my own mortality if Kieth Richards dies. ( though Lemmy's passing did shake my faith a bit. )


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