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So you want to live to age 100?
Old 01-23-2010, 12:31 AM   #1
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So you want to live to age 100?

Wharton Business School publishes an e-mail newsletter digest of various articles from science, medicine, and business. Here's one of their recent reviews of longevity issues:

So You Want to Live to 100? More of Us Will, and Here Is What Life Might Look Like

Quote:
According to The Lancet researchers, the gain of about 30 years in life expectancy in Western Europe, the U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand -- and even more in Japan, Spain and Italy -- "stands out as one of the most important accomplishments of the 20th century."

Furthermore, most babies born since 2000 in these countries will "celebrate their 100th birthdays if the present yearly growth in life expectancy continues through the 21st century."
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Given that individuals over the coming decade may routinely expect to work well into their 70s and 80s, what kind of environment can they look forward to? [...] The question is, to what extent will employers actually embrace older workers and incorporate more flexibility with respect to schedules, less supervision and more empowerment?
Quote:
"The real challenge of living to be 100 will be to systematically weave financial literacy into elementary, middle and high school programs. [...] Individuals will need to assemble a tool kit that will get them not only a first job or prepare them for a 20-year career, but help them fashion several different 20-year careers over a lifetime. [...] Life expectancy now is close to 80, yet less than 20% of the American population in their 50s has even tried to design a retirement plan. If you add another 20 years on top of that, then people need to become much more [knowledgeable] about saving and investing for retirement."
Lifetime financial literacy is difficult enough. But the three scariest issues in this article? Medicare, obesity, and diabetes...

I'm motivated to stick around to 2060 or so just to see how this all works out.
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Old 01-23-2010, 07:13 AM   #2
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I'm motivated to stick around to 2060 or so just to see how this all works out.
I'll be 112 in 2060. Please take notes if I'm not around ...
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Old 01-23-2010, 07:46 AM   #3
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I'm more concerned about the quality of life than how many years I live. My MIL recently passed away at the age of 90. The last 15 years of her live were very difficult due to a disabling stroke. It was heartbreaking to see this once strong, proud and independent woman unable to take care of even the most basic activities of living. Her experience forever changed the way DH and I look at old age.
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Old 01-23-2010, 07:52 AM   #4
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I'll be happy to take it to the house at 99. Just keep the med's coming until then.
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Old 01-23-2010, 07:59 AM   #5
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Interesting article. I also noted the reference to the need for China and other developing countries to buy our equities as we decumulate in retirement. There won't be enough demand in the US and Europe as we boomers spend our piles down. The book cited in the article says that demand in the developing world will be there to buy our loot but it is just one more risk factor to take into account

The projections in this article are modest enough to seem realistic. Today's todlers living to 100 seems about right. I read a lot of articles a few years back that argued that advances in bio/nano tech would give us boomers vastly extended life spans and that always seemed outlandish to me. The issues involved in our aging bodies are so complex that the idea that a few break-throughs in the next 10 years or so would extend our life spans by decades just doesn't compute. The accumulating developments extending today's babies lifespan by 25 years years does compute.
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Old 01-23-2010, 09:19 AM   #6
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This move away from ER seems inevitable to me, and ultimately a good thing - along with expected changes in the work place. And I think the world will change over the next 20-30 years far more dramatically than most people can imagine.

However, I suspect the reaction here (away from ER) will not be supportive to put it mildly. And I may feel differently one day, but I don't want to live to anywhere near 100 as it stands today. I've always preferred quality over quantity...
Quote:
Given that individuals over the coming decade may routinely expect to work well into their 70s and 80s, what kind of environment can they look forward to?

"retirement ages will have to rise quite substantially, to 70 or beyond, to finance the baby boom generation as it moves up through the age structure."

"Eventually, the normal retirement age will have to become more proportional with the growing length of life, maybe 70 or even 75 over time within a few decades. That age might seem ridiculous to people now, but it probably won't in 20 or 30 years.
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Old 01-23-2010, 09:28 AM   #7
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This move away from ER seems inevitable to me, and ultimately a good thing ...
I think for people other than myself that could be very true.
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Old 01-23-2010, 09:58 AM   #8
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And I may feel differently one day, but I don't want to live to anywhere near 100 as it stands today. I've always preferred quality over quantity...
Yes, you may feel differently one day. I just have to recount the story of my mother's last years because she is one who thought that but found out differently as she aged.

My mother lived to be a week short of 98, and was lucid with little to no loss of her mental capabilities up to a month or two beforehand. She is someone who was always honest with me and very open about her feelings.

