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Japanese centenarians that have been dead for decades.
Old 11-07-2010, 02:03 PM   #1
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Japanese centenarians that have been dead for decades.

I wonder how much the life expectancy of the Japanese has been over estimated. In the article below the government claims not by much as they don't count folks over age 98, but if 230,000 folks over a 100 cannot be located because their families have been claiming benefits decades after they died, one wonders how many of the 80 and 90 year olds claiming benefits are also dead.

Thousands of Japanese centenarians may have died decades ago | World news | The Guardian

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The nationwide survey was launched in August after police discovered the mummified corpse of Sogen Kato, who at 111 was listed as Tokyo's oldest man, in his family home 32 years after his death.
Kato's granddaughter has been arrested on suspicion of abandoning his body and receiving millions of yen in pension payments after his unreported death.

Soon after came the discovery that a 113-year-old woman listed as Tokyo's oldest resident had not been seen by her family for more than 20 years. Welfare officials have yet to locate Fusa Furuya, who was last seen in about 1986.
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Old 11-07-2010, 02:15 PM   #2
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This would be a great SPIA scam. Take out the annuity in 90 yo grandma's name and have the monthly check automatically deposited into a joint account. When she checks out, just forget to notify the insurance company.
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Old 11-07-2010, 03:29 PM   #3
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I wonder how much the life expectancy of the Japanese has been over estimated...
Yes, I wondered the same when reading that article. That is going to cause dietitians to have to reconsider their observations on the Japanese diet. It is going to take money to redo all that research, but hey, it may be worth it to the American public. Just think about the chance that they may reach the opposite conclusion about a diet rich in fish, and recommend more red meat and bacon, which taste good in addition to prolong our life!
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Old 11-07-2010, 03:47 PM   #4
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People living in affluent countries with relatively little social conflict live a long time. Fish may help the Japanese, or it may not. They are going to live a long time in any case.

Interesting that another affluent, homogenous country where people eat fish also has very long lifespans. I speak of Norway.

This business about very old people not really being alive is funny, but not important. Life expectancy as a median, not a mean. therfore it is not really affected importantly by outliers.

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Old 11-07-2010, 04:42 PM   #5
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... recommend more red meat and bacon, ...
Fat chance.
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Old 11-07-2010, 05:06 PM   #6
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I wonder how much the life expectancy of the Japanese has been over estimated.
According to the article it doesn't change their longevity figures as those are based on census data and males > 98 and females > 103 are not counted.

Based on our recent visit they must still be doing something right diet wise. Obesity is almost nonexistent.

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Old 11-07-2010, 05:11 PM   #7
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I've doubted the diet argument on Japanese longevity ever sinced I watched the documentary Sick Around The World. In Japan they have a private health insurance system that is highly regulated with the government settings caps on what things cost. (eg an MRI costs $100 max). This results in the average Japanese person seeing a Doctor four times more frequently than the average USA person and having 5 times as many MRI scans per year.

Given the errors in actual living 'old' folks, and the fact that Japanese folk get a lot more routine check-ups and have a closer relationship with their GP's, may be we have been putting too much emphasis on the different diets.

Note: I don't want this to trigger another debate on Health Insurance.
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Old 11-07-2010, 05:21 PM   #8
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According to the article it doesn't change their longevity figures as those are based on census data and males > 98 and females > 103 are not counted.
DD
The government would say that , but the article says that many have been claiming benefits for decades so when census forms are filled in, would the relatives of folks falsely claiming benefits on dead folks in their 80's and 90's tell the truth on the census forms and continue to claim?

I agree that ages > 100 will affect the average more but if there are as many, or more, false claims of folks aged 80 - 103 then it could well be significant.
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Old 11-07-2010, 05:30 PM   #9
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Wow, 40,000 centenarians are confirmed to be alive, while 230,000 cannot be located. Makes you wonder how many in the US are still collecting social security and pensions beyond the grave.

And 884 people listed as still alive in the records (presumably unconfirmed ) would be more than 150 years old. Does FIREcalc allow a 100 year retirement?
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Old 11-07-2010, 05:48 PM   #10
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Makes you wonder how many in the US are still collecting social security and pensions beyond the grave.
I have a 93-year old uncle (for whom I have one of the powers-of-attorney) who is collecting a foreign veteran's pension and an employment pension. We have to send in a doctor's note every 6 months certifying that he's still alive and under her care.

