As boomers and older seniors we have seen history repeat itself more than once. On a more personal level you may ask yourself what kind of time line do I have to continue to be a witness to history. How we deal with advancing time may have something to do with what we have witnessed with our own parents. In terms of aging in place, I believe part of the reason some people are slow to make plans for their later years is because they can not visualize themselves as that much older.
Those of us who have had a first hand view of parents growing very very old, may conceive of a different time line for ourselves. Each generation layering upon the next causes changes. I was surprised recently to hear the phrase, ‘club sandwich generation’. That is where four generations are not necessarily in a multi generational household but dependent on the second in line. In other words boomers with parents in their 90’s with dependent adult children (helping financially or living in house) who may have their own children as well. That is a tight fit for any retiree’s to do list both financially and emotionally. As people live longer this type of spread will become more common.
Planning ahead means taking a hard look at housing and financial decisions now. No one can tell you definitively how many years you have to live. I recently went back to the Dan Buettner’s website on the Blue Zones which I have mentioned in numerous earlier posts. The Blue Zone books and their prescriptions for eating and exercising is partly what started me on my public blogging journey. It also changed many of my personal habits. They now have a Blue Zone vitality quiz – translation longevity calculator.
So I took a deep breath and waded into the 3 minute quiz where I answered questions about my past health, very specifically what I eat, how much I exercise, socialize, sleep and about my general outlook on life. Honesty is the best policy or you will feel like you need to subtract years for fudging your answers.
Ignore this quiz if you do not want an educated guess of your individual life span. If you take it, utilize the information it suggests to consider some life style changes. As they say it is never to late to make a change.
You can go to https://apps.bluezones.com/en/vitality
The results come in a private email. It gives you three numbers in years, the first is from the standard longevity statistical tables. The second number comes from the input about your health history, habits and life style. The third number can be a higher number if you change some of your specific habits. I guess I was glad to see the second number is about what I expect per my own family history and effort to stay around for a while. They gave me two recommendations to get to the third level and add another 7.3 years!
I hope this is some kind of validation of all that I do now to stay healthy. Or it could be a lot of wishful thinking. Drinking more alcohol is supposed to get me farther down the road of life than I expected. It seems counter productive. I will take that under consideration and check out those good Sardinian red wines. Meanwhile getting past the first number to the second will be enough of a goal post for me!