AGING AMERICA: Live to 120? Most say no thanks – Businessweek

An increased lifespan is not necessarily ideal…

But with the field growing, Pew took the public’s pulse and found most Americans wouldn’t want a treatment that would let them live to 120. Fifty-six percent said no thanks — although two-thirds expect most other people would want to try such a step, said the report issued Tuesday.

via AGING AMERICA: Live to 120? Most say no thanks – Businessweek.

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The Joy of Old Age. (No Kidding.) – NYTimes.com

A wonderful essay from Oliver Sacks on the approach of his 80th birthday…

My father, who lived to 94, often said that the 80s had been one of the most enjoyable decades of his life. He felt, as I begin to feel, not a shrinking but an enlargement of mental life and perspective. One has had a long experience of life, not only one’s own life, but others’, too. One has seen triumphs and tragedies, booms and busts, revolutions and wars, great achievements and deep ambiguities, too. One has seen grand theories rise, only to be toppled by stubborn facts. One is more conscious of transience and, perhaps, of beauty. At 80, one can take a long view and have a vivid, lived sense of history not possible at an earlier age. I can imagine, feel in my bones, what a century is like, which I could not do when I was 40 or 60. I do not think of old age as an ever grimmer time that one must somehow endure and make the best of, but as a time of leisure and freedom, freed from the factitious urgencies of earlier days, free to explore whatever I wish, and to bind the thoughts and feelings of a lifetime together.

I am looking forward to being 80.

via The Joy of Old Age. (No Kidding.) – NYTimes.com.

UNEMPLOYMENT REDUCES LIFE EXPECTANCY

http://www.worldlifeexpectancy.com/unemployment-reduces-life-expectancy

According to renowned risk expert, Bernard L. Cohen PhD, life expectancy varies substantially with occupation. Post office employees, university professors, workers in clothing manufacturing and in communications industries live 1-2 years longer than average. Minors, policemen, firemen, truck drivers, and fishermen die 2-3 years younger than average, but poverty even during the best of times can reduce life expectancy by as much as 9 years and not just in the US. In Britain, the difference in life expectancy between “professionals” and unskilled workers is estimated to be 7.2 years. When Canadian men were ranked by income the top 10% have 32% less incidences of heart disease and stroke, 34% less cancer and 88% fewer deaths by accidents from poison and violence. With few exceptions extended unemployment puts everyone on a path to poverty in their “mind’s eye” if not in real terms…