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Summit County Has the Highest Life Expectancy in the Nation, According to New Study

(Reprinted from the Summit Daily News, May 8, 2017)

Summit County's life expectancy is the highest in the nation, according to a study published in May in the Journal of the American Medical Association. In 2014, the latest year that data is available, Summit's expected longevity was 86.83 years.

That narrowly edged out the neighboring counties of Pitkin and Eagle, which came in at number two and three nationwide with life expectancies of 86.52 and 85.94, respectively.

By comparison, the nation with the highest life expectancy in the world that same year, tiny Andorra in Europe's Pyrenees Mountains, came in at only 84.8 years, followed by Iceland at 83.3.

"Summit County has very high education, high income, high access to medical care, the people are physically active, obesity is lower than anywhere else — so you're doing it right," said Dr. Ali Mokdad, one of the study's co-authors. He is the head of U.S. research for the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, which conducted the study and earlier this year concluded that Summit has had the lowest cancer mortality rate in the country for 30 years.

Many of the factors that influence the low cancer death rate affect overall life expectancy as well. Summit, for instance, gets particularly high marks for physical activity levels, access to exercise opportunities and low obesity rates, according to a study by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation earlier this year.

While Summit's high elevation can put potentially fatal strain on people with heart disease, longtime residents who are acclimated actually enjoy an added hardiness, which Mokdad said could contribute to the impressive lifespan figure.

"There have been studies saying that if you live at higher altitudes you live longer," he said. "If you move there with a heart problem or heart condition it's going to put a strain on you, but if you grew up in that area, your body has adjusted to be more resilient. It's a good environment for your health."

Second Mortgages: Make Your Dreams Happen - Carefully

RateHub defines a second mortgage as "an additional loan taken out on a property that is already mortgaged." Sounds potentially risky - and indeed it comes with some risks. But, it also comes with rewards.

There are two major kinds of second mortgages: the home equity line of credit (HELOC) has a variable interest rate and acts much like a credit card, allowing you to withdraw the cash you need, when you need it. The fixed-rate home equity loan allows you to borrow a lump sum and make set monthly payments.

Second mortgages provide speedy access to money at a generally favorable interest rate - and the interest you pay on second mortgages may also be tax deductible. Compared with money borrowed on a credit card or a standard consumer loan, a second mortgage may be easier to obtain, and you can use the money for whatever you want: home remodeling, tuition - even that bucket-list dream trip.

The most important disadvantage: because your home secures the loan, the second mortgage lender takes on less risk than with a personal loan and may offer you more money than you need. Many borrowers are happy to comply, only to find themselves unable to make the payments.

Prepare a thorough financial analysis of your situation to be sure you can make your monthly mortgage payments easily, even if interest rates go up or personal circumstances change. And note that if interest rates increase, so will your monthly HELOC payments. Home equity loan payments aren't affected by rate increases during the term of the loan. 

Wondering How Much Your Home Is Worth?
How has the price of your home changed in today's market? How much are other homes in your neighborhood selling for?

If you're wondering what's happening to prices in your area, or thinking about selling your house, I can help with a professional evaluation.

I won't try to push you into listing with me or waste your time.I'll just give you the honest facts about your home and its value.

And, I'll also give you the inside scoop on what's happening in the housing market in your neighborhood, or anywhere in Summit County.

Call my cell, 970-390-9311, or email me at to arrange an appointment. You are also welcome to stop by the office at 220 Main Street in Breckenridge.

Kelli Bennett
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What's Happening in Breckenridge in June
June 1 WAVE:Light + Water+ Sound, 100 S. Main Street
June 10 NRO Opening Night, 7:30 p.m., Riverwalk Plaza
June 14 Trail Running Series, 6 p.m. Recreation Center
June 15 Town Party, 4:30-9 p.m. Riverwalk Center
June 16-19 Gold Panning Championships, Blue River Plaza
June 21 Breck Bike Week kickoff at Blue River Plaza
June 21 Free Classical Concert by the NRO, Whole Foods Frisco, 1-2 p.m. 
June 22 "The Witches" opens at Breckenridge Backstage Theater

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This newsletter and any information contained herein are intended for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal, financial or medical advice. The publisher takes great efforts to ensure the accuracy of information contained in this newsletter. However, we will not be responsible at any time for any errors or omissions or any damages, howsoever caused, that result from its use. Seek competent professional advice and/or legal counsel with respect to any matter discussed or published in this newsletter. This newsletter is not intended to solicit properties currently for sale.
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