About 15 years ago I learned from biologists and modern research that our body is generally able to sustain about 700 years. Methuselah turned 969. Only there is something that turns us off at about 70 – 80 on average. Now this may change very quickly.
You may become 180 years old – seriously
Life expectancy between 3,000 BC and 2,400 AD – rapidly growing
The question whether Methuselah was really 969 years old or not was bugging me for over 30 years. About 5 years ago I found a striking sentence in a book about Gilgamesh where he said to his friend “Before the great flood people were much older than now”. I started to explore average life expectancy and a ton more data. The result in a nutshell is this:
Before the great flood, in accordance to the Bible and actually other sources, people were indeed several hundred years old. And we will see more evidence for this. Something happened during the great flood that seemed to genetically crippled us and our life expectancy collapsed to about 24 years in no time.
Then around 1800 an unparalleled process began: We became older and older as you can see in the graph. I picked life expectancy data from Europe, Middle east and Asia from resources like Encyclopedia Britannica, Wikipedia and dozens of Internet sources.
The economic impact of getting much older is enormous. The German government for instance is lifting the retirement age to 70 years ! That is above average life expectancy just less than 100 years ago.
If the typical trend analysis methods of biological development is applicable to the current evolutionary development, we may get to an average age of 600 years by 2400. And that would be just what biologists know about the constitution of a human body and what historic records indicate from about 6,000 years ago.
What Does That mean to you?
The answer would much exceed the size of a blog post, but here are some topics to explore:
1) We will need to mentally prepare ourselves and others to deal with a much longer life
2) We will work longer – or better said be much longer productive
3) We need to understand that career change is no longer an option but will happen anyway as demand in workplaces change
4) Long term projects are much more feasible than in the past
5) Protecting what we created is maybe less important than being able to cut loose and restart something new over and over again
6) Think of a career change with 65, do something new for the next 30 years and then allow another career change with 120
7) Build some resting phases into your life as you won’t sustain a non stop productive life (not the next 2-3 generations)
8) Understand that you are able to support a longer life with mental fitness
9) Be prepared for a more flexible retirement and age care policy as some will be much longer productive than others and age is no longer the only marker in that process
10) Recognizing that you will life longer will require some major rethinking of your current retirement funds. Your kids in turn will live even longer and have to prepare much differently.
11) Governments will need to collaborate with health care, age care and work force organizations to model the new reality for their own financial structure.
12) The good news – longer productivity will fill the insurance and health care pockets to be able to manage the new situation.
I see you around new years eve 2100 ;)