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Old 11-07-2010, 05:52 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by omni550 View Post
I have a 93-year old uncle (for whom I have one of the powers-of-attorney) who is collecting a foreign veteran's pension and an employment pension. We have to send in a doctor's note every 6 months certifying that he's still alive and under her care.

omni
I'm pleased to hear that we have a better system here. The article did criticize the system in Japan.

Quote:
The figures have exposed antiquated methods of record-keeping and fuelled fears that some families are deliberately hiding the deaths of elderly relatives in order to claim their pensions.
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Old 11-07-2010, 06:32 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by omni550 View Post
I have a 93-year old uncle (for whom I have one of the powers-of-attorney) who is collecting a foreign veteran's pension and an employment pension. We have to send in a doctor's note every 6 months certifying that he's still alive and under her care.

omni

Does this have to be a medical doctor or will any fly-by-night diploma mill's PHd count . If it is the later I can imagine a nice new business for myself as Dr. Clif who will certified that your beloved relatives are still alive.

Based on the Monty Python criteria

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Old 11-07-2010, 07:06 PM   #13
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As I understand the geriatrics researchers, the great advantage of the Japanese census is that it kept very accurate and trustworthy 19th-century birth records. Until they got to Japan, the Willcox brothers had a very difficult time documenting their research because many elderly lied about their ages (and forged appropriate documents) so often that they could never accurately remember/document their birth year. Japanese birth records made a big difference with the Okinawa centenarians and the Willcox's "Okinawan diet" books.

All four of spouse's grandparents lied about their ages so frequently, especially when it came time to emigrate from Russia, that they only knew their actual ages to within about five years. Once they got to 1920s America they saw no reason to change their behavior, but then the Social Security legislation was passed and they became as "old" as they could reasonably achieve.

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Does FIREcalc allow a 100 year retirement?
I'll have to get back to you on that in about 92 years... and FIRECalc still won't have enough rolling sequential return periods to satisfy some users!

Note: Let's not trigger another debate on retirement calculators either...
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Old 11-07-2010, 08:21 PM   #14
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Fat chance.
Did someone just say "fat"? Of course, fat is what makes food taste good. As Emeril often says, "Pork fat rules".

Ok, so what if some of that fat stays on your body? Why care if you are happy, even if you have to die a few years earlier?

Umm... Of course the above is easy for me to say, as someone with a BMI of 25.

Seriously, the Swiss's life expectancy is only a year shorter, and it being a landlocked country, I expect them to eat little fish. And the life expectancy was before this problem with Japan record keeping surfaced.

The Swiss also have a low obesity rate. Heck, most European countries (or is it all) have low obesity rate. A guide book I read for my visit a few years back said that there were few exercise gyms in Switzerland; people rather enjoy outdoor activities than spend time on machines.
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Old 11-07-2010, 08:44 PM   #15
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Makes you wonder how many in the US are still collecting social security and pensions beyond the grave.
Don't know about SS in the US but I'm sure they vote in Chicago
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Old 11-07-2010, 10:12 PM   #16
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This is a very big problem in Japan right now. Not so much that there are thousands upon thousands of dearly departed oldsters who are not classified as departed (with the accompanying pension fraud) as it is with the government not having a clue about anything. For example, much of your pension record is still very manual. When you leave a job, you get your social security passbook back from the company and you hold onto it until you find a new job and then give it to the new company. I haven't seen one recently, but the last one I saw had manually written info in it, not computerized. So, the government tried to computerize all of this stuff a few years ago, but did such a crappy job of it (the passbook records and the manual records in the city hall did not match what was put into the computer) that they have had to hire 3rd party companies to go thru tens of millions of social pension accounts to re-verify and correct the misinformation. ...so this is how our taxes work in Japan. Waste taxpayers money entering data that should have been computerized years ago, then redo it because it wasn't done right. This, from a country whose national debt is nearly 2x it's GDP (196% if my memory is correct).

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