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Don't Let Your Health Dictate Your Retirement

Approximately 77 million people were born between 1946 and 1964 in the post-World War II era and are more commonly known as the baby boomers. This generation is significantly larger demographic than its generations before and after. This justifies the statistic that about 10,000 boomers turn 65 every day until 2030. You get the picture this is a massive part of our population.

“According to a recent survey, baby boomers are projected to have 70% of all U.S. disposable income over the next five years. Not only that, but baby boomers will inherit about $15 trillion in the next 20 years.” These numbers are the reason why there are thousands of registered representatives (brokers), insurance agents, financial advisors, Medicare agents, and attorneys jockeying to provide service to this demographic. There is one area that is often overlooked and or possibly avoided by these groups and that is the health and well-being of the people they are trying to service.

Most of the information regarding health of retirees is about the exorbitant cost of care. “According to the Fidelity Retiree Health Care Cost Estimate, an average retired couple age 65 in 2019 may need approximately $285,000 saved (after tax) to cover health care expenses in retirement.” These statistics usually are pointed to motivated us to buy something (insurance, etc.), when we should be asking ourselves is there anything I can do to live a healthier retirement?

The Spokane Retirement Resource Center feels that this is an area that warrants much attention, so we have asked Debbie J. Judd, ARNP, FAARFM, ABAAHP and Jessica Titchenal, MS, CNS, CN, DCN-c of The Metabolic Institute to become instructors for our monthly classes. These two brilliant ladies are the pioneers in the Greater Spokane Area for leading a truly healthier lifestyle. We sat down with them for a quick Q and

A session that we feel is imperative for a successful retirement.


What is functional medicine?

Debbie, “In a nutshell, Functional Medicine is a new paradigm, an evolution of medicine. It is based on what is called a “systems-oriented approach" which focuses on the understanding and treatment of the root cause of disease. It is a patient focused approach versus a disease-centered approach and addresses the “whole” person, not just a person’s symptoms. In Functional Medicine, there is an understanding of the origins, influences, prevention and treatment of chronic, complex disease.”

How long have you been practicing (functional medicine)?

Debbie, “I have been practicing medicine for 41 years and practicing functional medicine for 25 years. I graduated from Gonzaga with my Nurse Practitioner degree and have been operating The Metabolic Institute for 15 years. My husband, Michael Judd MD and I started the business in 2003.

Jessica, “I’ve been practicing functional nutrition since 2013. I started as a certified health coach and pursued training to become a functional nutritionist and Certified Nutrition Specialist, which is the gold standard in functional nutrition. I’m currently working on a doctorate in clinical nutrition.”

Is this for a certain type of person or something for everyone?

Debbie, “Functional Medicine is for everyone. We treat the entire life spectrum and all disease processes. When the focus is looking for the root cause of the disease, condition or symptom, age does not matter.”

Jessica Titchenal, MS, CNS, CN, DCN-c

Everyone knows the “traditional medicine” approach, meaning you have an issue, you usually see your family doctor, then sent to a specialist, diagnosis and treatment. How is that different than functional medicine?

Jessica, “Functional medicine focuses on the root cause rather than the symptoms. We help people create their health stories, so they better understand the factors that both help and hinder their health goals. It’s a true partnership between practitioner and patient and is focused on prevention and wellness rather than using a cookie cutter approach to managing symptoms.”

Is functional medicine a substitute for traditional medicine or a compliment?

Jessica, “It can be both. Functional medicine is best suited for treating chronic illness and supporting optimal health and longevity and serves as a compliment to conventional treatment patients receive for acute conditions.”

What topic will you be presenting on for the upcoming class?

Debbie, “2017 statistics: Alzheimer's is the 6th leading cause of death in the U.S.; 1 in 10 Americans over the age of 65 has Alzheimer's; 1 in 3 seniors dies with some form of dementia; Alzheimer's and dementia are the top cause of disabilities later in life.

Our talk will benefit attendees by educating them on options to support optimal brain health.”

Our next two-part class will be held on September 12 and September 17 called Trusted Retirement. You can register for the class by going to We have limited seating so if you are interested please register online or by calling 509-324-8835.

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