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Thursday, March 14, 2013

Calculating Life Span

I used a life span calculator that someone sent me. After I answered all the questions (stuff about age, height, weight, exercise, health history, smoking, drinking, eating, etc), it computed that I would live to be a hundred. Wow that means I'll still be around in 2038.  I immediately apologized to my kids and grandkids.
But I take this result with grains of salt and pepper since it was by a financial planner who would want me to consider planning for a longer life, but also because of the questions it did not ask. For example, there should be questions that:

  1. Relate to cancer--e.g. eating pesticides, breathing or drinking chemicals, exposure to radiation.
  2. Relate to gun ownership when we know that people who have a gun have shorter life expectancy because of accidents, suicide, and a fearful attitude toward others.
  3. Relate to community when we know that people in a denser, walkable, civic-minded, neighborly community are much safer, drive less, and get more exercise.
  4. Relate to education with solid studies linking education to wealth and wealth to longevity--and not just financial wealth, but also intellectual, social, civic and spiritual wealth.
  5. Relate to loving friendships. Again solid studies show that coordination.
  6. Relate to openness to change and new learning, positive attitude, sense of faith, meaning and hope, for self and others, for community and country. 

So I revised the calculator, adding these indicators, and took the test again.  Now it says I'll live to be 150.

Sorry kids. You'll have to put up with me for a long, long time.