Critical Decision Time?

The results of an EU study have just been released. They may leave you feeling just a little uneasy with regards to your future plans. Frighteningly, they show that for a man living in the UK, the average healthy number of years they can expect to live is around 61. (61.5 to be precise). Women come out slightly worse in the healthy year’s stakes, with an expectation of 60.9. Life expectancy for a man is 76.2 years, whilst a UK woman can expect to live until they’re almost 81.

The very best place to have been born and bred turns out to be Italy, if you’re talking healthy years and you drew the short straw if you happen to come from Finland. Here in the UK we come in below Italy, Spain, Germany, Poland and the Netherlands, as far as men are concerned, but above France, Hungary, Portugal and Finland. Interestingly, as far as women are concerned, Portugal and the Netherlands “swap places”. Whatever the position, it’s obviously a case of “could do better”.

60,000 EU households took part in the study, via a questionnaire asking questions regarding sickness rates, overall health and death. Research into the study is at a preliminary stage. It is hoped that politicians can be encouraged to focus on lengthening the healthy years, rather than merely prolonging life expectancy.

The blame for our very poor figures are thought to be due to a number of reasons, including diet, smoking, variations in healthcare systems and even the good old British weather gets a look in. The research department of Help the Aged say that there is a very great difference in climate in Europe and a decreasing trend in cardiovascular disease as you travel from north to south. Maybe we don’t appreciate the risk to health of the cold weather in Britain.

There is no doubt that the Mediterranean diet, with its plentiful fish, vegetable and unsaturated fats may well be a major contributory factor in the nation’s health.

Without sounding too many alarm bells, what can we do to retrieve the situation? Obviously you are in a better position if you’re a perfect weight, non-smoking person without any family history of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, or other hereditary illnesses or conditions. It also helps if you exercise regularly and have a sensible lifestyle. Prevention is said to be better than cure, but there are steps you can take to alleviate the financial aspect of ill health if you’re unlucky enough to fall prey to it. All of your lifestyle facts will be taken into account when you request insurance quotes, but it is important to remain honest and not jeopardise any future claim you may make.

Critical illness cover is a very useful financial tool. Most critical health policies now cover a range of around 65 medical conditions. The main ones tend to be cancer, stroke, and cardiovascular problems – check the individual policy to see what exactly is covered. The way the insurance works is that if you are diagnosed with a listed condition, you will receive a lump sum payout of a standard amount. As some of the conditions can require you make major changes to the way in which you live, adaptations to your home or car, for instance, or even a change of employment and re-training, this cover is invaluable.

Life insurance should also be considered, for the benefit of your dependants in the event of your death. You need to make adequate provision for their continued financial care.

Some of the best insurance deals come via the internet. Log on and find an on-line broke who will search for the right cover for your needs and make sure you’re covered, whatever the future has in store.

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