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The Original Free Real Age Life Expectancy Calculator 2014

What is the life expectancy of... Life expectancy today has more than doubled in the past 100 years. How long will you live?

 

Your Virtual or Real Age, shown by this Free Real Age Life Expectancy Calculator can be used to determine your health, care for your body, vitality, life expectancy and for insurance purposes.. Consider this a tool to calculate your actual or real / true age test based on gender, weight, build, biological age, stress, sleep, cholesterol, blood pressure, smoking, CAD history, heart problems, digestive tract, Diabetes history and more. Your life expectancy increases in years as you click on the calculator, based on your answers. The lower the Real Age Life Expectancy Calculator software shows your age to be the better your condition.

 

Whether or not you are in treatment, recovery, a weight loss program or diet plan, it can be used to calculate the life expectancy of someone of your current physical age. Take the true age life expectancy test now.

                                              

  

 

 

 

 

                                         

 

 

                                        (Let your friends know your Real Age!)

 

Countries by Life Expectancy

Life expectancy equals the average number of years a person born in a given country would live if mortality rates at each age were to remain constant in the future. The life expectancy is shown separately for males and females, as well as a combined figure. Several non-sovereign entities are also included in this list. The figures reflect the quality of healthcare in the countries listed as well as other factors including ongoing wars, obesity, and HIV infections.

 

Worldwide, the average life expectancy at birth was 71.0 years (68.5 years for males and 73.5 years for females) over the period 2010-2013 according to United Nations World Population Prospects 2012 Revision, and 70.7 years (68.2 years for males and 73.2 years for females) for 2009 according to The World Factbook. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), women on average live longer than men in all countries, with the exception of Tuvalu, Tonga, Kuwait, and Qatar. Source: Wikipedia

 

Running 5 Minutes A Day Might Add Years To Your Life

 

Attention everyone who hates to run: Turns out, you only need to torture yourself for about five minutes a day to reap some important health benefits like adding years to your life.

According to a new study published Monday in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, those who jogged or ran for as little as five minutes a day reduced their risk of premature death by about three years.

USA Today quotes the study's lead author, who says those who run for less than an hour a week reap the same health benefits as those who run more, regardless of age, gender or health conditions. "More [running] may not be better in relation to health benefits."

 

To get these results, researchers studied the exercise habits of more than 55,000 adults between the ages of 18 and 100 over the course of 15 years.

 

They found, compared to those who didn't run at all, those who ran less than an hour a week were 30 percent less likely to die for any reason during the course of the study.

 

And on top of that, those runners were also 45 percent less likely to die of cardiovascular disease.

A cardiologist and chief medical officer of Virginia Heart in northern Virginia told CNN "That's important to note. Even with all the negative factors, such as obesity, smoking and diabetes, those who were, let's say, obese and ran had a less likely chance of dying from heart problems than those obese people who didn't run. Same with smokers, diabetics, etc."

 

And other studies have gone one step further    finding that taking your running routine to the max on a consistent basis may do more harm than good.

 

Research presented at the American College of Cardiology recently found those who run more than 20 miles a week have shorter life spans compared to non runners. In fact, they apparently live, on average, about as long as people who don't run much at all.

 

It seems consistency is key here. The study found those who ran consistently over a six year period gained the most health benefits: 29 percent saw a lower risk of death, and 50 percent had a lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease.

 

The researchers advise those who want to start running should start off slow with walking, then move to jogging and running. Source: AOL

 

 

COPD Life Expectancy and Stages

Doctors describe the severity and progression of emphysema with staging systems. Although everyone with emphysema is unique, emphysema staging can help with prognosis. However, no emphysema staging system can accurately predict what will happen to any individual person with emphysema.

Pulmonary Function Affects Emphysema Prognosis
Emphysema staging requires pulmonary function testing (PFTs). Doctors use PFTs to follow the lung capacity in people with emphysema. During PFTs, a person with emphysema breathes and blows air through a tube while airflow is measured. A person's emphysema prognosis is in large part determined by PFTs.

The lung damage in emphysema creates small air pockets in the lungs, where air becomes trapped. The trapped air makes it difficult for people with emphysema to blow out forcefully. The more air that is trapped, the worse lung function becomes. Over time, this makes it harder to breathe with emphysema, and pulmonary function test results decline.

The GOLD Emphysema Staging System
One major emphysema staging system is called GOLD. It was created by an expert group called the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease.


The major factor in GOLD emphysema staging is the amount of air a person with emphysema can forcefully exhale in one second. This is called the forced expiratory volume, or FEV1.

