“Half the children born may live to 103-104”

Author: Jerry Cahn

“Half the children born may live to 103-104”

Purpose Wellness

As a whole, people are living longer; we need to re-think the “aging” rules and norms we’ve adopted. The potential to lead a fulfilling, elongated life is worth it. That’s why Age Brilliantly was founded: to help you take charge and live better to 100+!

At the beginning of the 20th century, the average lifespan in the United States was over 40 years old. A century later, it doubled. In a story by CBS’s“60 Minutes”, Lesley Stahl noted that “over the next 30 years, the number of Americans aged 90 and above is expected to triple.”  

Today, there are several longevity studies being conducted to understand aging, through major Stanford and Harvard Universities, as well countless other researchers focused on areas of the world (e.g., Blue Zones) where there are high proportions of people living past 90 and 100.  This CBS story reported on a NIH-funded research study which focuses on people who are 90+ which is conducted through the University of California, Irvine.

The studies try to identify factors associated with elongated lives: which “life essentials” (e.g., health, wealth, relationships, purpose and passion contribute to longevity. As is always the case with science, findings often challenge our assumptions. For instance, in the search to explain why some adults experience dementia and Alzheimers, they discovered that sometimes people with brain conditions thought to be causative (e.g., amyloid plaque and tangles) are not experiencing these diseases, while others without the brain conditions are victims.  (See the interview at: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/long-life-retirement-community-60-minutes-2020-11-22/).

At one point, the 90+ Study’s lead investigator Dr. Claudia Kawas, who has met several 116-year-olds, notes that “Half of all children born today in the United States and Europe is going to reach their 103rd or 104th birthday.”   What are you doing to help them lead fulfilling, elongated lives?

Age Brilliantly was founded to help people of all ages think about their 80+ years of adulthood and create fulfilling, productive lives – even though our society’s rules and norms create obstacles because they were based on life-span expectations of people last century.  

Why build a life-plan premised on working till you “retire” around age 65-70 with no plans for the next 30+ years? Yet, that’s the basic premise of our entire retirement industrial complex. We have Supreme Court Justices working into their 80s; the US has a 74 year old President and a 78 year old President-elect. Yet, we treat these facts as if they’re aberrations instead of acknowledging them as our future. Corporate America still “encourages” people over 50 and 60 to leave their positions, instead of investing in making them even more productive. Countless organizations think of other people at these ages as “older” “elders” and “older adults”; yet, the majority of people don’t feel that way at all.  Many of today’s 65 year olds think they’re the “still 50”; a better way to look at it, is that yesterday’s 50 year old expected to live to 65-70; today’s 65 year old expects to live to 90. 

Our scales have changed… yet, our norms and rules haven’t caught up.  It’s time to live intentionally and plan for a longer life. WE need to do that in our own lives and upgrade our institutions.

Most importantly, our 20 year olds need to prepare for a potentially healthy, and fulfilling 80+ years of adulthood during which they can live out their passions and purposes with 10 different careers and several types of relationships. Throughout the journey they can take time for GROWTHH (Goal Re-Orientation with Time for Health and Happiness). They don’t have to work hard, retire from work like our parents did, nor should they “retire” from one job to “work for another” during a period called retirement.

Regardless of where you are now along the adulthood journey of adulthood, check your premises and launch your fulfilling, elongated life to 100+. Age Brilliantly will be updating everything we do, to make sure our community provides you with the information, inspiration, support and resources to succeed!   Join the community.  Share your thoughts with me. See you at 103-4+!