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Your health matters along with your lifespan

When writing a will and doing estate planning, people often carefully consider how long they think they will live. After all, you need to do long-term care planning and you need to consider how many assets will really remain when you pass away. There's a careful balance here. Your estate has to support you at the end of your life, and you also want to give whatever remains to your heirs.

One key thing to remember while thinking over this is just how healthy you are. While you can't always predict things like a heart attack or a stroke, the reality is that your healthy and unhealthy years have very different costs. It doesn't just matter how long you live. It matters how much care and assistance you need.

For instance, some experts claim that a man who is 60 years old and who eats healthy food, gets exercise on a regular basis, has a good BMI (body mass index) and always gets enough sleep is estimated to live 13 more healthy years than a 60-year-old man who does not have the same healthy habits.

Those experts point out that this man gets more than a decade of extra "quality living" with his loved ones. While that's true, it also means that the other man may pass away early or may have far more years of extensive medical assistance at the end of his life. That can get very expensive, and it has a drastic impact on his estate plan. Make sure you take your own health into account when looking into your estate planning options.

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