In the 1900s, cholera, dysentery and scarlet fever were among the five major illnesses that caused people to blast off from this third rock from the sun. I keep seeing articles and research on the advancements of health care where breakthroughs in health care and medical science are likely to eliminate heart disease and cancer as a major cause of death in 15 or 20 years.
Last month I talked about how genomic science is advancing. This is the best form of preventative medicine, because you can learn how your body is susceptible to a disease and then through lifestyle and diet prevent the disease or catch it early. Two years ago, I saw the cost to have a full workup of your genomic code – scans, blood work, etc. through a private doctor was $25k a person. Last month, I saw similar services were now running around $10k a person. As the cost continues to come down, eventually we will see this type of preventative health care move to regular doctors and covered by insurance carriers, which would greatly reduce health care costs and save our health care system. It will also extend life.
Then, you overlay other technology advancements like autonomous cars, which would reduce the death rates in America. Nearly 1.3 million people die in road crashes each year, on average 3,287 deaths a day. (SOURCE: Association for Safe International Road Travel)
For me, the writing is on the wall that living longer is here to stay. Some major tasks I have as a planner will be career counseling, second-career counseling, finding purpose in retirement, ensuring money will be there to meet your needs and determine if you are saving enough to address longevity. I’m looking at ways to beef up our services to meet these needs.
The one thing we can count on is that the complexity of planning is not going away.