Elder Touch Hunger
To Reclaim the Word “Old”

Life Expectancy at 65 Increases

Last week, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) issued its annual report on life expectancy in the United States for the year 2012. It's good news for almost everyone including elders.

Every day, 7,000 (or 8,000 or 10,000, depending on who is counting) people reach their 65th birthday. If you can get that far, you can be expected, on average, to live another 19.3 years - up slightly from 2011.

As usual, women fare a little better than men. A woman age 65 in 2012, could expect an average of another 21 years, to age 86. For a man 65 in 2012, it was an average of 18 more years to about 83.

The life expectancy at birth of your grandchild born in 2012 was 78.8. It is not that your grandchild's life expectancy is lower than yours at 65. It is that the CDC calculations for life expectancy at birth include infant and teen mortality.)

The Social Security website has a life expectancy calculator that returns the number of years you can expect counting from whatever age you are today. Remember, this is based on your date of birth and gender only and does not take into account current health conditions and other indicators.

The calculator tells me I have another 14.6 years left – until age 88.2.

A slightly more comprehensive life expectancy calculator is here. This one tells me I'll likely live to be 91.5 years, and have a five percent chance of living to be 105.5.

Remember, please, that both of these calculators are amusing toys that cannot be taken with any kind of seriousness.

The CDC reports that about 2.5 million people died in 2012, an increase of 28,000 or so over 2011 that is accounted for by the growing number of elders in the U.S.

The top ten leading causes of death remained the same. In order, they are:

Heart disease
Chronic Lower Respiratory Diseases
Unintentional Injuries
Alzheimer's Disease
Influenza and Pneumonia
Kidney Disease

There is a chart in the CDC report showing deaths per 100,000 population for each cause. Here's a fun fact: the top two causes of death, heart disease and cancer, account for 46.5 percent of all U.S. deaths, a decrease over time.

In addition, the age-adjusted death rate decreased 1.1 percent from 2011 or 2012 to record low of 732.8 deaths per 100,000 population. Americans appear to be getting healthier, if that's what declining death rates indicate, but still lag behind other developed countries.

Medical News Today has published as in-depth report on these top ten causes of death with more detailed (and easy to read) statistical information than I have provided along with expanded definitions, descriptions and related health data.

At The Elder Storytelling Place today, Henry Lowenstern: Big Spender


as one on the cusp of 65, i do not know whether the news of increased longevity is cause for celebration or trepidation.

If the SS calculator is true, all I have to say is "It's been nice knowing you." But seriously,I know I should exercise more but the flesh is not as willing as the mind. And, while I know that when it come to exercise, the adage "No pain, no gain" rings true, how much more pain am I expected to endure other than that which my body manages to endure on a daily basis.

I have already surpassed my life expectancy so I guess the bell may toll for me at any time now.

I am grateful for each additional day that I am allotted and when that no longer happens I will say "Sayonara".

Hmm, well, according to the predictions -- I'll live to either 86 or 88 (with diminishing chances of living to 100+.) I'm 62, so that seems like a whole other lifetime to me; I've been a widow for 9 years, and don't think I'll ever marry again. I'm one who usually takes fatalistic viewpoints, but recently having conquered a one bad habit, I've started thinking of living to at least 80. And truly, I'm content, can't think of a thing I'd want right now -- except to remain mentally alert enough to continue writing fiction. Interesting predictors, thanks!

Don't worry, chrome. This old age thing is a new experience for all of us.

The CDC website has a wealth of fascinating (and sometimes depressing) information about causes of death.

One eye-opener shows the top 10 causes of death by age. Murder and suicide are surprising high in the 18-34 year-old group but also in some younger and older groups.

It would be quite illuminating to see comparable data from other countries.

I don't want to live another 20 years. I am in chronic pain and since all I can afford is Medicare, there is nothing the doctors can do for me except to continue to prescribe pain-killers -- and they are reluctant to do even that.

The calculator tells me that at age (nearly) 70, I have only 15 years left. That is quite disturbing, as both my parents have topped 90 and the best and most-accurate calculator of longetivity is to take the ages of the parents at death (or current), add them together, divide by 2, and add 10. Using that method, I should live to age 100, barring any terminal illness or accident or murder. I'd rather believe that number.
I have to echo Bruce Cooper above about the exercise and pain. Having had two shoulder replacements in the last two years, and needing a hip replacement now, I'm not inclined to do much more than walk when I need to. Maybe I will die at 85--if so, my children will inherit!

Except if you made it to 65 as a woman way back in 1960 before any treatment for heart attacks, rudimentary cancer therapy etc. etc. you only lived 3.5 years less. I don't think 3.5 years increase in 53 years is really that significant, it's certainly not as much as they lead you to believe with changing the dates for full SS.

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