When she was in her 50's and 60's, and the topic of longevity came up, she very honestly said she didn't know what it would be like living to be older than 90 but that it probably wouldn't be nice. She said she would see, or not, depending on how things transpired. (She had a grandfather that lived to 103 and that was what triggered such discussions).

In her 90's, up to a month before she died she said that she enjoyed every day of life. She remembered not wanting to live over 30 when she was a teenager, and how wonderful life over 30 really was. Similarly, she said she really enjoyed living in her 90's. Yes, she had a walker and then a wheelchair, broke her hip, had a pacemaker, had other surgeries, took over a dozen types of prescription medication every day, and so on. Her medical bills must have been staggering. But she loved each and every day.

She followed the news every day and had her opinions on world events. She had dear friends at the continuous care facility that she had lunch with every day (after her companion Bill passed away - - she had meals with him every day prior to that). She enjoyed activities there, such as daily workout classes in their little gym (with 2-3 pound weights, and so on, designed for the elderly). She had her hair done regularly at the salon at the facility. She also faithfully attended the concerts that were brought to that facility, read the paper, and did the crossword puzzle. Life doesn't stop just because you get old. And each day becomes more precious when you know you don't have many more.

When she was in her last few years she told me that although she still enjoyed every day, she also had come to terms with her own mortality. She said she had done everything that she wanted to do in life, and had traveled everywhere she wanted to go (she was a big traveler). She said she was at peace with the universe and with the next step in life, which was dying, even though she didn't want to rush it.
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Old 01-23-2010, 10:14 AM   #9
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I think for people other than myself that could be very true.
Yep - after 16 yrs of ER - I'm willing to rerun an older age 66 version of ER - but but WORK! - no way.

heh heh heh -

Back in working days - the company wellness program had me croaking at 77 cause I smoked a pack a day.

The IRS table has me going at 84.6 or 86.4 I forget.

I'm back to eat what you want and die like a man.
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Old 01-23-2010, 10:22 AM   #10
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W2R:

What a wonderful description of your mom. I have to add that even though my MIL had serious physical problems, she still had a strong desire to live right up to the end. There were many moments of joy for her even with her physical disabilities. Visits from family, watching ice skating on TV, a slice of home made pie, and talking about the old days were some of the things that made her very happy.
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Old 01-23-2010, 10:30 AM   #11
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Yes, you may feel differently one day. I just have to recount the story of my mother's last years because she is one who thought that but found out differently as she aged.

My mother lived to be a week short of 98, and was lucid with little to no loss of her mental capabilities up to a month or two beforehand. She is someone who was always honest with me and very open about her feelings.

When she was in her 50's and 60's, and the topic of longevity came up, she very honestly said she didn't know what it would be like living to be older than 90 but that it probably wouldn't be nice. She said she would see, or not, depending on how things transpired. (She had a grandfather that lived to 103 and that was what triggered such discussions).

In her 90's, up to a month before she died she said that she enjoyed every day of life. She remembered not wanting to live over 30 when she was a teenager, and how wonderful life over 30 really was. Similarly, she said she really enjoyed living in her 90's. Yes, she had a walker and then a wheelchair, broke her hip, had a pacemaker, had other surgeries, took over a dozen types of prescription medication every day, and so on. Her medical bills must have been staggering. But she loved each and every day.

She followed the news every day and had her opinions on world events. She had dear friends at the continuous care facility that she had lunch with every day (after her companion Bill passed away - - she had meals with him every day prior to that). She enjoyed activities there, such as daily workout classes in their little gym (with 2-3 pound weights, and so on, designed for the elderly). She had her hair done regularly at the salon at the facility. She also faithfully attended the concerts that were brought to that facility, read the paper, and did the crossword puzzle. Life doesn't stop just because you get old. And each day becomes more precious when you know you don't have many more.

When she was in her last few years she told me that although she still enjoyed every day, she also had come to terms with her own mortality. She said she had done everything that she wanted to do in life, and had traveled everywhere she wanted to go (she was a big traveler). She said she was at peace with the universe and with the next step in life, which was dying, even though she didn't want to rush it.
I was just thinking that I didn't like the idea of going past 90 - even the upper 80s didn't sound that appealing. And then I read your post - lots of food for thought!

Wow - what a terrific post. Thanks for so generously sharing your mother's wisdom and life experience with us.

Audrey
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Old 01-23-2010, 11:09 AM   #12
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I was just thinking that I didn't like the idea of going past 90 - even the upper 80s didn't sound that appealing. And then I read your post - lots of food for thought!

