What will your life look like when you live to be over 100 years? Will you be healthy? How long will you work? Will you retire from one career at age 65 and then go back to school to learn a new one? At what age will you have children? Will the world be overpopulated? How will living longer affect your finances and family life?
We will soon all get the chance to live longer and healthier lives.
Dr. Aubrey De Grey, a biomedical gerontologist, predicts that the first person to live to be 150 years has already been born. He also believes that within the next 25 years, doctors could have all the tools they need to “cure” aging and help people live longer and healthier lives.
There are many new biotechnologies that are helping people live longer and healthier lives including huge advances in the following areas:
• Regenerative Medicine & Tissue Engineering – means that when an individual needs a new heart, it will be possible to grow a new heart in the lab with their own stem cells
• Personalized Medicine – means we will be able to personalize drugs to an individual’s DNA
• Gene Therapy – means we will be able to rearrange genes in individuals to cure certain diseases
In her new book, Sonia Arrison studies global trends to understand where the trends are leading us for longer and healthier lives.
In 1850, the average life expectancy was 43 years old. We have now doubled that to 80 years old. It is not far fetched that we can double our life expectancy again and live to be 150 years old. When we live longer and healthier lives, we also tend to be wealthier. The reason is health tends to create wealth. If you are healthy, you can work and be productive.
By the time we expand our ability to live to 150 years old, we will also have the ability to expand our fertility. We may have a time when first-time mothers are 70 or 80 years old.
Arrison also explores the ethics of longevity. There is a deep worry in our society that if we live longer, we won’t be able to afford it. But, that is only true if we are not healthy. If we can extend our health expectancy, we will also extend our wealth. Also, some of the problems we perceive today such as overpopulation and resource depletion will not be problems because we will adapt and find solutions.