04 February 2009

Preparing to Live Longer: Living to Eleventy-One

Over the last 50 years, the average life expectancy of a person has been increasing at a rate of 5hours per day. Tomorrow you are expected to live 5 hours longer than you were expected to live today.

Today, my life expectancy is supposed to be around 80 years of age. Once you adjust it, my average life expectancy is around 100 years. If I'm above average by even one standard of deviation I could easily expect to live to 111.

The problem with projecting life expectancy is that we don't have very many data points. The people that are dying now, are people that lived through the depression, used asbestos for their table clothes, and smoked like a chimney.

However, I'm willing to bet that the average increase in life is not a regular average, but an increasing average. Meaning, that I might very well expect to live until well past 120 years.

So what? If I can reasonably expect to live to well past 100, or 120 years old, then:

  • I can't retire at age 50 or even at age 65 and have enough money to hold me out
  • I should plan to work well into my late 70s
  • I have another 45 years of my career ahead of me
  • Retirement is not an option. I should be plan mini-retirements throughout my life now.
  • While I might live longer, my risk of neurological degeneration dramatically increases! (near 100% chance)
  • I should be "investing" my donations into research into Parkansans, alzheimer's, etc.
  • The rate of global population growth is underestimated.
  • A significant boom in the health care industry (especially palliative care) is set to boom.

Some interesting Ted Talks on the subject: