Gen X: The Time to Get Serious About Longevity Is Now

Generation X attitudes towards longeivty Generation X has longed suffered as the ‘middle child’ of all American generations. Because Gen X is one of the shortest generations – spanning only a 15-year period from 1965 to 1980 – there are only 65 million Gen Xers, compared with 77 million Baby Boomers and 83 million Millennials. Gen X is also overshadowed by these generations with big personalities. Baby Boomers are notoriously goal-oriented, driven and have a ‘work to live’ attitude, while the Millennials are carving their own path in life and are characterized as technology-focused and ideological. As a result, Gen Xers are sandwiched in the middle as the ‘responsible’ generation that is busy working, taking care of their aging parents, their own children and themselves. All the while images of Generation X make us think of an ‘angsty’, grungy generation listening to alternative music and lamenting the place they find themselves in life.

Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported last year that an American can expect to live an average of 78.8 years, down one month from the previous 78.9 years.1 This is the first time a decline in life expectancy has been seen in the U.S. in more than 20 years,1 and it has struck a nerve with Americans. Coupled with the fact that one in two American adults is living with a chronic disease.2 The question now – how is this possible with all of the extraordinary advances in science and unprecedented amounts of money spent on healthcare each year?

Let’s face it. Gen Xers are in a tough position all around, from juggling their work and family lives to managing their health. To get to the bottom of this, we conducted the MDVIP Health & Longevity Survey among Gen Xers and Baby Boomers to understand and compare their health habits, views on longevity and expectations of aging.

Through the survey, we learned a great deal, and the best news – all hope is not lost! Gen Xers are in the prime of their lives, and they are in a position to take control of their health and change their behaviors to make a positive impact on their health today and in the future, before it’s too late. As we delved into the survey findings to understand the views on aging, here’s my take on the most important results:

Generation X: Anxious Procrastinators Worried About Aging, Too Overwhelmed to Take Action
Overall, the MDVIP Health & Longevity Survey showed that Gen Xers are worried about getting older and all that it brings. For example, more than half of Gen Xers said they want to live past the age of 90, with more than a quarter wanting to live beyond 100. If you think about it, Gen Xers clearly want to live a long and healthy life. But, the reality is that the average American life expectancy is only 78.8 years. This signals to us that they are not going to achieve their goal as it stands today without a plan-of-action.

The Unstable Reality of the Sandwich Generation
The cost of healthcare is unsettling for Gen Xers too, with half expecting to help family members pay for future healthcare costs, yet nearly 40 percent expect their family to support them as they age. The survey results also showed that nearly half of Gen Xers expect to continue working as they age, while maintaining responsibility for caring for their parents, adult children and grandchildren. With uncertain financial ‘safety nets’ in place, like pensions and Social Security, Gen Xers are feeling the crunch.

Prevention Matters, But It’s Too Hard
The majority of Gen Xers surveyed believe their lifestyle choices play an equal or greater role than genetics in their health and how long they live. Yet, they are less likely to take preventive health measures compared to their Boomer counterparts. We were very surprised to find that only half of Gen Xers – versus 72 percent of Boomers – have had an annual physical exam in the past five years, and one in three Gen Xers avoid going to the doctor out of fear of finding something wrong. When they do see a doctor, Gen Xers do not follow the doctor’s orders because it’s too much work and not a priority.

Gen Xers agreed that prevention is the most important part of healthcare that needs to change for the next generation, but two out of three admit they could be doing a better job of eating well, maintaining a healthy weight, exercising and managing stress.

The Aging Fear Factor Is Real for Gen Xers, But They Aren’t Focused on the Reality of Aging
Gen Xers share a range of fears about aging, with more than half reporting they are afraid of getting old, and 70 percent saying they think about their own mortality more now than they did 10 years ago. But when it comes to aging, they are more worried than Boomers about the ancillary effects of aging, like loneliness, looking older and having less sex, than the actual reality of being able to care for themselves or dementia.

So, what does all of this mean?
For Gen Xers, these data serve as a wake-up call! We’ve learned that Gen Xers want to live long, healthy lives beyond today’s life expectancy, but they reported they are not taking the proven steps to address their health, like seeing a doctor, maintaining a healthy weight and managing stress. But, in order for Gen X to change their behaviors, the solution needs to be simpler. Healthcare has to be simpler, personalized and streamlined. That’s where MDVIP comes in.

