facebook twitter youtube google plus linkedin

Predictions For A 200 Year Long Life

Predictions For A 200 Year Long Life

By Susan Williams

When I was a kid, I remember watching Willard Scott on the Today Show wishing centenarians across America happy birthday. Back then it seemed like living to 100 years old was a really, really long time.

Fast forward to today and there are more centenarians living then ever before.

The American Society On Aging shared UN data that in 2012 there were an estimated 343,000 people over 100 and that this number is projected to rocket to 3.2M by 2050.

To take this even one step further, scientists today are projecting that the first person to live to 200 is actually alive today.

So I started thinking about what life might be like living to 200 years. What would have to change? What would help us reach this point?

So here’s a few things I thought might be in place to support this new longevity paradigm. I realize that some of these predictions may be a bit far out there – but heck, who thought that living to 200 was even a possibility.

Our Physical Bodies

It’s one thing to live a long life, it’s another to live a good quality of life. Afterall, who really wants to stay around here for a long time if you’re quality of life isn’t great. And much of this starts with the capabilities of our physical bodies.

So I predict our daily health and activities will all be actively monitored with the intention of keeping us healthy and mobile.

We will wear some type of technology – a patch, implant or wearable that will assess our physical and mental activities. Our vitals will be collected and continually monitored along with our nutritional needs. As I predicted in a previous post , I could envision a customized cocktail of supplements and/or medicines to also be delivered through these wearable mechanisms so the need to remember to take medications will be eliminated altogether.

I predict this wearable technology will also now extend to monitoring our nutritional needs and establishing our meal plans.

You may have heard of the smart fridge (the fridge that lets you know when you are low on things and then orders the food online for delivery). As Hippocrates once said, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”. So from all this data being collected about us, I could see a custom food plan created based on our personal nutritional needs. This information could then be sent directly to a food service that will prepare and deliver our food for that day.

As for exercise, have you ever wanted a personal Fitness Trainer to keep you motivated? So how about a personal fitness trainer avatar of your own. Your trainer’s image will be beamed into your home and based on your personal physical needs and capabilities, they will lead you through your own custom workout.

And as for our physical bodies, I can envision the need for replaceable parts (knees, hips, elbows and joints) – things that physically just wear out over time. 3D printers will create custom replacements and the surgery will become an “in and out” service with very reduced pain, swelling and recovery times.

Our Brain Health

Currently there are 44M people worldwide with Alzheimer’s Disease or related form of dementia and estimates are that this could grow to 16M by 2020. My biggest hope for the future is that we find a cure for Alzheimer’s and dementia so we don’t have to be concerned with this. There is work underway to develop a vaccine and I would love to predict that it’s successful and eradicates this disease altogether.

Our Careers

In a 200 year long life, the whole construct of going to school, then working and ultimately retiring will be completely re-engineered. I could see longer learning cycles followed with designed experiences to advance our knowledge and capabilities ongoing throughout our entire lives. The term lifelong learning will actually become a reality – one out of necessity to keep the workforce humming and the other because we are going to have to make sure our days in our 200 year life are filled and productive.

I would expect to see retirement completely eliminated and replaced with longer sabbaticals and leaves throughout the course of our entire lives. The ability to time these based on our life needs (for example family, learning or reskilling, extended travel or leisure time) to be integrated into our ongoing work lifecycle.

There will no longer be the need for work/life balance. It will all become strictly life balance as our core purpose and careers will be assessed and aligned to our key strengths and interests. Gone will be the traditional commute and 9 to 5 grind as virtual offices and global teams emerge. The flexibility to work wherever and whenever you like will drive our behaviour. Repetitive work that can be automated will be completed through AI solutions so there will be a substantial shift in the type of work people do.

And philosophy and sociology majors rejoice! This could be your time to shine. With all the AI tools and data floating around, we are going to need people to help leaders and politicians make some of the very tough decisions about what is right and what is wrong for humankind to do with all this individual data we are collecting.

Relationships

Now this could be really interesting. Spending even 50 years with one person seems like a very long time – never mind potentially 170 years.

I could envision that the traditional biological clock to have children will shift. Today we still gasp at a woman having a child over the age of 50 but these rates of birth are already soaring. So who’s to say in the future whether 60 or 70 may be the new biological clock.

If this is the case, the traditional drivers of finding a partner will likely be pushed out. People may then spend more time doing other things before what we would call “settling down”. After all, with a 200 year life there would be lots of time for that.

So what do you think? Would you have wanted to be born when there was a potential lifespan of 200 years or do you prefer our current life expectancy of 76 years for men and 81 for women?

One thing is for sure, things are certainly changing. I can see one major glitch in this ever happening mind you, having a planet that will be able to sustain life – however long it may actually turn out to be.

The following two tabs change content below.
mm
Susan Williams is the Founder of Booming Encore. Being a Boomer herself, Susan loves to discover and share ways to live life to the fullest. She shares her experiences, observations and opinions on living life after 50 and tries to embrace Booming Encore's philosophy of making sure every day matters.
mm

Latest posts by Susan Williams (see all)