How Lifespan has Increased over Time, and Why

December 18, 2020

Photo by Johnny Cohen on Unsplash

Over the past few decades, the life expectancy of people globally has increased. But it’s not all sunshine and roses. Here’s why.

It is true that modern medicine and diet has already brought up our lifespan considerably. However, the elderly are also spending a lot more time in hospitals and hospice. As it turns out, those extra years don't really mean anything -- the reality of our extra years is that they're spent in fragile treatments and therapies. 

But that’s not all. For the past few years, the average retirement age in the US has been 62. Things aren’t quite that simple, however. The average retirement age was hovering around 60 in the 2000s, and around 58 in the 1990s. That means one thing; the average retirement age is actually going up. Think you’re safe because you don’t live in the US? Guess again -- the increasing retirement age is a trend across virtually all industrialized countries, for relatively similar reasons.

So, overall, things aren’t looking too good for those growing old. However, there is a solution -- and it involves bringing healthspan into the equation.

Healthspan is the time we are healthy. This creates a much greater goal, but also a more difficult challenge. Because of this, we see longevity as the combination of healthspan and lifespan

Secondly, there’s a lot of different types of longevity “health”. When we think of the word health, we typically think physical health; staying cancer-free, being able to move around adequately, etc. However, there are two other often neglected parts of longevity health: mental longevity and financial longevity. Mental longevity is simple enough; it is the mental equivalent to physical health. This measures how long you can retain your memory, happiness, etc. Financial longevity, on the other hand, is a uniquely modern issue in the longevity space. This primarily revolves around the retirement problem: when is the right time to retire, how should you save, how long should you save, etc.

With this in mind, we can work towards a better understanding of what our longevity goals are, and help build a healthy life now. If you want to work on improving your healthspan, why not give Shanah a try

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