According to the CDC, the life expectancy (at least for US citizens) is 78.6 years. However, if you drill deeper into the PDF from that page and look at page 3, you can see that splitting out into genders, males will, on average, live to be 76.1 and females will live FIVE YEARS LONGER to 81.1. Worldwide, females live 6-8 years longer than their male counterparts.
Since these data have been recorded, females have always outlived males. We aren’t here to debate the reasons why. What we would like to impress upon those who read this is that with this data in hand, females need to take steps to prepare for this eventuality.
A quick note on the data. Obviously, to register this data, people had to die, obvious as that might seem. However, with each passing decade, humans are averaging longer and longer lifespans due to better healthcare, food, and environment. Females are averaging 81 years of life, thus those born on or before 1940 are likely to have passed, and there have been incredible advances in food and health sciences in those times. Women born long after 1940 stand a good chance of living longer than 81 years. And if you are curious to know how long, try this life expectancy calculator from the Social Security Administration.
The first place that comes to mind for women’s health in their twilight years is the possibility or likelihood of living alone for the last five years of your life. Many debates happen on how and where to live in the last years of your life. Be mindful if you are making decisions based on either what your spouse wants or what he might need for his own health. You mind end up committing to a long term contract at a place you don’t particularly like or can afford or is best for your specific needs once you are alone. Be sure to research the single occupancy options whenever you shop for a senior living community. This has effects for finances, healthcare, friends, to name a few.
Second, men are typically very resistant to medical alert devices, which likely contributes to their shortened life expectancy. The vast majority of medical alert customers are female, as there is no macho stigma for females to overcome. There are plenty of ways to compare medical alert systems online and be able to shop in one place before clicking into an individual company to buy. Nearly all of these are transferrable to other locations should you happen to move.
Third, property, possessions, and services in your name. Or better yet, both of your names. While the statistics lean favorably toward women, it’s not destiny. It can be a huge pain and a very difficult and sometimes costly situation to tranfer titles and contracts and services to a new person, even with the same last name and same address. Take the time long before anything happens to put everything in each of your name’s while both of you are living. It will save so much hassle. This isn’t as big of an issue these days as it used to be, as many women are aware of the risks of not having their name on things and processes are easier to relieve customers of this pain. Without this planning, it can be extremely stressful on a person to transfer things out of a deceased loved-one’s possession and into your own, while you are grieving for that person. Do your health a favor and take care of this now.