How much longer you have to live – if you believe the statistics.
It’s a sobering thought but I’ve just found out how long I have to live, and you can too, by using the new life tables from the Australian Bureau Of Statistics.
Their computer might have gummed up the census but it looks pretty certain that statistically at least my present age of 58 means I have another 25 years, give or take a few months, left on this Earth.
It’s 9125 days and I’ve already wasted half of one of them today in meetings. Of course even that’s if nothing goes wrong before I hit 83 in the year 2042.
But we shouldn’t complain because the tables again show Australian life expectancy hitting new heights both in absolute and relative terms.
The demographers are now arguing as to when and where it will it all stop. Newborn girls should make 84 and typical boys around 80, even more if they live in the ACT, and sadly less if in the NT.
But in those intervening years medicine should improve so they’ll live even longer and hopefully without chronic diseases.
The good news for those of us over 50 is that if we had got this far without the Grim Reaper catching up we may, again on average in aggregate, live even longer than these lucky newborns.
A 75-year old man today should have another 12 years in him and for a woman it’s 14 years. Sixty-five year olds of both sexes should have another twenty years of puff if that figures hold true
A World Health Organisation report this year placed an Aussie male’s life expectancy at 80.9 -- the third highest in the world after snowy Switzerland and chilly Iceland.
The bad news is that the indigenous population’s life expectancy is about ten year less than the general population.
There’s also the incidence of chronic disease which increases with age and can blight this so-called longevity premium.
Nearly 40% of those aged over 45 have two or more of the eight most common chronic diseases which include arthritis, asthma, back problems, cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and mental health conditions.
We may prefer to look up how long we’ll live but the bitter truth remain coronary heart disease remains the most deadly – accounting for 10% of all premature deaths and effecting one in five adults.
There’s also a record number of us perishing each year as at one end the baby boomers’ demographic bubble runs out of steam.
Almost 154,000 Australians died last year and it’s scheduled to grow by some thousands each year into the future.
It might be cold comfort for us men but the Australian Government Actuary, who considers such things, has found the traditionally wide gap between the life expectancy of men and women is actually narrowing.
If a man reaches 103, and there are predictions of 40,000 centenarians by 2055, then his life expectancy though somewhat short actually exceeds that of a woman.
So with the likely limits of my actual life now determined it’s going to be much easy to plan for retirement and figure out just how much I’ll need in super to eek out those remaining days in some dignity and comfort. RIP