Live Longer and Better

Copyright Daniel E. Winslow, FSA, CPA    October 25, 2015

It is amazing how much progress the farming, sanitation and medical community has made in the past two centuries.  


USA Life Expectancy

1750-1800        36 years

1901                  49.2 years

1999-2001        76.9 years

2010                  78.7 years


The fight against hunger and infectious disease and heart attacks/cancer/stroke added 27.7 years during the last century.  For every four years later you were born, you could expect to live about 1 year longer.  You could expect to live about 7 years longer than your parents.


USA Life Expectancy at age 65   % reaching Age 65

1901                   11.5 years                       39%

1999-2001         17.7 years                        82%

2010                   19.1 years                       84%


There is a fundamental debate among actuaries whether these improvements will continue into the future.  Among the people who can only look at today, they expect a fixed longest life span which will never change.    The longest verified age is 122 by Jeanne Calment, a French woman.


Simply looking at past patterns, it seems likely that life expectancy will up by at least more 20 years by the year 2100.  


The coming century is looking very bright for longer lives.  Among the medical improvements in progress are individual DNA analysis to predict and tailor medical treatment to your exact situation and growing genetically identical body parts for replacement.  Imagine ordering a new heart and stopping by your local hospital for implant.  A new heart good for another 80 years !!


“Aubrey de Grey, a biomedical gerontologist from Cambridge University, goes much further. He believes the first person to live to 1,000 has already been born and told the meeting that periodic repairs to the body using stem cells, gene therapy and other techniques could eventually stop the aging process entirely.”


The most important idea from this is stay healthy, live longer and the future could be amazingly better than you ever expected.


The next article will address how these longer life spans change Social Security, Medicare and retirement in fundamental ways.