GOLD emphysema staging is as follows:

Stage I, Mild emphysema: FEV1 greater than or equal to 80% of normal

Stage II, Moderate emphysema: FEV1 less than 80%, but greater than or equal to 50% of normal

Stage III, Severe emphysema: FEV1 less than 50%, but greater than or equal to 30% of normal

Stage IV, Very severe emphysema: FEV1 less than 30% of normal, OR less than 50% of normal with low blood oxygen levels

GOLD emphysema staging is well established and widely used. However, GOLD emphysema staging does not include other areas of functioning that are important, such as how people living with emphysema feel.

The BODE Emphysema Staging System
Emphysema affects more than the ability to blow air through a tube. The BODE index, another emphysema staging system, measures emphysema's impact on multiple areas in life:

Body mass index (B), or weight adjusted for height
Airflow limitation (O for obstruction), measured by pulmonary function tests.
Breathlessness (D for dyspnea), assessed by a questionnaire.
Exercise capacity (E), measured by how far a person with emphysema can walk in six minutes.
The BODE index does a slightly better job at determining emphysema prognosis than GOLD criteria.

Emphysema (COPD) Life Expectancy and Emphysema Statistics
An emphysema prognosis is impossible to determine in any individual person. Although emphysema staging can help identify the severity of emphysema, it can't predict the future.

There have been no large studies to determine emphysema's effect on life expectancy. The largest and best studies have only included a few hundred people. Emphysema staging is helpful, but emphysema still varies widely between two people at the same stage.
Source: WebMD

 

Oxygen Treatment for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
Oxygen treatment increases the amount of oxygen that flows into your lungs and bloodstream. If your COPD is very bad and your blood oxygen levels are low, getting more oxygen can help you breathe better and live longer.

There are several ways to deliver the oxygen, including:


Oxygen concentrators.
Oxygen-gas cylinders.
Liquid-oxygen devices.
You don't have to stay at home or in a hospital to use oxygen. Oxygen systems are portable. You can use them while you do your daily tasks.

What To Expect After Treatment
Long-term oxygen treatment may improve your quality of life. It can help you live longer when you have severe COPD and low oxygen levels. You may notice less shortness of breath and have more energy.

Why It Is Done
Long-term oxygen therapy is used for COPD if you have low levels of oxygen in your blood (hypoxia). It is used mostly to slow or prevent right-sided heart failure. It can help you live longer.

Oxygen may be given in a hospital if you have a rapid, sometimes sudden, increased shortness of breath (COPD exacerbation). Oxygen can also be used at home if the oxygen level in your blood is too low for long periods.

Long-term oxygen therapy should be used for at least 15 hours a day with as few interruptions as possible. Regular use can reduce the risk of death from low oxygen levels.1 To get the most benefit from oxygen, you use it 24 hours a day.

An arterial blood gas test should be done first to see if you need oxygen. You may need oxygen if:

Arterial partial pressure of oxygen (PaO2) is less than or equal to 55 mm Hg (millimeters of mercury, a measure of pressure).
Arterial oxygen saturation is less than or equal to 88%.
Arterial partial pressure of oxygen (PaO2) is between 56 mm Hg and 59 mm Hg, or oxygen saturation is 89% and you have:
Evidence of right-side heart failure due to breathing problems (cor pulmonale).
Heart failure.
An increased number of red blood cells (erythrocytosis).
Arterial oxygen saturation is greater than 88% when you are resting but becomes less than or equal to 88% when you are exercising or sleeping.
How Well It Works
Several studies show that using oxygen at home for more than 15 hours a day increases quality of life and helps people live longer when they have severe COPD and low blood levels of oxygen.1, 2 Oxygen therapy has good short-term and long-term effects in people who have COPD.3


Using oxygen may also improve confusion and memory problems. It may improve impaired kidney function caused by low oxygen levels.

Risks
Typically there are no risks from oxygen treatment as long as you follow your doctor's instructions. But oxygen is a fire hazard, so it is important to follow safety rules. Do not use oxygen around lit cigarettes, open flames, or anything flammable.

Oxygen is usually prescribed to raise the PaO2 to between 60 and 65 mm Hg or the saturations from 90% to 92%. Higher flow rates usually do not help, and they can even be dangerous.

What To Think About
People using oxygen should not smoke.

Do not use oxygen around lit cigarettes or an open flame. If you or those who care for you smoke, or if there are other risks for fire, it is important to consider oxygen treatment very carefully because of the danger of fire or explosion.

