I’ve included a couple of links for readers who missed the show and would like a bit more info, but here were the talking points that completely jazzed me.
1) Aging is being looked at as a disease, with diabetes and alzheimers being the greatest enemies of aging. So rather than looking to prolong life with miracle remedies, scientists are looking at how to isolate and treat the aging genes, which in turn, will promote a longer, healthier life span.
2) There is a chemical in red wine that does, in fact, help prolong life. Don’t start drinking the red stuff, though…you’d need to drink 1000 bottles a day to get enough resveratrol to prolong life. However, studies on lab rats are really promising. Even the obese rat lived 30% longer, with greater energy, than the healthy rat with no drug intervention.
3) Body parts are already being grown through stem cell cloning– including hearts and other vital organs.
4) My child may find she lives a healthy several hundred years.
5) Extreme caloric reduction does help resist aging. I, however, would not enjoy life with extreme caloric reduction, so I’ll have to hope for the red wine intervention.
6) 80 will become the new 50.
That is where I had to pause and take a big breath. If we live that much longer, that means that we will have to find a way to financially support ourselves throughout a longer life span. The ageism that we are now experiencing in job search, will advance about…30 years…and at 50 we’ll only be at early-mid career. At 80 corporations will start weeding us out. If you stayed in one job for your lifetime, you could technically be with one employer for 60 years (oh lordy!), which would never fly…basic cost of living salary increases alone would have you earning far more than any job was worth by the time you’d be…I don’t know…75ish?
Small business ownership would thrive, with the median owner age being…what…90? As a mom, I’d be able to give my child unsolicited advice for…130 odd years. Oh my.
The implications of just ONE of any of the many advances affecting our general population would mean a redefinition of career and jobs, employment environment, health care, marriage (yikes..being married to the same fella for 120 years? Doubtful.), child rearing, family living, world population, financial impact (would only the rich, rich be able to live a long life? What about a 120 year old blue collar worker? How would he/she make ends meet?), financial planning, pharmaceutical strategies, housing…even death planning. That is just touching the tip of the iceberg.
Divorce rates, for example, have increased over the decades, not (in my opinion) due to more lax divorce laws. No…I believe it is because people are living longer. If women don’t die in childbirth in their 40’s, or men in their 50’s, then married folks have to live together for that many more years. What will happen when a couple marries in their twenties? Perhaps renewable marriage contracts every decade? Perhaps NO marriage? Who would commit for 130 years to ONE person? Call me flighty, if you must…but not me, that’s for sure!
And if I changed jobs every 5 or so years, forget the one-page resume. I’d need about 10 pages by the time I was 85!
The advances are fascinating and actuaries are already sharpening their pencils in glee.