Creepy as it might sound, there are companies that will buy a life insurance policy in the hopes that the policyholder will die sooner rather than later, thereby giving the company a return on its investment in the policy. But it’s not only the life settlement firm that benefits in what is termed a viatical settlement; terminally ill persons can get cash to fund their treatments and live out their days in relative comfort. Predicting a person’s longevity is not an exact science, however; people can defy the odds, living longer than expected. In fact, one company has a made a study of what it takes to live a long life. (Hint: Keep your bar tab low.)

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