With MDVIP, our focus first and foremost is prevention. MDVIP-affiliated doctors work with their patients to develop a personalized plan—it’s a plan created by a physician who really knows them. We hear our doctors say regularly that if they are able to work with a relatively healthy 40-year-old, the ability to affect their health in the future is unlimited.

Across the board, our patients have lower rates of chronic disease and hospitalization. And, working with a primary care physician to make a plan is the critical factor, like an MDVIP doctor who can take the time to fully understand the needs of each patient – from genetic testing to diet, sleeping habits and stress levels.

My recommendation to Gen Xers: Make an appointment with a primary care physician who you trust to find out your risk for diseases and find out how your lifestyle affects your health. Gen Xers, take a lesson from the Baby Boomers – make a plan now to achieve your goals of living a long, active and healthy life.

1. Mortality in the United States, 2015. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/databriefs/db267.htm. Accessed on January 26, 2017.

2. Chronic Disease Overview. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. https://www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/overview/index.htm. Accessed on January 26, 2017.
19 Comments
Eric ProdTestIT
Apr 17th, 2017
Testing Blog Email
Julio TYapanes Jr
Mar 9th, 2017
Ed was very helpful in answering all my questions. I was very happy to have dealt with such knowledge person. He such be commend for the great effort he displayed in answering all my questions
Patricia Mathews
Mar 8th, 2017
Really appreciate the "extra" service provided by MDVIP. Dr. Karing's assistant, Dana is also very helpful.
1 Reply
MDVIP
Mar 17th, 2017
Greetings Patricia.

Thank you very much for the kind words. We’re glad to read that you appreciate the service Dr. Karing and Dana provide.

In good health,
MDVIP

JLynne
Mar 8th, 2017
I was with my current doc before he went with MDVIP and I love the care I have always received from him. Now, I do get more time and more thorough physicals and complete results which are explained to me in greater detail, as well as more in-depth wellness care and planning. I like having improved after-hour access, esp now that I am nearly 65, as well as access with providers nationally and with a network of top health care providers when I am traveling for work or pleasure. It is more like insurance, though, since I have not had to use these benefits. The cost is somewhat steep, especially with the recent increase. My husband is also with the same doctor as I. How about a discount for couples (or other family members) who are with the same doctor?
1 Reply
MDVIP
Mar 16th, 2017
Greetings Jlynne.

We’re glad to hear that you love the care you are receiving from your doctor and appreciate the MDVIP model. Thanks for your suggestion. We love to hear feedback from members.

In good health,
MDVIP
Nancy OCon
Mar 8th, 2017
Dr. Rex was my doctor for years before he joined something that never really understood.I miss him so much I would love to start seeing him again but don't know how to go about it. I have government issued bluecross and blue shield. Can somebody email me explain this to get him back?
1 Reply
MDVIP
Mar 17th, 2017
Greetings Nancy.

We’re happy to help you. An MDVIP representative will reach out to you. You can also call us toll-free at 1-866-948-6357, Monday through Friday between 9am and 10pm ET.

In good health,
MDVIP

athur berke
Mar 5th, 2017
I basically am very pleased with my Dr.. I am healthy ; I have a list of specialist that I trust and am very pleased with. When needed I make an appointment with the specialist not MDVIP

I find MDVIP very expensive , when basically you are healthy and just see the Dr. twice a year.

A different fee schedule should be set up for just seeing the Dr. twice a year. This way I can still stay with MDVIP and stay with my current Dr.

Appreciate you comment on an adjustment of the fee schedule.
1 Reply
MDVIP
Mar 17th, 2017
Greetings Arthur.

We’d like to discuss this with you offline. An MDVIP representative will reach out to you. You can also call us toll-free at 1-866-948-6357, Monday through Friday between 9am and 10pm ET.

In good health,
MDVIP

Brenda
Feb 25th, 2017
Very happy with MDVIP! I can keep my fantastic doctor as well as keeping track of health issues.
G Fox
Feb 23rd, 2017
My beloved Primary Care Physician converted to a MDVIP practice right around the time I was coming to the same conclusion as this article; i.e., as a Gen X'er, the time for me to get serious about my health and longevity is now. It's been a great experience. He was always superb, but now my Doctor & I are more goal-oriented / long-term focused. We spent over an hour in consultation together as part of my wellness exam, and I came away more determined than ever to "do the homework." Since then, I've made additional improvements to my diet -- and significantly upped my gym routine.

