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What are the odds you will be healthy, vigorous, and sharp til age 75?

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  • What are the odds you will be healthy, vigorous, and sharp til age 75?

    Recently I had the very, very sobering realization that 75 is closer than college was. I was also reading through the "in memoriam" column in my alum magazine, and finding many folks deceased in their 60s and 70s, and a few in their 40s and 50s. Many from cancer, others from strokes and heart disease, and a few from mental health.

    A lot of our life planning has been vaguely around the idea that we're going to live a long time and be pretty healthy for most of it. Why? To be honest: probably narcissism. Those rules don't apply to me. But obviously that's foolish. Even if you exercise, eat well, don't smoke/drink, keep your blood sugar and blood pressure well controlled - **** happens. Our parents lived to 73, 73, 81, and still living at 70: strangely, all of our parents died younger than either of their parents.

    So I eat healthy, don't smoke or drink (much), exercise a lot etc. But counting on another 27 healthy years is unwise; so what to do?

    How do you incorporate your odds of a healthy or unhealthy older age in your retirement planning?

    Actually writing this out makes me think I should work less already... But I don't want to pull the trigger too early, live vigorously to 90, and feel like I quit before I gave as much as I could have.


  • #2
    i make plans based on being pretty mobile until 80, at which point i plan to sip extremely expensive coffee or scotch and read books in between naps

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    • #3
      Your post is timely for me at just past mid 50s and someone who wants to wrap up my end of life situation to avoid the Christmas eve ED boarding for a week to geri-psych to Medicaid nursing home tract. I think the delusions and avoidance of our diminishing abilities as we age are possibly survival driven narcissism? which leads humans of all ages to over estimate their abilities, their looks etc. My plan if I am so blessed is to retire at what I feel is a respectable age of 65, spend time and money enjoying the next 10 years and if I'm still around from 75 on just chill in a CCRC which will probably be necessary regardless of how spry I delude myself that I am. A plus for myself and spouse is we were raised fairly simply, enjoy finer things now, but would be ok scaling back if we live longer than anticipated and need to stretch our funds.

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      • #4
        It's too bad we can't all be Senators, Presidents, and Supreme Court Justices, who somehow are the only ones who seem to be spared from physical and cognitive debility at that advanced age.

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        • #5
          I suppose many will over save and work a little too long.

          To under save would completely suck. That is not a situation I want to plan for.

          I am not saying work until 70. I am ok with people stopping any time.

          I will not be doing clinical work past 55. Almost certainly earlier than many, but I will over save and hope I need the funds.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by StateOfMyHead View Post
            the Christmas eve ED boarding for a week to geri-psych to Medicaid nursing home tract
            How can I forget the Christmas day pop drops.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Lithium View Post
              It's too bad we can't all be Senators, Presidents, and Supreme Court Justices, who somehow are the only ones who seem to be spared from physical and cognitive debility at that advanced age.
              Huh? Our entire government is basically one large memory care unit.

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              • #8
                Hoping for 80. That's why retire at 60 is key: 20 good years. .

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                • #9
                  Everyday you get closer to death. It's an inevitability. But paradoxically an unhealthy person A at age 40 could be closer to death/chronic dz than that of a healthy person A at age 60.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Lithium View Post
                    It's too bad we can't all be Senators, Presidents, and Supreme Court Justices, who somehow are the only ones who seem to be spared from physical and cognitive debility at that advanced age.
                    mandatory retirement at 70 or submit to independent cognitive evals every year and release all results
                    sorry not sorry

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by MPMD View Post
                      i make plans based on being pretty mobile until 80, at which point i plan to sip extremely expensive coffee or scotch and read books in between naps
                      Taste buds decline with aging as well. Drink the amazing coffee and scotch now.

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                      • #12
                        Another reason to live below your means and retire early. Does not have to be crazy early. But 55 is way better than 65 for most people.

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                        • #13
                          We cannnot escape our genetics or bad luck, but we can change bad diet, habits, stress, that you parents may have had.
                          I for one have been pleasantly surprised how well my parents have done 70+. But they embraced a good diet and commitment to exercise at least from their late 50s or sooner. in previous generations mostly the men died younger.

                          So, I think the odds are pretty good, and pretty good for a majority of us if we try.
                          Last edited by Notsobad; 05-10-2022, 08:48 PM.

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                          • #14
                            Keep moving and keep yourself capable of moving especially when it comes to ambulation. I think the research supports my next statement (go easy I'm a pediatric dentist) but I can think of many people I know/knew personally where the beginning of the end was when they had noticeable lower body atrophy and weakness - certainly by the time ambulation became noticeably affected they were on the decline physically and mentally.

                            I just spoke to my mother today who is only 70 but morbidly obese, she hasn't exercised since the 80's, and she fell a few weeks ago walking in through the front door and just finished a total knee and shoulder replacement due to the fall. She gets winded walking on flat ground and because of her weak legs and large size she is unsteady on her feet. She was asking for what happened to happen to her and I suspect as a result she will be an even bigger couch potato making things even worse and I expect to see more declines in her health as a direct result of being unable to negotiate a front door threshold.

                            So, I lift weights and hike and keep mobile. Leg day is 3x per week. I'm not going crazy with weight anymore (+300lbs was easy at one point) and I'm focusing on lighter weight (225lbs) and higher reps (4 sets of 8). If by the time I'm 75 I'm just doing bodyweight squats (I'm already a large guy at 6'5" and 270lbs) that's totally fine but the goal is to keep my leg strength and ability to ambulate as long as possible. Keep my coordination and flexibly. Not have a front door threshold be what does me in.

                            My personal measure of how I'm doing is at 43 and my size I can grab a 10' basketball rim with both hands with no running start just standing under the hoop and if I could palm a basketball I could pretty easily dunk one-handed with a running start. I'm no pre-injury Zion Williams but still pretty capable in my estimation.
                            Last edited by PWMDMD; 05-09-2022, 05:01 PM.

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                            • #15
                              Another way I’ve been thinking about it:
                              Many people make a big deal about undersaving and running out of money in your 80s…but how likely is that? Much more likely, you would have to cut back on things/adjust your spending earlier to course correct if you had a bad sequence of returns early on, and would adapt to that lower standard of living…which, since most on here are planning for a relatively high standard of living, would still be a good standard of living. So would you rather take full advantage of time in your younger years by working less/more enjoyable but lesser pay setting/RE and explore the world/etc., for the trade off of having less luxury in your later years when maybe luxury won’t matter as much to you as you think it will. Is the trade of of time during the years when you are physically able to do anything you want to do worth the trade off of extra luxury during the years when you can’t do much anymore (if you make it that long).

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