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Can you afford to live to 116?

On July 4, Gertrude Weaver celebrated her 116th birthday at Silver Oaks Health and Rehabilitation in Camden, Arkansas. The Gerontology Research Group confirmed that she is the oldest living American and the second-oldest person in the world, behind 116-year old Misai Okawa of Japan. Weaver is believed to be the 11th oldest person of all time.

The research group, which consults with the Guinness Book of World Records, found that the 1900 Census listed Weaver as 2 years old, which means she was born in 1898. Weaver was born in southwestern Arkansas to Charles Gaines (b. May 1861) and Ophelia Jeffreys (b. December 1866), who were sharecroppers. On July 18, 1915, she married Genie Weaver and had four children, Cab (b. 1916), Marie (b. 1918), Joe (b. 1921), and Ruby Mae (b. 1924). At the time of her 116th birthday, her son, Joe Weaver, was her only living child at age 93 years old.

Weaver first resided at the Camden nursing home at the age of 104 after she suffered a broken hip. But after rehabilitation Weaver recovered and moved back home with her granddaughter, before returning to the nursing home at the age of 109. Although her health has declined a bit since her 115th birthday, Weaver still takes her meals in the facility’s dining hall and participates in activities at the nursing home. Weaver does not have any chronic health problems typical of people her age.

This remarkable woman who witnessed so much change in the world throughout her life thus far, should be an inspiration to us all. Life is precious and the quality of it is important, especially in your later years.

As the population ages, medical technology is advancing and allowing people to live longer than ever before, like Gertrude Weaver. While the extended longevity is wonderful, it will mean that more long-term care is needed to care for the older population, and that care is extremely expensive. It is important to plan for longevity so that you and your family will be comfortable and have peace of mind during your golden years.

Long-term care planning can be done early in life, directly before retirement, and sometimes even during retirement. However, it should be done before care is actually needed. Generally, the best time period to plan for your long-term care is in your 50s and early 60s, when it as part of your overall retirement plans. It is important to speak with a qualified professional about your plan to ensure it is comprehensive and complete.

By Eric J. Einhart – Guest Blogger

This Post Has One Comment

  1. it would be cool to live the life she has, i mean the world is quite different from 116 years ago.
    but im not sure you should be inspired to much, i mean she lived true 3 of her 4 children s lifetimes. i am not sure i would like to do the same.

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