At the breakfast table yesterday, I was reading the New York Times which included a special supplement on retirement. It was full of the kinds of articles that can make a middle aged person panicky about their financial future - "I don't have enough time to put enough away for retirement," etc.
Now, it wasn't all bleak, there was some good advice and a kick in the pants, as it were, to be more active in planning and saving for the future.
But it also calls to mind that our future financial health isn't the only health challenge we all face as we age.
There are big health challenges ahead. We've already and repeatedly talked about conditions like Alzheimer's disease and what it may mean for individuals, their families and our national economy. The fact that there are no treatments today and few diagnostic tools underscores the urgency of research efforts, and makes us all hope for some progress towards a treatment or cure from one of the nearly 100 medicines now being developed to fight Alzheimer's disease.
But, there are also things we all can do now, today, to try and live healthier lives as we grow older. Specifically, I'm talking about coming to grips with potential chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes and cancers, and doing more to treat these conditions before painful, expensive complications set it, or prevent them altogether. Raising awareness and helping every America recognize the potential threat from chronic disease to their health and to our country's health care system and economy is one of the reasons that PhRMA supports and is so active a partner in the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease.
All of which is to say, it is never too late to start planning your financial future or to think about what we can all do to try and minimize the adverse effects that bad health - like a chronic disease - may have on our life and finances.