How your risk of disability increases during retirement


As we age and our bodies wear out, the risk of disability increases dramatically. This is probably not a surprise, but a new report from JP Morgan Asset Management highlights how important risk is later in life.

In fact, by the time you’re in your 90s, you have just over a 50% chance of avoiding disability, which is defined as needing help with two or more activities of daily living or having severe cognitive impairment.

Using prepared data by the Urban Institute and reported to the US Department of Health and Human Services, JP Morgan illustrates how risk increases in the later stages of life.

The danger really starts to increase significantly once you enter your 70s. It almost doubles between ages 74 and 79, then almost doubles again between ages 80 and 84.

According to the data, the percentage of people with disabilities in their old age is:

  • 65-69 years old: 5%
  • 70-74: 7%
  • 75-79: 12%
  • 80-84: 22%
  • 85-89: 30%
  • 90+: 48%

Although there is no way to eliminate the risk of becoming disabled in old age, you can reduce this risk by becoming more active. According to the National Institute on Aging, too many seniors are spending too much time session.

The NIA notes that a study found that people who engaged in a structured physical activity program including walking, strength training, increased flexibility and balance training – as well as other elements, such as learning the value of health screenings and good nutrition – had an 18% lower risk of being diagnosed with major motor disability.

To learn more about the health risks you face as you age – and how to prevent such problems – read:

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