Over the last century, we have seen life expectancy rise dramatically. According to the CDC, if you were 60 years old in 1911, you could expect to live about 15 years longer. Now, the average 60-year-old woman will, on average, live 24 years.
Personally, I think that these numbers are somewhat conservative. If you look at the advances in biotechnology, genetics, healthcare, artificial intelligence and nanotechnology that will likely reach the market in the next decade, it is possible that the women in our community will live to 100… or much older!
Of course, it is possible that many of these technologies will only be available to the ultra-rich. But, it is also possible that, after an initial period of exclusivity, these technologies will become standard tools in our anti-aging toolkits.
This raises an interesting question though. Even if we assume that these services become ubiquitous, how many of us will be able to afford to live to 100?
The more I think about this question, the more I realize that most of us simply aren’t prepared for the possibility of living to 100.
It’s not just our retirement accounts that I am talking about. Most of us haven’t saved enough to live comfortably into our 80s, let alone into our 100s!
It’s also our perspective on healthy aging that may need a drastic overhaul. For example, if you knew that living to 100 was a sure thing, would you be more likely to invest in your health now? Would you walk more? Would you join a gym or take up gentle yoga?
If you thought that you might live to 100, would you change the way that you invested your money? For example, would you look at annuities that would be guaranteed to pay you every month for the rest of your life? Would you look at your health insurance differently?
If you are lucky enough to have the choice to continue working, would you continue making money in your 60s and 70s, knowing that you would almost certainly need it in your 80s, 90s and older?
For me, the writing is on the wall. Unless I have an accident or get a serious illness, it is very likely that I will live to 100. That’s not wishful thinking. I’m not even sure that I want to live to 100. It’s just my opinion, based on my own research.
Realizing that living to 100 is a possibility has caused me to take a long, hard look at my life. I know that I need to take my health more seriously. So, I have joined a gym and do yoga daily.
I recognize that I may need to pay my way on this beautiful planet of ours for 35 more years. So, I am determined to build my own business, rather than relying on Social Security.
I know that loneliness kills as we age, so, I am investing in my social life now.
In short, I am hoping for the best and planning for the worst.
I’m actually very curious what you think about this!
If you knew that living to 100 was likely, would you do anything differently? Would you invest in your health more? Would you change the way that you invest your money? Would you change where you retired? Would you invest more in your friendships and family relationships? Or, would you keep things just the way they are? Please join the conversation.