You may need oxygen in certain situations, including:

During exercise. For some people with COPD, blood oxygen levels drop only when they exercise or are very active. Using oxygen during exercise may help boost performance and reduce shortness of breath for some people. But there are no studies that show any long-term benefits from using oxygen during exercise.
During sleep. During sleep, breathing naturally slows down because the body doesn't need as much oxygen. Sleep-related breathing disorders are quite common in people with COPD, and many will have significantly low blood oxygen levels during sleep.
For air travel. The level of oxygen in airplanes is about the same as the oxygen level at an elevation of 8000 ft (2438 m). This drop in oxygen can really affect people with COPD. If you normally use oxygen or have borderline-low oxygen levels in your blood, you may need oxygen when you fly. Traveling with oxygen usually is possible. But it is important to plan ahead before you travel.
Source: WebMD

20 Ways to Stay Young From A 96 Year Old Grandmother

1. Watch you're figure closely, because if you don't take the time to do so, nobody else will. She watched what she ate and exercised, but she also knew how to wear a dress like nobody's business.

2. Avoid spending time with people who complain about how old they feel. They will just pull you right down with them and make you feel old too. Instead, surround yourself with people who feel and act young, both inside and out. Seriously, she lived by this rule and only kept the company of positive and enlightening folks.

3. Exercise every day, no matter how tired or lazy you feel. Just moving around will make you forget about how tired you are, and pretty soon, you'll have more energy to do all of the fun things you truly want to do. She either played golf, swam, danced or walked nearly every day of her life.

4. Travel whenever you are able. Seeing the world and discovering how other people live adds life, love and lucidity to your years. Well into her 90s, Anna Lee was traveling abroad to fabulous and exotic places on a moment's notice.

5. Take the time to plan wonderful things for the future, this will give you something to look forward to and make you feel hopeful. Whenever I spoke to her, she had something new to tell me about what she was going to be doing  both sooner and later.

6. Be extravagant once in awhile. Whether its eating a decadent piece of chocolate cake, wearing something much too sexy for your own good, or dining at a very expensive restaurant once a year  this can make you feel both happy and young. She could be seen eating a small piece of dark chocolate every afternoon while sometimes wearing a low cut sweater.

7. On a daily basis, eat whatever you want, drink what you want, and say what you want, but all with a degree of moderation. While she enjoyed a martini, she didn't get drunk, although she may have danced a bit more because of it.

8. Flirt with life  not just with men and women, but with all of what life has to offer. This will make you feel young, hopeful and excited to get out of bed every day. My grandma enjoyed flirting with any man in uniform, and I am certain that if she were around today, she would flirt with my boyfriend while also flirting with the idea of buying new shoes.

9. Surround yourself with lively, smart, fun and interesting people who adore being around you, don't settle for anything or anyone else. I once witnessed my grandmother speaking to a man with a mustache who spoke to her in Italian about a book he had just written, while he smiled at her the whole time.

10. Be spontaneous. When you do something out of the ordinary and on barely a moment's notice, this can make you feel alive and young. She was known to announce unexpected trips and excursions to the beach.

11. Don't ever feel sorry about yourself. It is a waste of time and a waste of your life. And it also bores people to tears. Never once in all of my years did I ever hear my grandmother complain about her life.

12. Take the time to be beautiful. You can't feel both depressed and fabulous at the same time. She got her hair done every week; it was dyed a beautiful shade of blonde with perfect flips and fragrant hairspray.

13. Treat yourself regularly to wonderful little things, especially if they seem unnecessary and frivolous. This will remind you that you are wonderful and when you feel wonderful, you just feel better. She often frequented special bookstores and could also be found buying herself shoes and hats on cold winter days.

14. Never say or think that you are "too old" to do anything. This is a self fulfilling prophecy, you are only as old as you make up your mind to be. My grandma was the first person to volunteer to do anything that seemed youthful.

15. Live the way that you feel your real age to be, not what others tell you. If you feel 16, keep that energy up and you will feel like a teenager for as long as you are willing. Even though she was way past sixteen, she could make anyone around her feel as forever young as she was.

16. Every morning when you wake up, tell yourself you are a beautiful and wonderful person while you look straight into the mirror. Anna Lee really did this, I saw her, and she would also sing to herself on occasion.

17. Read a lot of history, it will teach you a lot about what other people have gone through and their stories will inspire you. It will give you perspective about how good you really have it right now. My grandma was absolutely obsessed about history, especially about the soap opera dalliances of English Royalty and the sufferings of commoners and romantics.

