NewsDo you believe the predictions we are going to live longer, healthier lives?

Do you believe the predictions we are going to live longer, healthier lives?

An American baseball player Casey Stengel once said: “Never make predictions, especially about the future.”

So many predictions have been made about older people’s health, wealth and longevity and some have fortunately been shown to be plain wrong.

I lost faith in demographers when they failed to pinpoint a baby-boom and our local primary school was flooded with applicants. They had a few years warning, what with the gap between birth and enrolment, but it didn’t seem to help.

It should be even easier for them to make predictions at the other end of life - like the $15 billion black hole the NSW economy was facing due to the costly demands of the ageing population.

It was only 2016 when the state’s intergenerational report warned that, by the 2050s, health costs would increase by that much to manage the boom in the numbers living longer (if not always better).

So would you believe they have now found we over-50s, and this probably applies to all states, are going to live longer healthier lives and so will not cost the budget so much?

It’s a relief, although these statistical predictions only apply to the population generally and not any of us individually. So good luck and read more here.

The evidence comes from technical research done here and overseas which finds increases in life expectancy will be matched by a matching lift in better health.

The other upside, it is predicted, is that more Australians will remain productive and participate in the workforce for longer so lifting economic growth.

They might just have a point, subject to ongoing age discrimination against older workers, the unpredictable effects of this and any other pandemics, and various other assumptions and unknowables.

It tends to exclude us but the best news from one research paper is that those born in 2015 are likely to spend 89% of their life in good health. It sounds good.

However, if those now six-year-olds live another 79 years on average, a cautious prediction, this means they will suffer less than good health for more than nine years.

It all depends which way you look at it. Meanwhile I hope they found a place in the primary school they wanted.

Some good advice from Albert Einstein: "I never think of the future, it comes soon enough."

How do you feel at the predictions pundits and experts might make about you and people like you?


Any information is general advice, it does not take into account your individual circumstances, objectives, financial situation or needs.

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Anonymous from VIC commented:

I am 59 Chris and was thinking about this the other day - we now live in the greatest period of humanity EVER - there has never been a better time to be a human with access to the greatest medical and welfare support EVER, and more freedom to choose your lifestyle, with access to employment, education, information, movement (pre covid) and any other measure you choose to pick. Yet why in the western world are we descending into a culture of perpetual grievance and victimhood - and an alleged epidemic of mental health issues and generations with such low levels of personal resilience? I feel we are losing the capacity to put things in perspective and maybe if we taught history better we might learn more - if we are to get older and remain happy we need to be better at this? Anyway good article. 

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