I understand that not everyone can easily afford the MDVIP "concierge premium" but for me it's been a timely investment. I was already motivated, but it's human nature to take free things for granted (including one's good health), and paying the fee helps keep me focused on extracting the benefits. So long as my Doctor is a MDVIP affiliate, I am totally on board...
1 Reply
MDVIP
Feb 28th, 2017
Greetings G.

We’re very happy to read that your doctor helps motivate you to stay proactive with your health and make improvements to your diet and exercise routine.

In good health,
MDVIP

RM Thomas
Feb 23rd, 2017
I really like..no, make that, I love.. the MDVIP approach to medical care. Yes, it's unfortunate that our complex medical system makes it difficult for practioners and patients alike to have the exact sort of care they'd prefer. But in this un-ideal world, MDVIP -- with my doctor anyway -- gives me a great sense of comfort in simply he knows ME, and he is accessible ANYTIME and he is highly responsive to any of my contact. I have a chronic illness and he has been able to take over my general care for this disease from the specialist practice I saw for years...a practice whose doctors do not remember me and who refer me to the ER on weekend calls instead of working with me to help me cope at home.
In my early 60s now, with a doctor in his early 50s, I am very comforted to know that he will be my partner, and my advocate, in aging successfully, proactively..with care provided with caring and expertise.
1 Reply
MDVIP
Feb 23rd, 2017
Greetings RM.

Thank you for the kind words. We’re glad to read that your doctor is your healthcare partner and advocate.

In good health, MDVIP

Szifra
Feb 23rd, 2017
Simple Steps to Change: Your Business, Your Life may be the place to start. This book by Jay Livingston is very helpful. GenX (and all of us) may appreciate that it's easy-to-read, written in small blocks with lots of practical, actionable steps you can choose from. Livingston reveals how to take a suggestion or desire and turn it into a new habit, a more productive behavior, etc. Doctors recommend it.
1 Reply
MDVIP
Feb 23rd, 2017
Greetings Szifra.

Thank you for your book suggestion. Changing lifestyle habits is not easy. Hopefully, this book will be able to help some its readers.

In good health, MDVIP

stuart
Feb 22nd, 2017
My original Doctor retired and one phone call to MDVIP connected me with a new Doctor. I though "that's the benefit of the MDVIP experience". However the Doctor was lousy and would not properly treat a simple Bronchial infection and let it go for 5 months despite me bringing in old records that showed the treatment I needed. He also changed several medications that toor 10 and 20years to get the dosage right "just because I don't like that dose" (even though my bloodtest were normal with it, abnormal without it). On my LAST visit with him I told him to give me the personalized medicin MDVIP advertizes, and the antibiotic I've needed for 5 months. Or I'd walk across the street to the Urgent care center where I'm sure they'd read my history, LISTEN to the patient and work with me. He finially yeilded and I was better in 2 weeks. With the help of MDVIP I switched Doctors and again have a good one. I contacted MDVIP to get a refund for this time when I was partnered up with a very incompetent Doctor, and all I heard were representative who would "put notes in the system". MDVIP is contracted to help provide a higher standard of health care. That iis in accordence with contracting law as I pay MDVIP, not the doctor. After 6 months of calling I was told an Executive (Nic?) Would personally call me. That never happened. Finally a woman told me that MDVIP does not get involved with my health care. Really? That's what is advertised! So when things are "all good", MDVIP is there to support you. When it's not, your on your own. It's taken nearly 8 months to restore my health from what the one Doctor did to me, and get my medication and system back in ballance. My complaint and requests for help from MDVIP were ignored. That's not a good benefit for the consumer.
Alllen Duane Shelton
Feb 22nd, 2017
I am very satisfied with my service from my MDVIP Doctor. Being aware of my chronic conditions and symptoms he has been able to subscribe proper medications early. He has been helpful in suggesting specialist when I need them.
1 Reply
MDVIP
Feb 23rd, 2017
Greetings Allen.

Thank you for your kind words. We’re glad to read that your doctor has been able to be proactive in managing your conditions.

In good health,
MDVIP

Ida
Feb 22nd, 2017
I wish the annual blood test would be more comprehensive such as including Homocysteine, CRP, Vit D, Hemoglobin A1c and Thyroid panel. So far I had to pay for this in addition since insurance does not cover it either. I would like to keep my doctor whom I have known and trust for over 20 years, but I don't know if I can afford the yearly fee in the coming years. Is there a chance that the fees could be lowered for patients that are in relatively good health.
1 Reply
MDVIP
Feb 23rd, 2017
Greetings Ida.

