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Most Millionaires Expect To Live To 100 According To UBS

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Thanks to modern scientific advancements, people are living much longer than their ancestors - decades in fact. The average lifespan in China, the U.S. and the majority of Eastern Europe is now the late 70's, while those living in Western Europe and Japan can expect to become octogenarians - according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). 

Most millionaires, however, expect to live a century thanks to their ability to buy the healthiest, cleanest, lowest risk lifestyle. Statistically speaking, that's true. 

In the U.S., for example, the richest 1 percent of American women by income live more than 10 years longer than the poorest 1 percent, a 2016 study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found. For men, the gap between the richest and poorest Americans is almost 15 years. -Bloomberg

In 1930, the average life expectancy for American men was only 58, and 62 for women, according to the SSA. 50 years before that, one could expect to live to around 35 years-old. 

Expectations of living to 100 vary widely by country, with 76% of Germans expecting to become centenarians, while only 30% of Americans think they'll make it that far. On average, 53% of investors with at least $1 million in investible assets say they expect to live to 100.

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Extending your life isn't cheap

The wealthy know that if they're going to make it to 100, they will need to spend money on the best healthcare, food, exercise and other services that can extend life. Then of course, there's all of the other standard living expenses one must plan for if one is to try and stick around as long as possible. 

UBS says that 91% of the 5,000 investors surveyed are "making financial changes due to increased life expectancy."

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The rich are more than willing to sacrifice money for extra longevity. Nine of 10 wealthy people agreed that “health is more important than wealth.” Asked by UBS how much of their fortune they’d be willing to give up “to guarantee an extra 10 years of healthy life,” the average responses varied by wealth level. Investors who are barely millionaires, with $1 million to $2 million in net worth, were willing to give up a third of their nest egg for an additional decade of life. Investors with more than $50 million were willing to part with almost half of their fortune. -Bloomberg

In recent years, life expectancy of Americans has surprisingly declined for two years in a row, a phenomenon Bloomberg suggests is due in part to the country's opioid abuse crisis. It could also be because Americans are fatter than ever, with 40% of adults considered obese, according to the CDC. 

A troubling new report released Friday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that almost 40 percent of American adults and nearly 20 percent of adolescents are obese — the highest rates ever recorded for the U.S.

"It's difficult to be optimistic at this point," said Dr. Frank Hu, chair of the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health. "The trend of obesity has been steadily increasing in both children and adults despite many public health efforts to improve nutrition and physical activity." -NBC

A study from Georgia Southern University revealed that it's not just poor eating habits that's causing Americans to pack on the pounds...extreme laziness and binge watching the latest Netflix series are also contributing factors.

"There’s still a huge amount of cheap, accessible, highly processed food available everywhere almost anytime," says Hu. "And despite people doing more recreational activity these days, the overall activity level, household activity and occupational activity has decreased in recent years."

No wonder just 30% of the Americans millionaires UBS surveyed thought they'd make it to 100. That said, Bloomberg says they should cheer up - as the wealthy in the United States have been "increasingly insulated from the depressing health trends afflicting most Americans." 

A 2016 study by University of California at Berkeley professors Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman compared the death rates for American men aged 65 to 79 across several decades by wealth. If these men’s wealth placed them in the top 1 percent, their mortality rates in the early 1980s were 12 percent lower than average. Twenty-five years later, the wealthiest American men’s death rates had plunged to 40 percent below average. -Bloomberg

Of course, if you've eaten yourself into a blissful state of deadly obesity, there's always the hail mary option of freezing one's body until science can find a way to cure whatever ails.

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