18. As soon as a negative thought comes into your mind, make a habit of replacing it with a joke, a humorous anecdote, watch a funny film, or call a positive friend. Grateful to say, she often called moi for a humor boost.

19. Whether you're a man or a woman, never sit around all day in your bedclothes. Get dressed, brush your hair, spiff yourself up and be ready for the Queen of England if she happens to stop by. Within a half hour of waking, she had her "face on," her heels and her hair brushed and smelling like candy.

20. Pay attention to children because they know how to be happy, young and carefree. I should know about this one, I was lucky enough to be her granddaughter, and she paid a lot of attention to me and my three daughters. Source: elephantjournal

 

Key To COPD Life Expectancy Is Early Detection

Is It Early COPD?

 

The first symptoms of COPD are frequent coughing and more mucus or phlegm coughed up from the lungs. Your chest may start to feel tight. The coughing begins to disturb your sleep. You may feel tired, and become short of breath when walking up a hill or a flight of stairs.

 

It's tempting to think of these symptoms as just a part of normal aging. But they may not be.

 

"If you've smoked, are over 45, get short of breath doing daily activities, or are backing off your exercise regimen because of a little breathlessness at the end    all those are reasons not just to talk with your primary care provider but maybe to talk to a lung specialist," says Dr. James Kiley, PhD, director of the lung disease division of the National Institutes of Health.

 

COPD diagnosis depends on a test called spirometry. The test measures how much air you can force from the lungs and how fast it blows out.

 

Early Disease Detection Key to COPD Life Expectancy

 

There is no such thing as an average case of COPD. One person's experience may differ dramatically from another's.

 

In general, lung function declines slowly but steadily, until there's a sudden worsening of symptoms. That speeds up lung damage.

To monitor someone with COPD, doctors keep tabs on their current symptoms, lung function tests, and other conditions such as heart disease and diabetes that are often also seen in people with COPD.

 

Diagnosed early enough, a person with risk factors for COPD might be able to get off the slippery slope of worsening lung function.

 

"The most important thing would be to really quit smoking," according to a recent WebMD article. Further focus should be to keep up to date on immunizations    a flu shot and a pneumonia shot. All may keep someone with no symptoms from the progress or worsening COPD.

 

For more information on COPD life expectancy and prevention, visit WebMD.com

COPD life expectancy information courtesy: WebMD

 

