How does adding up to $341,000 to your retirement coffer sound? Probably too good to be true.

But 5.8 million people in the U.S. over the age of 65 could increase their chances of doing exactly that if they change a few things about their lives.

That’s how many seniors in the U.S. have dementia, and the care for its victims is estimated to cost, on average, $341,000 per person.

The disease is ranked as more threatening to boomers than the fear of a life-shortening disease, and it kills more people than breast and prostate cancers combined.

Currently, 1 in 3 people dies with some kind of a dementia diagnosis, and by 2050, the number of people it affects is expected to nearly triple.

But this doesn’t have to be the nightmare we down here in the retirement belt see happening all around us.

In a previous article, I discussed the four steps people can take to reduce the possibility of developing dementia. Along with improving diet, getting exercise, reducing alcohol intake and avoiding tobacco, avoiding artificially sweetened drinks was the most startling advice.

Most of us lived on Diet Coke or Diet Pepsi for years. And if what I’m seeing in the snowbirds down here is any indication, too many people are ignoring the advice about diet, exercise, alcohol and tobacco.

And the numbers indicate that more than half of people, 56%, ignore the symptoms of dementia and do not seek an evaluation or even regular cognitive testing.

In fact, most people put off seeing a doctor about their symptoms for as long as a year after the onset of symptoms.

Every three minutes, a person will develop symptoms of dementia in some form, and, barring a miracle cure, those numbers will skyrocket.

Despite the fact that early detection provides the best chance of living a fuller and longer life, most of us ignore the warning signs, and the delays are costing us a mountain of money and time here on Earth.

This is the most feared health condition of our time, and the costs are so great that a Harvard expert estimates that Medicare and Medicaid will collapse under its cost.

It’s time to get our heads out of the sand and face the fact that we, the boomers, are under attack by dementia, and it’s time to do something about it.

If saving all or part of $341,000 isn’t a good enough reason to act, do it for the people who will have to care for you.

Good investing,

Steve

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Source: Wealthy Retirement