Why You'll be as Healthy at Age 95 as You were at 55
40% of global disease will be gone in 15 years
Ric Edelman: It's Wednesday, January 25th. Yesterday, I blasted TIAA over their stupid survey that forced people to decide whether 60-year-olds would live to 76, 82 or 88. And then they said the correct answer is 82, when in fact the real answer is that if you're alive in 2030, you'll probably live to age 100 or beyond. If you want to understand why and you missed my podcast yesterday, just go listen to it. But there's one big nagging question. Do you really want to live to age 100?
When I talk about living into your 90s or hundreds, what image pops into your head? Sitting in a wheelchair staring out a window while drooling? The fact is, right now we spend, on average, our last 12 years of life in deteriorating health until it finally kills us. My old joke is that if you work out every day, you eat right, you get plenty of sleep, you avoid stress, you'll spend an extra six months in a nursing home before you die.
Ok, that's pretty funny. But I really don't think that this notion of dying over 12 years is very appealing. Certainly not a future any of us look forward to. But the good news is we're not only adding years to our lifespan, but we’re also adding years to our health span. The McKinsey Health Institute says that over the next decade alone - forget about the next 40 years - just in the next decade alone, we'll be adding six years of healthy life to our lives.
Now, you know how big a deal this is. We all see in surveys that maintaining or improving our health is the number one way we achieve life satisfaction. We hate losing our health more than we hate losing anything else. Studies show we'd rather lose our spouse than our health. We'd rather lose half our money than our health.
And the problem is, we're more likely to lose our health than either our money or our spouse. Infectious diseases kill 8 million people a year. Mental health conditions have risen 55% since 1990. Severe mental health disorders cut life expectancy 10 to 25 years. Suicide is now the second leading cause of death for people under age 34. By 2050, 150 million people around the world will have dementia.
Obesity has tripled since 1975. 13% of the world's population are now obese. One of the most common ailments from obesity is chronic back pain. 30% of retirees are lonely. And loneliness and social isolation - they lead to heart attacks and strokes, hypertension and diabetes.
But we now have the money, the technology and the know how to improve and maintain our health. McKinsey says we can eliminate 40% of global disease within 15 years. We've already cut cancer mortality in the US 32% since 1991, and 60% of deaths worldwide are caused by our behavior. Things we can improve like our diet, our exercise, sleep, drinking, smoking will also not only just improve our health, but our wealth. Poor health among workers costs businesses three and one half trillion dollars a year here in the US alone.
The bottom line is this: you're not only going to live into your hundreds, but you’re also going to feel as though you're in your 50s. You'll feel healthier at 95 than you did at 65. And that's why life is going to be so exciting this century and why you not only need to plan on living to 100, you want to plan on living that long.