Diet and exercise are paths to leading a longer life but increased longevity is no free lunch. As individuals and entire populations begin to live longer, they are likely to face increasing healthcare costs and increased rates of diseases such as Alzheimer’s. While society encourages individuals to save for retirement, few people save money thinking of their longterm health care costs. Yet medical bills as a result of incurable conditions can quickly deplete retirement nest eggs as well as assets held by families. Long term care insurance is one possible remedy but social tools to deal with vastly longer lives remain cumbersome.
What’s the Big Idea?
Perhaps our energies are better spent on trying to live better rather than trying to live longer. That is certainly the opinion of Neil de Grasse Tyson–your mother’s favorite astrophysicist–who says he’d prefer to live under the illusion that daily life was more precious than suggested by the average 75-year life span:
When Dr. Kim Williams, the president-elect of the American College of Cardiology, recently wrote an essay encouraging doctors to recommend plant-based diets to their patients, shouts of praise and condemnation erupted form opposing camps.