Wow - what a terrific post. Thanks for so generously sharing your mother's wisdom and life experience with us.

Audrey
Thanks. I loved her dearly, and still love the memories, so I enjoy posting them here at times.
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Old 01-23-2010, 12:31 PM   #13
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W2R,

I want to be just like your mom when I grow up (older).
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Old 01-23-2010, 12:37 PM   #14
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Great story W2R.
My wife's grandfather died in his 90s. After he lost his wife of 60+ years, and metastatic prostate cancer took its toll, he told his daughter that "I just don't like it here anymore". He died not too long after.
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Old 01-23-2010, 12:39 PM   #15
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Have to agree, it was so wonderful reading something positive about someone who was 90+ and how she chose to embrace life as it was.

I think one of the greatest problems in life, is people spend too much time focussing on their failures, what they didn't have instead of rejoicing in the good things, which results in a negative attitude that no-one wants to be around.
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Old 01-23-2010, 02:03 PM   #16
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My grandfather (papa) didn't live to be 100, but he made it to 94. As far as I know, he never had surgery nor did he take any medication. He had a garden until he was 90, after that he said it was time to give the ground a little rest.

He was orphaned at a young age and worked hard to provide for his family. He buried his daughter, four sons and his wife. Through all of this he believed life was a gift and found pleasure in each day. He was the most content man I have ever known and would always share a smile.

I miss him.
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Old 01-23-2010, 02:31 PM   #17
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My grandfather (papa) didn't live to be 100, but he made it to 94. As far as I know, he never had surgery nor did he take any medication. He had a garden until he was 90, after that he said it was time to give the ground a little rest.

He was orphaned at a young age and worked hard to provide for his family. He buried his daughter, four sons and his wife. Through all of this he believed life was a gift and found pleasure in each day. He was the most content man I have ever known and would always share a smile.

I miss him.
BbbamI, he sounds like a wonderful man.
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Old 01-23-2010, 02:32 PM   #18
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I agree with the "quality over quantity" deal! I want to live as long as absolutely possible......as long as I can enjoy life, and not be in considerable pain or agony, and still have my whits about me. I have several relatives who have made it into their 90's, and most have made into their 80's.

My great-grandad made it to 97, and thoroughly enjoyed living...right up 'til the end. He smoked cigars and drank a wee bit o' whiskey everyday of his adult life, and enjoyed going dancing every Saturday evening. When he was in his 60's his doctor told him that if he wanted to keep living, that he needed to give up his cigars and whiskey.....instead, he gave up his doctor! He continued his regimen up through his final Saturday evening....went dancing with his girlfriend, smoked his cigars, and drank his wee bit o' whiskey. My Dad said that on Sunday, he got up, got cleaned up and shaved (with a straight razor of course), and put on his Sunday best...as usual. He sat down in his rocker in the parlor, and decided he wasn't going to join the family for dinner that day. After dinner my Grandma went to check to see if he wanted anything, and found him slumped over in his chair, dead as doornail. His doctor had been correct...the cigars, whiskey, and 'wild' living killed him!

When it comes to life and longevity, I wanna emulate him...be in reasonably good health, be able to remain active and social, have my whits about me, and most importantly be able to thoroughly enjoy living! Although I wouldn't mind stickin' around a wee bit longer....say 100-plus!!!

My morning coffee gang includes several folks who are in their 90's, and a bunch in their 80's, and most are still going strong! We're going to breakfast tomorrow with an old friend that I've known my entire life....he's 93, and still just as sharp as a tack!!! He loves to read and loves conversation....and he stays very much up to date on what's happening in the world, both near and far!
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Old 01-23-2010, 05:49 PM   #19
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My grandfather (papa) didn't live to be 100, but he made it to 94. As far as I know, he never had surgery nor did he take any medication. He had a garden until he was 90, after that he said it was time to give the ground a little rest.

He was orphaned at a young age and worked hard to provide for his family. He buried his daughter, four sons and his wife. Through all of this he believed life was a gift and found pleasure in each day. He was the most content man I have ever known and would always share a smile.

I miss him.
Your grandfather was a remarkable man. I think you got some of his wonderful spirit bbbamI. Like Papa, you always share a smile
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Old 01-23-2010, 07:01 PM   #20
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W2R and Purron...thank you for your kind words. I think I've gone through a box of tissues today...but my heart feels warm. Thank you again...

If he was able to see this thread, he'd slap his knee, laugh and say, "Look at the picture of that old feller...best be takin' it off before something breaks!"

Yeah...I was blessed by being his granddaughter.
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