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Across My Desk: Medical Expenses

Research shows that we are all living longer. (Doh!). And, that the cost of this living is going up. (Double doh!) But what was interesting in this study is how much medical expenses cost each of us over our lifetimes.

According to the September 1, 2006, copy ofPLANSPONSOR.com, and online investment newsletter, recent studies show medical costs are nothing to sniff at. Here's the story:

"Researchers at Harvard University and the University of Michigan claim that increased health-care spending over the past four decades is paying off in terms of extended US life expectancy. According to USA Today, the researchers found that, on average, a person born in 1960 could expect to live 70 years, whereas someone born in 2000 has a life expectancy of 77 years, a gain of seven years. But for the person born in 1960, lifetime medical spending was only $13,943; the figure for someone born in 2000 was $83,307. (To make each year comparable, the study adjusted amounts to the dollar's inflation-adjusted value in 2002.). They estimate that about half of the years gained -- about 3.5 -- were directly due to medical care. Based on their analysis, each one of those extra 3.5 years costs about $19,900. The cost of each added year of life went up from $7,400 in the 1970s to $36,300 in the 1990s."

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