More Retirement Income Ahead!

Total individual life insurance policy sales increased 11% in the first quarter, compared with first quarter 2020. This is the highest growth in the number of policies sold in a quarter since 1983. New annualized premium also experienced significant growth, up 15% from prior year, according to LIMRA’s First Quarter U.S. Individual Life Insurance Sales Survey.

LIMRA: First Quarter U.S. Life Insurance Policy Sales Highest Since 1983 — https://www.limra.com/en/newsroom/news-releases/2021/limra-first-quarter-u.s.-life-insurance-policy-sales-highest-since-1983/

I don’t know who you are. I don’t know what you want. If you are looking for ransom, I can tell you I don’t have money. But what I do have are a very particular set of skills; skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you.

Bryan Mills, played by Liam Neeson in the film Taken

I had my annual wellness visit earlier this week.

5.10 168 130/84 BMI 24.14 O2 sat 98%

CHOLESTEROL 175 mg/dL
TRIGLYCERIDE 69 mg/dL
HDL 65 mg/dL
LDL CALCULATED 96 mg/dL
NON-HDL CHOLESTEROL 110 mg/dL

All of my other labs were normal too.

I have multiple relatives who have lived well into their 90’s. My maternal grandmother lived to 100. I’m going to need another source of retirement income. And for all of my friends and colleagues who never thought I would make it this far…

AST 23 U/L

ALT 7 U/L

GGT 36 U/L (12/2015)

PSA 0.7 (9/2020)

Type 2 Diabetes Risk and…Sardines?

Older people with prediabetes who followed a diet rich in sardines for 1 year show significant reductions in risk of developing type 2 diabetes compared with those placed on a similarly healthy diet but without the sardines, results from a new randomized trial show.

 “A 1-year, sardine-enriched type 2 diabetes-preventive diet in an elderly population with prediabetes exerts a greater protective effect against developing type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular events, by improving anthropometric parameters, blood chemistry profile, lipid composition in erythrocytes membranes, and metabolomics data,” report the authors in research published in Clinical Nutrition by Diana Díaz-Rizzolo, PhD, of the Hospital Clinic of Barcelona, Spain, and colleagues.

Sardines Linked to Reduced Type 2 Diabetes Risk — https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/951528?src=rss#vp_1

Very small study with very interesting findings.

If I only liked sardines.

How to make COVID vaccines more effective: give people vitamin and mineral supplements

For the immune system to fight off infection or generate good protection against a disease following vaccination, it needs a variety of micronutrients. This is likely to be just as true for COVID-19 as for other diseases. Given that malnutrition is common among elderly people, raising their vitamin and mineral levels before they get vaccinated could be a way of boosting the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines.

How to make COVID vaccines more effective: give people vitamin and mineral supplementshttps://theconversation.com/how-to-make-covid-vaccines-more-effective-give-people-vitamin-and-mineral-supplements-154974

Follow the link above to read the entire article. And take your multivitamin.

How the Lives of Older Citizens Changed in 2020

We all know that Baby Boomers and seniors have had an incredibly challenging time during this pandemic. Older generations have shown particular resilience through this time, with many not being able to see friends and family for months. All in the name of rightly protecting their health. With Government and media messaging telling seniors they are the most vulnerable group, their determination to power through this challenge has been apparent across the world.

A representative group of 1,409 Baby Boomers and seniors from the USA and Canada were polled on behalf of Amica Senior Lifestyles, using Amazon’s online survey platform, Mechanical Turk. Survey responses were fielded in September and October 2020. They were asked a variety of questions relating to their lifestyle changes during and after the global pandemic. The age breakdown of our survey sample was as follows: 
55-64 (24.6%)
65-74 (70.8%)
75-84 (3.8%)
85+ (0.9%)
https://www.amica.ca/conversations/baby-boomers-seniors-coronavirus-statistics#lockdown

The source article is fairly long so I’ve provided the Table of Contents clickable links. I hope they work. Technology adaptation is tougher for the older ones. Did you know my smartphone has a CAMERA?

COVID-19 in the Elderly (case study and literature review)

Summary

Age is a risk factor for increased morbidity and mortality in COVID-19 infections.

Elderly men have increased mortality compared to elderly women.

Elderly patients can present differently. Delirium can be the primary symptom of COVID-19 infection, as can persistent hypoxia.

Consider COVID-19 in the setting of altered mental status and geriatric falls.

Elderly patients in the ED who live in nursing homes should undergo COVID-19 testing.

