A new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) last week found that overall life expectancy in the U.S. has declined for three consecutive years, driven down by suicides, drug overdoses, organ-system diseases, and other causes that have been rising over the past decade for young and middle-aged adults.
Other wealthy nations, meanwhile, continue to experience continued progress in extending longevity. The report notes that the U.S. has the worst midlife mortality rate among 17 high-income countries, despite leading the world in per-capita spending on health care.
The study's authors suggest that the nation's lifespan reversal is being driven by diseases linked to social and economic privation, a healthcare system with glaring gaps and blind spots, and profound psychological distress.
Consider these strategies in your charitable giving plans.
- Donor Advised Fund (DAF). You can make a gift through your DAF. Now regarded as the fastest-growing charitable giving vehicle in the United States, a Donor Advised Fund is like a charitable investment account, used for the sole purpose of supporting charitable organizations you care about. When you contribute cash, stocks, or non-publicly traded assets such as real estate, private business interests and private company stock to a Donor Advised Fund, you are usually eligible to take an immediate tax deduction for the full value of the asset. Once in the Fund, those assets can be sold tax free and reinvested into other investment options that continue to grow tax free until you direct grants to any IRS-qualified public charity.
- Use Your IRA Required Distributions. If age 70½ or better consider Qualified Charitable Distributions. These count toward your required minimum distribution for the year. If you have to take RMDs but you don't really want or need the money, QCDs can be a good way to help the Foundation, satisfy the required minimum distribution amount and avoid a potential 50% excise tax penalty. You'll also avoid paying income tax on the distributions.
Aaron Weiner, PhD, Director of Addictions at Linden Oaks, advanced four significant opportunities for advocacy: preventing overdoses, eliminating the supply of opioids, addressing the needs of those at potential risk (primary prevention), and supporting treatment in the community. See link below to access presentation slides.
DuPage County Health Department executive director, Karen Ayala, MPH, emphasized that treatment works, but that lasting recovery is a process and it takes time. "Access to treatment for those who are uninsured or on Medicaid is difficult," she stressed, "and as people sink into addiction they typically lose their jobs, insurance, and other resources." See link below to access presentation slides.
In subsequent discussion attendees noted that while prevention and treatment costs are substantial, the cost of ongoing opioid misuse and overdose death is vast.
Pdf of Aaron Weiner's Presentation
Pdf of Karen Ayala's Presentation