Healthier Lifestyle, Longer Life

Life expectancy declines in the U.S., but is rebounding in other countries.

It may still be too early to talk about life expectancy in a post-pandemic world, but it’s been obvious to researchers for years that Americans have a shorter life expectancy than their counterparts in Germany, the United Kingdom, Austria, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Australia, Sweden, Japan, and Switzerland-referred to as “comparable countries” in research studies.

A 2022 report1 by Peterson-KFF Health System Tracker said, “The U.S. has the lowest life expectancy among large, wealthy countries while it far outspends its peers on healthcare.” The average life expectancy in 2021 for those living in the United States was 76.1, compared to 84.5 for those in Japan, and 84 for those in Switzerland. Health spending per capita in 2021, though, was $12,313 in the United States, compared to $4,666 in Japan and $7,179 in Switzerland.

Why is life expectancy low in the U.S., compared to other rich countries?

Even though Americans spend far more on health than other countries,2 there are reasons behind America’s comparatively low life expectancy. They include:

  • Smoking. The U.S. had 92.49 deaths from smoking per 100,000 people in 2019-the highest in the comparable countries study.
  • Obesity. Approximately 70% of Americans are overweight and more than 36% are obese-the highest among the comparable countries.
  • Homicides. America’s homicide rate is more than 3½ times higher than Canada’s, and more than 10 times higher than the United Kingdom’s. Because most homicide victims are young, this contributes to lower life expectancy in the U.S.
  • Opioids. Opioid deaths in the U.S. in 2019 reached 13.69 deaths per 100,000 individuals, compared to 4.67 in Canada and .06 in Brazil.
  • Suicides, road injuries, infant mortality, poverty, and economic inequality. The U.S. also has the highest percentage of deaths in these categories.
Small steps over time can lead to big outcomes

While there’s not much we can do as individuals to lower the country’s overall death rates and increase life expectancy, we can work to try to improve our own health-and maybe find subtle ways to inspire family members and friends to do the same. Get started with these recommendations from Johns Hopkins Medicine.34

  • Be active more often. Exercise lowers your risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and some cancers. It also helps prevent dementia and other cognitive changes. Aim for at least 30 minutes a day, which can be broken into three 10-minutes segments.
  • Get quality sleep. Poor sleep habits impact your emotions, memory, weight, and appearance. Many sleep problems are caused by medication side effects, underlying medical conditions, snoring, depression, or prostrate problems. If this is the case for you, address these issues with your doctor.
  • Maintain a healthy weight. The healthiest people in a Johns Hopkins study maintained a body mass index (BMI) of less than
  • Make healthy food choices. The Johns Hopkins study revealed that the healthiest people followed a Mediterranean-style diet, which is rich in vegetables and fresh fruits, tree nuts, healthy oils, fish, whole-grain carbs and olive oil for cooking-and low in meat, sugar and processed foods.
  • If you smoke, stop. Smoking impacts coronary arteries and lungs, and smokers have increased rates of cancer and risk of Johns Hopkins researchers, in conjunction with scientists from other centers, found that quitting decreased middle-aged smokers’ risk of dying early by almost half. They also reported that the risk of a heart attack decreases in as little as 24 hours after stopping smoking.

Remember that no one can achieve their health goals overnight, so develop a plan that is right for you, stick to it, and enjoy a longer, healthier life!

 

 

1Peterson-KFF Health System Tracker, 12/6/2022: How does U.S. life expectancy compare to other countries?

2Our World in Data, 70/29/2020: Why is life expectancy in the US lower than in other countries?

3Johns Hopkins Medicine: It’s Never Too Late: Five Healthy Steps at Any Age

4Johns Hopkins Medicine: 4 Top Ways to Live Longer

 

Important Disclosures

This material is for general information only and is not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. There is no assurance that the views or strategies discussed are suitable for all investors or will yield positive outcomes. Investing involves risks including possible loss of principal.

This material was prepared by LPL Financial.

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Peter M. Babilla, CFP®, CRPS®

SENIOR WEALTH ADVISOR

Peter Babilla brings 40 years of experience in investment management and fiduciary* financial consulting to Vertex Planning Partners, LLC.

Pete graduated from Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana with a Bachelor’s of Science in Finance.

He began his career in 1983 with a focus on institutional fixed-income portfolio management, primarily working with community banks. After a decade serving institutional clients, Pete shifted his focus to working with individuals, families and business owners, providing guidance and education in all areas of Wealth Management.  Among his areas of focus are accumulation and retirement planning, investment management, risk management, and estate and wealth transfer.

Pete’s planning philosophy allows him to create a personalized program for clients, based on their own unique goals and circumstances.  The extensive investment and planning platform offered by Vertex enables him to create a highly customized program, tailored to each individual client.

Pete and his wife Suzanne have two children, and have resided in Wheaton, Illinois for the past 30 years.  He enjoys golf, reading, and traveling with his family.  Pete gives back as a past Board Member of the Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Chicago, where his focus is on improving the lives of those living with epilepsy.

Pete works as fiduciary for his clients and holds the CERTIFIED FIANANCIAL PLANNER™ (CFP®) designation and the Chartered Retirement Plan Specialist (CRPS®) designation.