Life Expectancy Tables by Age

  Age
Calendar Period 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80
White males                  
1850 38.3 48.0 40.1 34.0 27.9 21.6 15.6 10.2 5.9
1890 42.50 48.45 40.66 34.05 27.37 20.72 14.73 9.35 5.40
1900-1902 48.23 50.59 42.19 34.88 27.74 20.76 14.35 9.03 5.10
1909-1911 50.23 51.32 42.71 34.87 27.43 20.39 13.98 8.83 5.09
1919-1921 56.34 54.15 45.60 37.65 29.86 22.22 15.25 9.51 5.47
1929-1931 59.12 54.96 46.02 37.54 29.22 21.51 14.72 9.20 5.26
1939-1941 62.81 57.03 47.76 38.80 30.03 21.96 15.05 9.42 5.38
1949-1951 66.31 58.98 49.52 40.29 31.17 22.83 15.76 10.07 5.88
1959-1961 67.55 59.78 50.25 40.98 31.73 23.22 16.01 10.29 5.89
1969-1971 67.94 59.69 50.22 41.07 31.87 23.34 16.07 10.38 6.18
1979-1981 70.82 61.98 52.45 43.31 34.04 25.26 17.56 11.35 6.76
1990 72.7 63.5 54.0 44.7 35.6 26.7 18.7 12.1 7.1
1992 73.2 64.0 54.3 45.1 36.0 27.1 19.1 12.4 7.2
1993 73.1 63.8 54.2 44.9 35.9 27.0 18.9 12.3 7.1
1995 73.4 64.1 54.5 45.2 36.1 27.3 19.3 12.5 7.2
1997 74.3 65.0 55.3 45.9 36.7 27.7 19.6 12.7 7.4
1998 74.5 65.2 55.5 46.1 36.8 27.9 19.7 12.8 7.5
1999 74.6 65.3 55.6 46.2 36.9 28.0 19.8 12.9 7.5
2000 74.8 65.4 55.7 46.4 37.1 28.2 20.0 13.0 7.6
2001 75.0 65.6 56.0 46.6 37.3 28.4 20.2 13.2 7.7
2002 75.1 65.7 56.1 46.7 37.4 28.5 20.3 13.3 7.7
2003 75.3 66.0 56.3 46.9 37.6 28.8 20.6 13.5 8.0
2004 75.7 66.3 56.7 47.3 38.0 29.1 20.9 13.7 8.1
2011 76.3 66.9 57.2 47.9 38.6 29.6 21.5 14.3 8.2
White females                  
1850 40.5 47.2 40.2 35.4 29.8 23.5 17.0 11.3 6.4
1890 44.46 49.62 42.03 35.36 28.76 22.09 15.70 10.15 5.75
1900-1902 51.08 52.15 43.77 36.42 29.17 21.89 15.23 9.59 5.50
1909-1911 53.62 53.57 44.88 36.96 29.26 21.74 14.92 9.38 5.35
1919-1921 58.53 55.17 46.46 38.72 30.94 23.12 15.93 9.94 5.70
1929-1931 62.67 57.65 48.52 39.99 31.52 23.41 16.05 9.98 5.63
1939-1941 67.29 60.85 51.38 42.21 33.25 24.72 17.00 10.50 5.88
1949-1951 72.03 64.26 54.56 45.00 35.64 26.76 18.64 11.68 6.59
1959-1961 74.19 66.05 56.29 46.63 37.13 28.08 19.69 12.38 6.67
1969-1971 75.49 66.97 57.24 47.60 38.12 29.11 20.79 13.37 7.59
1979-1981 78.22 69.21 59.44 49.76 40.16 30.96 22.45 14.89 8.65
1990 79.4 70.1 60.3 50.6 41.0 31.6 23.0 15.4 9.0
1992 79.8 70.4 60.6 50.9 41.2 31.9 23.2 15.6 9.2
1993 79.5 70.1 60.3 50.6 41.0 31.7 23.0 15.3 8.9
1995 79.6 70.2 60.4 50.6 41.0 31.7 23.0 15.4 8.9
1997 79.9 70.5 60.7 50.9 41.3 32.0 23.2 15.5 9.1
1998 80.0 70.6 60.8 51.0 41.4 32.0 23.3 15.6 9.1
1999 79.9 70.5 60.6 50.9 41.3 31.9 23.2 15.5 9.0
2000 80.0 70.5 60.7 50.9 41.3 32.0 23.2 15.5 9.1
2001 80.2 70.8 60.9 51.2 41.6 32.3 23.5 15.7 9.3
2002 80.3 70.8 61.0 51.2 41.6 32.4 23.6 15.8 9.3
2003 80.5 71.0 61.2 51.5 41.9 32.6 23.8 16.0 9.6
2004 80.8 71.3 61.5 51.8 42.1 32.9 24.1 16.2 9.7
2011 81.1 71.6 61.8 52.0 42.5 33.2 24.5 16.5 9.7
All other males                  
1900-1902 32.54 41.90 35.11 29.25 23.12 17.34 12.62 8.33 5.12
1909-1911 34.05 40.65 33.46 27.33 21.57 16.21 11.67 8.00 5.53
1919-1921 47.14 45.99 38.36 32.51 26.53 20.47 14.74 9.58 5.83
1929-1931 47.55 44.27 35.95 29.45 23.36 17.92 13.15 8.78 5.42
1939-1941 52.33 48.54 39.74 32.25 25.23 19.18 14.38 10.06 6.46
1949-1951 58.91 52.96 43.73 35.31 27.29 20.25 14.91 10.74 7.07
1959-1961 61.48 55.19 45.78 37.05 28.72 21.28 15.29 10.81 6.87
1969-1971 60.98 53.67 44.37 36.20 28.29 21.24 15.35 10.68 7.57
1979-1981 65.63 57.40 47.87 39.13 30.64 22.92 16.54 11.36 7.22
1990 67.0 58.5 49.0 40.3 31.9 23.9 17.0 11.4 7.0
1992 67.7 59.0 49.6 40.9 32.4 24.5 17.5 11.7 7.2
1993 67.3 58.6 49.2 40.6 32.2 24.3 17.3 11.5 6.9
1995 67.9 59.1 49.6 40.8 32.4 24.6 17.6 11.7 7.0
1997 69.8 60.9 51.4 42.5 33.7 25.5 18.3 12.4 7.9
1998 67.6 59.0 49.5 40.6 31.9 23.9 17.1 11.5 7.1
1999 67.8 59.2 49.6 40.7 31.9 24.0 17.2 11.6 7.2
2000 68.3 59.6 50.0 41.1 32.3 24.3 17.5 11.8 7.4
2001 68.6 59.8 50.3 41.4 32.5 24.4 17.5 11.7 7.3
2002 68.8 60.1 50.5 41.6 32.8 24.6 17.6 11.8 7.5
2003 69.0 60.3 50.7 41.8 32.9 24.8 17.9 12.1 7.9
2004 69.8 61.0 51.4 42.5 33.6 25.3 18.3 12.6 8.2
2011 72.1 63.2 53.6 44.5 35.5 26.8 19.3 13.1 7.9
All other females                  
1900-1902 35.04 43.02 36.89 30.70 24.37 18.67 13.60 9.62 6.48
1909-1911 37.67 42.84 36.14 29.61 23.34 17.65 12.78 9.22 6.05
1919-1921 46.92 44.54 37.15 31.48 25.60 19.76 14.69 10.25 6.58
1929-1931 49.51 45.33 37.22 30.67 24.30 18.60 14.22 10.38 6.90
1939-1941 55.51 50.83 42.14 34.52 27.31 21.04 16.14 11.81 8.00
1949-1951 62.70 56.17 46.77 38.02 29.82 22.67 16.95 12.29 8.15
1959-1961 66.47 59.72 50.07 40.83 32.16 24.31 17.83 12.46 7.66
1969-1971 69.05 61.49 51.85 42.61 33.87 25.97 19.02 13.30 9.01
1979-1981 74.00 65.64 55.88 46.39 37.16 28.59 20.49 14.44 9.17
1990 75.2 66.6 56.8 47.3 38.1 29.2 21.3 14.5 8.8
1992 75.7 67.0 57.2 47.7 38.4 29.6 21.7 14.8 8.9
1993 75.5 66.7 56.9 47.4 38.2 29.5 21.4 14.5 8.7
1995 75.7 66.8 57.0 47.5 38.3 29.6 21.5 14.5 8.7
1997 76.7 67.8 58.0 48.4 39.1 30.3 22.1 15.1 9.4
1998 74.8 66.0 56.2 46.7 37.5 28.8 21.0 14.1 8.7
1999 74.7 66.0 56.2 46.6 37.4 28.7 20.9 14.0 8.6
2000 75.0 66.2 56.4 46.8 37.6 29.0 21.0 14.1 8.7
2001 75.5 66.6 56.8 47.2 38.0 29.3 21.5 14.7 9.2
2002 75.6 66.8 57.0 47.4 38.1 29.5 21.6 14.7 9.2
2003 76.1 67.2 57.4 47.8 38.6 29.9 22.1 15.3 9.8
2004 76.5 67.6 57.8 48.2 38.9 30.2 22.3 15.4 9.7
2011 78.2 69.1 59.3 49.6 40.2 31.3 23.2 15.8 9.6