The MDVIP Wellness Program includes the blood tests that you mention in some of the panels available to your doctor. However, because doctors select a blood panel based on the patient’s needs, you may not have received the tests that you specifically mentioned. If you would like to discuss options like payment plans, please call us toll-free at 1-866-948-6357 Monday through Friday between 9am and 10 pm ET.

Karen
Feb 22nd, 2017
I agree with Pat's blog from Feb. 11, 2017. I am very healthy because of my plant based nutritional supplementation and eating habits. As a result of being careful, I also do not do mammograms but prefer a thermography of my breasts. Wish my annual fee covered this, since insurance won't.
1 Reply
MDVIP
Feb 22nd, 2017
Greetings Karen.

We are not able to comment on Pat’s blog because we’re not familiar with it. But we’re glad to read that you are eating a plant-based diet. As of now, we are not planning to include breast thermography as part of the MDVIP Wellness Program. At this point, thermography lacks sufficient scientific evidence to support its use as a standalone diagnostic test for breast cancer. Currently, experts suggest that doctors use thermography as a way to supplement the information they obtain through a mammogram, but not to replace the mammogram with it.

susan
Feb 22nd, 2017
VERY disappointed with the whole MDVIP experience. The only (& I mean only) reason I am with MDVIP is because my doctor chose it. I get the same quality of health care...it's the same doctor, after all. The so called 'benefits' that MDVIP offers? Pfft.....poppycock! I don't need these types of 'benefits'. Indeed, I don't consider them benefits at all, just fluff that MDVIP spouts off in an effort to justify the annual fee, I suppose. Does MDVIP really think I am incapable of finding a doctor for a second opinion or a specialist? When I did ask MDVIP for clarification on what was included on my annual wellness exam, 1) it took over a month to get a reply, 2) I got conflicting information depending on who replied & 3) come to find out, the information I received from MDVIP was incorrect! So, I still have the best doctor I have ever had....but MDVIP ....well, not so much.
1 Reply
MDVIP
Feb 22nd, 2017
Greetings Susan.

We very sorry to hear that you are disappointed with the MDVIP experience. We’d love to talk to you to explain how to make the most of your benefits and advantages. Please feel free to call us toll-free at 1-866-948-6357, Monday through Friday between 9 am and 10 pm ET.

In good health,
MDVIP

Jeff Fuller
Feb 15th, 2017
I'm receiving the best, most personalized healthcare that I've ever received and I have been fortunate enough to always have had quality healthcare.....
1 Reply
MDVIP
Feb 16th, 2017
Greetings Jeff. We’re so glad to hear that you are happy with the care you are receiving. Let us know if you need anything. You can call us toll-free at 1-866-948-6357 Monday through Friday between 9am and 10pm ET.

In good health,
MDVIP

Pat
Feb 11th, 2017
Rarely ill, I feel this care is too expensive. I would like to have more screenings available to be sure my vitals are all functioning properly. Screening for neurological issues, for example. Also, with this fee, I would think my office visits and innoculations would be included!
1 Reply
MDVIP
Feb 16th, 2017
Greetings Pat.

Your insurance covers fees for office visits, vaccines and routine care. Your MDVIP membership does not replace your insurance. It covers your MDVIP Wellness Program, which includes advanced screenings that provide results your MDVIP-affiliated physician can use to create a personalized wellness program for you. We’re happy to look into additional screenings that focus on neurological health. In the meantime, we’d like to discuss your membership benefits in more detail with you. Why don’t you call us toll-free at 1-866-948-6357 Monday through Friday between 9am and 10pm ET.

In good health,
MDVIP

Harlan B. Blount
Feb 8th, 2017
What should I do when/if my doctor retires from his practice? How do I find another MDVIP physician
that I trust?
1 Reply
MDVIP
Feb 16th, 2017
Greetings Harlan.

When an MDVIP-affiliated doctor decides to retire, we inform his/her patients and help them transition to another MDVIP-affiliate in the area. If you have questions, please feel free to call us toll-free at 1-866-948-6357 Monday through Friday between 9am and 10pm ET.

In good health,
MDVIP

Anna Beene
Feb 5th, 2017
I would love to more about this care.
1 Reply
MDVIP
Feb 16th, 2017
We would love to talk to you. To help us make sure that we’ve answered all of your questions thoroughly, why don’t you call us toll-free at 1-866-948-6357 Monday through Friday between 9am and 10pm ET.

In good health,
MDVIP

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