Elderly individuals with COVID-19 tend to have increased lesions and lobar involvement on chest CT.

Laboratory diagnostics may differ based on age, and the geriatric population may have lymphopenia, higher CRP values, and increased D-dimer on testing.

COVID-19 in the Elderly — http://www.emdocs.net/covid-19-in-the-elderly/?utm_source=feedly&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=covid-19-in-the-elderly

The full article takes some time to read but it’s well worth it if you are into the clinical stuff.

Exercise intensity not linked to mortality risk in older adults

Of these 1,567 participants, 400 were assigned to two weekly sessions of high intensity interval training (HIIT), 387 were assigned to moderate intensity continuous training (MICT), and 780 to follow the Norwegian guidelines for physical activity (control group), all for five years.

After five years, the overall mortality rate was 4.6% (72 participants).

The researchers found no difference in all cause mortality between the control group (4.7%, 37 participants) and combined HIIT and MICT group (4.5%, 35 participants).

They also found no differences in cardiovascular disease or cancer between the control group and the combined HIIT and MICT group.

BMJ. “Exercise intensity not linked to mortality risk in older adults, finds trial.” ScienceDaily. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/10/201007193656.htm (accessed October 8, 2020). — https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/10/201007193656.htm

Finally some scientific justification for my lack of exercise.

Today’s Old are “Younger” (if you are a Finlander)

Hundreds of Finlanders aged 75-80 were given a battery of physical and cognitive tests 30 years ago. The same tests were recently repeated, in 2017-2018, with Finlanders aged 75-80. The modern group showed substantial differences:

walking speeds .2-.4 meters per second faster

grip strengths 5%-25% stronger

knee extension strengths 20%-47% higher

better verbal fluency, reasoning, and working memory

This means that the modern group moves and thinks “younger.” “Performance measurements reflect one’s functional age,” says lead author Taina Rantanen, professor of gerontology and public health at the University of Jyväskylä.

Today’s Older People Really are Younger — https://www.fastcompany.com/90554646/todays-older-people-really-are-younger-than-in-previous-generations

You can access the study abstract here: https://academic.oup.com/biomedgerontology/advance-article-abstract/doi/10.1093/gerona/glaa224/5901594?redirectedFrom=fulltext

And if you’re Covid obsessed like I am here you go:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Template:COVID-19_pandemic_data/Finland_medical_cases_chart

I would not extrapolate the older age study findings to the general population. Clearly there are cultural, societal, dietary, climate and other differences in Finland that do not exist elsewhere. But at my age I’ll take good news about getting older anywhere I can find it.

Finland is different. They developed a real interesting rapid Covid-19 test.

Four Covid-19 sniffer dogs have begun work at Helsinki airport in a state-funded pilot scheme that Finnish researchers hope will provide a cheap, fast and effective alternative method of testing people for the virus.

‘Close to 100% accuracy’: Helsinki airport uses sniffer dogs to detect Covid — https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/sep/24/close-to-100-accuracy-airport-enlists-sniffer-dogs-to-test-for-covid-19

How Dean Vagnozzi’s Clients Lost Bets On The Dead

Since financial adviser Dean Vagnozzi was charged with fraud in a government lawsuit in July, he has been castigated by regulators for how he steered customers to Par Funding, a Philadelphia lender founded by a twice-convicted felon. With his heavy radio advertising and free steak sales dinners, Vagnozzi, 51, touted alternatives to Wall Street.

Source: How Dean Vagnozzi’s Clients Lost Bets On The Dead

Actually the title to the original article is misleading.

Don’t bet on people dying to make your profits. Unfortunately some people do just that.

Life Partners founder Brian Pardo lived well in Waco, Texas, for a time. Pardo bought four planes and a yacht along with such artifacts as replicas of an ancient Egyptian sarcophagus and a pharaoh’s throne. His business eventually sold $2.4 billion in policies to 20,000 investors.

But in 2010 the Wall Street Journal reported that Pardo’s firm was relying heavily on an assembly-line doctor who was systematically under-predicting life expectancies. Life Partners’ sellers were living a lot longer than predicted — very good for them but hard on investors paying years of premiums without collecting death benefits,

https://insurancenewsnet.com/oarticle/how-clients-of-an-advisor-facing-fraud-complaint-lost-bets-on-the-dead?utm_source=feedly&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=how-clients-of-an-advisor-facing-fraud-complaint-lost-bets-on-the-dead#

I’ve never been a fan of the life settlement business.

Never accept one of those free steak dinner offers.