Source: Infoplease

How to protect yourself If you're shopping for a life insurance policy (Online)*


As we've long advised for most consumers, buy term life rather than a cash value or whole life policy.


Shop for the best price by using online insurance brokers, such as Accuquote.com, FindMyInsurance.com, and LifeInsure.com.


Whatever you buy term, cash value life, or annuities, sign only with an insurer that has earned the very top financial strength rating from an independent rater. That would be the A ratings tier at TheStreet.com, available to consumers free, as well as the AAAq grade at Fitch and the AAApi grade at S&P.
To further diversify, buy coverage within your state's guaranty association limit from separate companies: For example, a $300,000 death benefit policy or $100,000 cash surrender value policy from Company A, and additional, similar value policies from Companies B, C, etc. But the added safety of multiple policies might cost you a higher combined premium than you might pay with a single policy.


If you're already a policyholder:


Try to maintain good health in case you need to shop for new coverage.


If you have cash value life or an annuity, monitor your insurer's health regularly. When TheStreet.com's agency went by the name Weiss Ratings, it spotted trouble long before six major life/health failures in the late 1980s and early 1990s and red flagged the companies as "vulnerable" an average of 10 months before regulators stepped in, well in advance of other agencies. By contrast, Best did so an average of one day after regulators took action, rating two of those disasters A (excellent) at the time of their impairment. Best says its rating process has been "substantially enhanced" since then, but its financial strength rating of AIG Insurance was?A when AIG collapsed last September.


If you want to bail out of a variable annuity, weigh the policy's surrender charges against any feared losses.


*This article appeared in the May 2009 issue of Consumer Reports Money Adviser. Source: ConsumerReports.org

 

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