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What to ask your doctor at every age

Key questions for your primary care physician, from your 20s through your 60s and beyond.

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Sure, Haven Life offers no-medical-exam life insurance, but that doesn’t mean you should never get a medical exam. In fact, getting one regularly is a good way to avoid more serious visits to the doctor.

Or, to put it another way, an apple a day will not keep the doctor away — the only thing that will keep the doctor away is seeing the doctor. (Well, that plus a healthy lifestyle and a bit of luck). And as you might already know, in general, the healthier you are, the lower your life insurance premium will probably be.

Anyway, when you do see the doctor, you’ll get a lot more out of it if you ask the right questions about your health, including requesting help to stay on top of the right things. To find out what those things are, we asked Jamin Brahmbhatt, MD, a urologist at Orlando Health, for some tips, and we also combed through information from the CDC.

“These are general recommendations, and an individual’s specific health needs may vary based on their personal and family medical history,” Dr. Brahmbhatt says. “It’s important to have open and honest conversations with your healthcare provider about any concerns or questions you may have, and to follow their recommendations for preventative care and screenings.”

And to help you have those open and honest conversations about your health care, here are some topics that will be relevant at different ages. (If you’re not sure where to start with health insurance, the linked article offers some things to consider.)

In this article:

At all ages:

Whichever age bracket you fall into, there are certain things you should be doing regularly:


Have an annual check-up and physical with your primary care physician. If you own a car, you probably have someone look at it once a year; following the same plan for your body is the least you can do.

Visit the dentist every 6 months for a cleaning and a check-up. If you have any problems, this will mean they’re identified and dealt with before they become big problems. If you have no problems, a professional cleaning every 6 months will help keep it that way.

And do a vision check. This is partially so you can make sure you’re seeing as well as possible, but it’s also to look for any medical problems that you might have with your eyes. (These are not necessarily easy for a non-professional to notice.)


Do a self-check of your breast to look for breast cancer. Here’s how to do that, in case you are unsure.


Do a self-check for testicular cancer. Here’s how,

In your 20s:


Find a good primary care physician. Yes, you are (probably) in great health right now (which makes it a good time to get life insurance, by the way), with a superhuman capacity to bounce back from health problems, but that will not last forever (sorry). So, much like you might use your 20s to see what kind of romantic partner suits you, spend some time now finding doctors you like, who you could imagine going to for many years to come.

While you’re with those healthcare professionals:

All of this sets you up well for the decades to come.


In your 30s:

The changes during your 30s are not huge, though as you reach the middle of this decade you may notice that hangovers are more punishing than they used to be. (And alas, there is no “cure” for that.) On average, more people are waiting longer to have kids, too, and that might also change the kind of medical care you’ll need.

Here are some other things you can attend to.


In your 40s:

Family history becomes more relevant in your 40s, so be sure your family physician knows yours (especially if the doctor you have now is new to you or new-ish). Men with family histories of colon or prostate cancer and women with histories of breast cancer should ask their doctors if they should start screening for those early.




In your 50s:

This is a time when it’s really important to tell your doctor if anything has changed with your health, or if you’re feeling anything new or different, as your risk of a wide variety of serious illnesses increases after 50.




In your 60s and beyond:

As an older adult, keep up with your screenings at your family doctor, try to keep fit. Oh, and think about death a little (see below).

You may think you don’t have time to go see the doctor, especially if you’re feeling fine, but what you really don’t have time for is being seriously ill or slowly falling apart. We suggest you spend a little time dealing with your health regularly to avoid spending a lot of time on it down the road.

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About Michael Davis

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Our editorial policy

Haven Life is a customer-centric life insurance agency that’s backed and wholly owned by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual). We believe navigating decisions about life insurance, your personal finances and overall wellness can be refreshingly simple.

Our editorial policy

Haven Life is a customer centric life insurance agency that’s backed and wholly owned by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual). We believe navigating decisions about life insurance, your personal finances and overall wellness can be refreshingly simple.

Our content is created for educational purposes only. Haven Life does not endorse the companies, products, services or strategies discussed here, but we hope they can make your life a little less hard if they are a fit for your situation.

Haven Life is not authorized to give tax, legal or investment advice. This material is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for tax, legal, or investment advice. Individuals are encouraged to seed advice from their own tax or legal counsel.

Our disclosures

Haven Term is a Term Life Insurance Policy (DTC and ICC17DTC in certain states, including NC) issued by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual), Springfield, MA 01111-0001 and offered exclusively through Haven Life Insurance Agency, LLC. In NY, Haven Term is DTC-NY 1017. In CA, Haven Term is DTC-CA 042017. Haven Term Simplified is a Simplified Issue Term Life Insurance Policy (ICC19PCM-SI 0819 in certain states, including NC) issued by the C.M. Life Insurance Company, Enfield, CT 06082. Policy and rider form numbers and features may vary by state and may not be available in all states. Our Agency license number in California is OK71922 and in Arkansas 100139527.

MassMutual is rated by A.M. Best Company as A++ (Superior; Top category of 15). The rating is as of Aril 1, 2020 and is subject to change. MassMutual has received different ratings from other rating agencies.

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