I think this is a reasonable question to ask. It could be today or soon life expectancy will go to close to 100 years and soon after that it’s likely to move to 120 years old.
I know that when I ask this question to most people they furrow their brow and say with enthusiasm, “I have no interest in living that long.” That may because the thought goes with this is, “I’ve seen too many people have long and painful deaths and if getting older means that, I have no interest.”
I want you to expand your horizons and think about this issue in a very different way.
What if things were different with aging?
If aging looks like aging today, I’m not sure that living past 80 is such a good idea. The good news is everything I’ve read is telling me that aging has the chance of being very different, if you will take part in your own health.
What I’ve been reading is not about eating twigs and sticks to live longer. It’s about making some small changes to our life that will have big results. It’s about having supplements that help regenerate our cells and make us feel much younger, but with all the wisdom we’ve gained.
I think the advances we’re making in life extension are exciting. It will open a new world and one that we might be the pioneers for. If not us, then our children for sure.
Speaking of children, what are you doing to prepare them?
Serious life extension is in its experimental and early stages. This means that the Baby Boomers are the first to try. Generation X will get a lot of benefit and those from the Millennial cohort will be the first where life extension is just a thing.
If you’re like me and you’re a Baby Boomer, we need to be speaking with our children about what the 100 year life looks like and what it means. It’s probably something you haven’t thought about or even considered. I think being a good parent will also mean having conversations with our children about how they believe they’ll live a very, very long life.
Do you find the possibility of having several careers interesting?
This is one value of a long life. It will allow us the opportunity to do many different things during our life.
You may have read articles about Millennials trying lots of different jobs before settling into a career. This is a great thing for them to be doing. If their work life will last for sixty or seventy years instead of 35 to 40 years, doing different things will be an important activity for a life well lived.
Even if you’re not from a younger generation, having more than one career is probably something that could add great value to your life. If you live past 90 retiring at 65 is probably not in the cards. You will have to do something and wouldn’t it be nice if you decided that something was a passion job and not just one where you make money?
How do you feel about lifelong learning?
This is a skill all of us will need to learn. There has been lots of research that retraining has not worked especially well with blue-collar workers in the US. This issue will need to be addressed and successfully overcome.
The world is changing at an ever faster rate. This means that what we were trained for in our twenties will probably not even be available as a job when we’re sixty. You will need to learn how to learn and do it for your entire life. If you don’t, there’s a good chance your golden years may not be so golden.
Won’t living this long bankrupt the world?
This is a question that will be asked by the media ad nauseam. If we live longer and birth rates continue to decline and we change the ages for normal retirement, things will probably be fine.
Our politicians will use changing our normal retirement age as a political football. There also is no reason for most of those who work that we can’t work well past our 65th birthday. For those who are doing physically demanding work, we’ll either have to learn how to retrain or make exceptions for that group of people.
Living longer should not bankrupt the world. If we’re living a life that is healthier with less chronic disease (and that’s what our future looks like) our costs for medical care will go down. We will have to work longer and in my mind that’s a good thing. What do you think about working longer… especially if you really enjoyed what you were doing?
It might not be today, but the day is coming soon.
Living a long, long life is here right now. We are seeing those 65 living well into their 80s and 90s. At the same time we as a society haven't really had conversations about what this means.
I know I’ve been writing a lot about this topic recently. I also know that someone has to be starting the conversation. I hope you are doing so in your family. Understanding what your options are and doing something about it will help you have a better life. That’s what we’re all about here and I hope you take the time to talk with us with what having a very long life means in your world.
Why don’t you scroll down and leave a comment below about what you think living a very long life will mean for you and those you love?