Life expectancy rates are rising in many countries around the world. Find out how where you live impacts longevity and how to get the best term life quotes for a flexible policy that can go the distance.
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Average Life Expectancy: 82.3 yrs (Women: 84.2, Men 80.3)
Israeli life expectancy is up, and much of it, say researchers, has to do with Israeli eating and drinking habits. For the most part, Israelis stick to a heart-healthy (and utterly delicious) Mediterranean diet and have very low alcohol consumption rates compared with the rest of the world. Israel also boasts one of the most advanced health care systems in the world, with most Israelis having access to comprehensive preventative medical care without cost.
Average Life Expectancy: 82.4 yrs (Women: 83.9, Men: 80.9)
Besides 1990s art-rock diva Bjork, Iceland is most well-known as a country of other-worldly beauty, from the multi-colored Northern Lights to its landscapes of natural geysers which rival Old Faithful. One reason for Iceland’s long average life spans, according to one top Icelandic health minister, is pretty simple: Icelanders are living longer because they are becoming healthier, due to an ever-improving quality of life. Iceland boasts low air pollution levels, low rates of smoking, an excellent health care system which emphasizes preventative care, and (you guessed it) a national cuisine that features dishes providing healthy measures of Omega-3 fatty acids.
Average Life Expectancy: 82.4 yrs (Women: 84.1, Men: 80.6)
Swedes don’t only outshine the rest of the world when it comes to sleek modern furniture that really puts your childhood Lego wrangling skills to use. Sweden has one of the world’s best life expectancy rates, and part of the reason could be their diet. The typical Scandinavian diet includes lots of whole grains, root vegetables, and fish high in beneficial Omega-3s. According to some researchers, this also contributes to Sweden having one of the lowest obesity rates in the world, ranging from about 12% to 17%.
Average Life Expectancy: 82.8 yrs (Women: 84.9, Men 80.5)
Italy is ground zero for the Mediterranean diet—whole grains, healthy amounts of olive oil, and dishes laden with fresh vegetables are abundant here. Culturally, Italians also tend to take their time over dinner, preferring to eat in with family and friends over a few hours, rather than grabbing a bite from the drive-through window. Heart-healthy diets and meals eaten slowly in good company may help prolong your life by lessening stress levels.
Average Life Expectancy: 82.9 yrs (Women: 85.7, Men: 80.1)
Ahh Paris! So glamorous and romantic, a place where artistic types sigh dramatically by the Seine as they ponder life while nibbling on a chocolate croissant. The average French person, however, doesn’t live in the midst of a Parisian fantasy, and they still manage to live a very long time. According to some researchers, the “French secret” to living longer is simply enjoying life—using common sense tips like not snacking, eating healthily, taking daily walks, and taking time to unwind at the end of a long work day.
Average Life Expectancy: 82.9 yrs (Women: 85, Men: 80.8)
Singaporeans have made some major lifestyle changes in the last 20 years. Since 2000, the number of Singaporeans who exercise on a regular basis has doubled, and because the national cuisine is already vegetable-rich and low in fat, they avoid high rates of cardiovascular disease. In addition, government health agencies have begun to promote early detection of serious illnesses among the elderly, making it more likely that they will stay healthy over longer periods of time.
Average Life Expectancy: 82.9 yrs (Women: 84.8, Men: 81.0)
Sparing you any jokes about Crocodile Dundee, it is true that outdoorsy Australians live about 12 years longer than the global average. One reason Australia may have made the top ten list and America didn’t (we’re at #37) is a big difference between how we keep fit. The majority (63% of women and 59% of men) of Australians exercise three times per week or more. Nearly 80% of Americans don’t get the recommended weekly amount of exercise (about 2.5 hours of moderate aerobic exercise).
Average Life Expectancy: 83.1 yrs (Women: 85.7, Men: 80.3)
Just like in Italy, the Mediterranean diet reigns supreme in Spain, and the majority of Spaniards (60%) also report eating raw fruit daily, providing them with lots of Vitamin C and age-fighting antioxidants. The Spanish also tend to eat slow, family style meals, even as young adults who’ve left the nest. This (stop me if you’ve heard this one before) helps relieve stress and encourage a sense of well-being—key factors in living a long, healthy life.
Average Life Expectancy: 83.3 yrs (Women: 85.2, Men: 81.2)
Yes, Switzerland is famous for its chocolate and seemingly endless array of fancy timepieces, but it’s also home to the Swiss Alps and a long list of other inspiring landscapes. According to some scientists, the popular Swiss pastime of taking long hikes in nature actually reduces stress levels and may relate to better brain functioning during the aging process. High stress has a strong connection to longevity, according to several studies.
Average Life Expectancy: 84.2 yrs (Women: 87.1, Men: 81.1)
As it has for several years, Japan is the leader of the pack when it comes to longevity. Why? I am not going to say “Mediterranean diet”. However, longevity in Japan is linked to (wait for it) diet. According to a recent study, the reason that the Japanese live so long has a lot to do with eating habits. The typical Japanese meal includes lots of vegetables and fish, and is usually very low in fat. The Japanese also stay active late in life, usually getting some form of exercise daily, helping them maintain cardiovascular health.
Data compiled from The World Health Organization life expectancy data, April 2018.
The good news (despite the fact that the US isn’t on the top ten list) is that you can follow all of the tips for a long life without moving to an exotic locale. It is relatively simple to introduce healthier eating habits to your lifestyle by eating more vegetables and fruit. Spending time with friends and/or family will naturally help you destress. Taking a brisk walk daily and finding a weekend sport or physical activity that you enjoy is a good start towards improving your chances at a longer life.
So what happens if you hit the jackpot and do live a very, very long, healthy life? How can you prepare financially?