“We are in the midst of a longevity revolution,” said demographer Ken Dychtwald. As recently as 1900, the average life expectancy was 47. By the end of the 20th Century, that number had rocketed to 78.
With improvements in health care, diet and exercise, the question you have to ask yourself is: “what if I live to 90 or beyond?” The natural follow up to that question, he added, is “will I outlive my money?”
Dychtwald, president and CEO of Age Wave, spoke earlier today at the 2008 MDRT Annual Meeting, being held this week at the Toronto Convention Center. More than 8,000 attendees are expected through Thursday, with representatives from 83 countries in attendance.
Dychtwald said this longevity revolution is uncharted territory, where we can approach it as either a “crisis of global aging or a triumph of longevity.” He sided with the latter and pointed to examples such as John Glenn, who went into space at 77. At his press conference to announce his intentions, Glenn told a dubious media, “Just because I’ll be 77 doesn’t mean I still don’t have dreams.”
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While few people will blast into outer space like Glenn, more and more are sharing his philosophy of taking on new projects and exploring new dreams well into what we used to think of as retirement age.