JUSTIN J. D'AGOSTINO, CFP®, CRPC®, AIF®

PRIVATE WEALTH ADVISOR

Justin D’Agostino joined Vertex Partners in 2019 and is a Private Wealth Advisor that serves a select group of business owners and affluent families. He specializes in investments, financial planning, and succession planning. His interest and knowledge in providing comprehensive financial planning and wealth management services to clients was sparked when he worked at a boutique tax and wealth management firm in Michigan. He has nine years of experience in the financial services industry, and his mission is to provide every client with targeted, comprehensive financial advice and to help them implement customized strategies designed to move them closer to accomplishing their unique goals.

Justin attended Hillsdale College where he earned his BA in Accounting and Financial Management and was a member and captain of the football team. Justin is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Professional, holds the Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor™ and Accredited Investment Fiduciary™ designations.

Justin and his fiancé, Alexandra, reside in Chicago, Illinois. He is an avid sports fan and enjoys golfing, playing soccer and spending summer weekends with his family.

Scott A. Sandee CFP®, CIMA®, CPWA®, CEPA

MANAGING PARTNER

Scott Sandee brings over 20 years of experience as Managing Partner. He is responsible for leading the firm’s efforts in assisting middle-market business owners and seven and eight-figure families to plan and realize financial goals based on their unique aspirations and situations.

With a privately held family business background, Scott has helped owners prepare for and execute a successful transition. In addition, he works with business owners and their advisors to develop financial strategies to maximize sales proceeds and minimize future taxes.

Before joining Vertex, Scott served in financial planning and investment strategy roles at Oxford Financial Group, Capital Group, and The Northern Trust Company, working with Chicago’s HNW/UHNW families clients.

Scott holds the Certified Financial Planner®, Certified Private Wealth Advisor®, Certified Investment Management Analyst®, and Certified Exit Planning Advisor designations. Scott earned his B.S. in Computer Science from Northern Illinois University, and his family resides in Wilmette, IL.

Julie Hupp CFP®, MBA

PARTNER

Julie Hupp, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional, has worked in the accounting and corporate finance field since 1987. She began her career as a CPA with Deloitte & Touche, specializing in the financial needs of small businesses. Then spent the next 13 years in corporate financial planning and business development at Baxter and TAP Pharmaceuticals. Recognizing her passion for personal financial planning, Julie started her business in 2006 where she focuses on comprehensive financial planning strategies and implementation.

Julie graduated from University of Illinois with a BS in Accountancy. She received her Master’s in Management with a concentration in Finance from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management in 1994.

Outside the office, Julie is the co-founder of the 12 Oaks Foundation, which has merged with Cal’s Angels, and is a former Board member. Julie enjoys cooking, reading, running, triathlons and doing almost anything outdoors. A great weekend is spending time with her husband and two adult kids boating at their lake house in Wisconsin.

Steven P. Franzen, CPA, PFS, CGMA

MANAGING PARTNER

Steven P. Franzen, CPA, PFS, CGMA is a public accountant and consultant with more than 23 years of experience helping individuals and businesses reduce their tax liability.  He began his career under the guidance of Patrick M. De Sio, CPA, CGMA and in 1996 became Mr. De Sio’s partner in De Sio, Franzen & Associates, Ltd. Steve’s expertise include entity design, complex tax strategies and multigenerational wealth transfer.  As Managing Partner, Steve conducts his practice under the philosophy that the client’s investment in their CPA should yield a return on that investment – most of the time that return is realized when working with clients on planning for their future. In an effort to increase the planning capabilities of the firm,  Steve formed Vertex Accounting Partners, LLC to ensure their guiding philosophy will continue well into the future.

Steve is a certified public accountant and has earned the professional designations of Personal Financial Specialist and Chartered Global Management Accountant.  He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Illinois CPA Society.  Steve earned a B.S. degree in accounting from Millikin University.  He and his wife Kristie live in Sugar Grove, IL with their three children.

Gregory P. Benner, CPWA®, CFP®, CLU®, CHFC®, AIF®, RMA®

MANAGING PARTNER

Gregory P. Benner, CPWA®, CFP®, ChFC®, CLU®, AIF®, RMA® has over twenty-two years of experience as a financial advisor. Greg’s practice is based on developing holistic financial plans that help his clients integrate sophisticated retirement, tax, risk management and estate planning strategies into an actionable plan, then stay the course as their behavioral coach.

Prior to founding Vertex Planning Partners, LLC, Greg spent four years as a founding partner of a Registered Investment Advisory firm affiliated with LPL Financial. He also spent seven years with JPMorgan Chase as a Senior Financial Advisor and was a Financial Representative with Northwestern Mutual Life.

Greg holds the Certified Private Wealth Advisor® designation and is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Certificant. He also holds the Chartered Financial Consultant®, Chartered Life Underwriter®, Accredited Investment Fiduciary™, and Retirement Management AdvisorSM designations. He earned a B.S. in Finance from Miami University.

He and his wife Lindsey reside in Naperville, IL with their daughter and twin sons.

Michael D. Bellis, CFP®, CLU®

MANAGING PARTNER

Michael D. Bellis, CFP®, CLU® began his career as a financial planning professional in 1994. His practice is centered on holistic financial planning, astute risk management strategies and empirical, research-driven portfolio construction. He began his career in partnership with his father under the name Bellis & Associates. Together, their practice and reputation for excellence dates back more than 40 years and includes multiple generations of the same families. After his father’s retirement several years ago, Mike continued to build a client-centric, consultative practice before forming Vertex.

Mike holds the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certification and is also a Chartered Life Underwriter. He has been an active member of both the Society of Financial Services Professionals and the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors. He earned a B.S. in Business & Marketing from Illinois State University. Mike is a lifelong resident of Naperville, Illinois. He and his wife Tanja have three children.