Aging: Crunch the Numbers & Live for Today

Lately my mind has been on two tracks of thinking regards the promise of longevity.

Track 1, processing the regurgitation of aging demographic statistics and what the effect will be on things like the macro-economy by 2030; while picturing nearer term “possibilities” for a society vexed by crunching the numbers, like the tax burden on health care.

While on this track, one of the headline plumes of smoke came out of the provincial election in British Columbia. Aging and health care issues weren’t centered in the debate. Conspicuous by its absence, yet not important enough to analyze why this was so. No demographic breakdown available yet, but what age group close enough to care about aging issues actually raised the topic? Regardless of age, the immediacy of other political issues won out.

How soon do any of us need to worry about 2030 when front line boomers are in their 80’s? Right now at least current conversation for this group tends to lean to “how am I going to manage my retirement?” Meaning for how long – exactly – do you mean retirement? Don’t you really mean your aging continuum?

Which brings me to Track 2. As I pulled together the story for a life celebration of a 90 year old friend who just passed away, it struck me that she never crunched the numbers or figured out how she would be cared for in 2013. Call it blind optimism if you will, but for her it was always live for today.

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