The Next Big Thing: Cognitive Impairment

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Why I love this chart:

We hear a lot about retirement, but mostly happy stories of a long awaited vacation, time for family and friends, to play golf and sleep late. But that is just the first stage of retirement, when we have the most money and probably the best health we will have in our next chapter.

This chart shows how that mostly sunny view will cloud up.

The individual bars represent a specific age for Americans and the stack of each bar is the likelihood of people that age suffering from each of three different cognitive ailments – Alzheimer’s disease, other forms of dementia, and mild cognitive impairment. Cognitive impairment is a game changer for the retiree – and the family. Physical disorders can be met with medical help, rehabilitation and other measures. Cognitive issues make everyone scramble to support. And there are currently no reliable methods to identify cognitive issues in advance. Their arrival can be an unwelcome surprise.

Calling attention to the looming challenge of longevity is important. I like this chart because it captures the speed and pervasiveness of the trend – and points out the very early stage we are in today. Get ready!

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Related: Retirement Is a Burning Platform – and Your Hurdle Rate Is on Fire