Life expectancy at birth in the United States continues to climb, reaching a record high of 78.8 years in 2012, according the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).
That figure is 0.1 year higher than in 2011, according to the center’s latest annual report on mortality statistics.
The report serves as a reminder that Americans should be saving more money for longer retirements than was needed in the past. In addition, the federal government must responsibly anticipate higher costs in Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid because those programs will be helping more older people for longer periods of time.
For that reason, the report’s analysis of remaining life expectancy for Americans at age 65 is particularly noteworthy. The study says that in 2012 they could expect to live another 19.3 years — also a slight increase over 2011.
“Much of the recent improvement in death rates and life expectancy . . . . can be attributed to reductions in death rates from major causes of death, such as heart disease, cancer, stroke, and chronic lower respiratory diseases,” the report said.