Calculator Predicts Longevity and Good Health

Life expectancy has sharply risen in recent years and planning for an increasingly longer retirement is a worry to many middle-aged and older adults.  Baby boomers, adults between the ages of 51 and 69, are the largest generation in American history and have the longest life expectancy ever recorded.  The average 65-year-old today is likely to live past 84.  

But many older adults in good health are living into their 90s and planning how to fund a long life and make arrangement for care is on the minds of many trying to balance living for today with planning for the future.  To help take a glimpse into the future, BBC News has created a life expectancy calculator tool that predicts longevity based on age, gender and country.  

The tool also uses the Global Burden of Disease to calculate what percentage of your remaining life will be healthy.  Globally, life expectancy has risen 7 years since 1990 and a healthy life expectancy has also grown by 6.3 years.  Women generally outlive men by an average of 6 years but in some countries may outlive men by as much as 11 years. 

The results of the calculator tool do not account for any expected scientific advances or improvements in medical treatments.  More than 70 percent of people worldwide die from chronic diseases that progress slowly and are non-communicable.  Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death, twice the rate of cancers, the second biggest killer.  Diabetes, respiratory disease and dementia are also close to the top of the list of leading causes of death. 

How does knowing your healthy life expectancy help?  With more information, older adults can better plan for their future needs to ensure they will have the care and housing they need in old age.  Women in particular who may outlive their spouse by many years may need to think creatively about how to craft a successful and enjoyable retirement.  More single seniors are investigating co-housing opportunities where like-minded older adults share housing, living expenses and are able to provide support and social interaction for one another. 

Learn more about life expectancy by following this link to the Global Burden of Disease Study 2016.