How Many Does It Take to Repair a Wreck?

By: Will Schwalbe This article originally appeared on Will Schwalbe is the Editor of

The baby boomers are approaching 75 years old and with it we’re all thinking ahead to how we might live longer. I have been thinking as well and, after doing some reading and praying, I’ve identified a few tips to live longer.

How Many Does it Take to Repair a Wreck?

I can’t help but think of the works of German Romantic poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, who wrote a lovely poem called “How many does it take to repair a wreck.”

Well, I don’t know for sure the answer to this question, but for my own purposes I can explain this metaphor by thinking about some of the expert estimates I’ve come across in relation to the total number of years that human beings are expected to live.

The Environmental Protection Agency puts this estimate at just two-and-a-half decades, but I think most experts who have been looking at all these long-range projections are less optimistic than that and predict that we might live 20 years, we might live 30 years, or we might just live 60 years. With longevity in mind, these estimates are used to build up life expectancy projections.

While the amount of time that people actually live is hard to know, many years of life have been created by doctors and medical care. The number of days that you can live with the average amount of chronic illnesses and diseases that is being estimated seems to be extraordinarily high. One estimate for this is that human beings can live with 15 to 20 days of chronic diseases.

How Do We Should Live More Years

I was hoping to find some way to live two years more than the average, but perhaps the right answer would be to live seven years more than the average. There’s even a smaller category of what some people call “accidental living.” Things happen that prevent us from living the amount of time that we originally intended to live. It’s called having a “natural death” or, in this case, a natural life extension.

Unsure About Your Retirement

In addition to the number of years that we may live in retirement, another part of our retirement plan relates to our total income. Some experts believe that there’s a huge amount of money that could be saved if we invested a lot of money in longer life and retirement.

Others say, given our need to keep a good monthly income, we need to determine the balance between the number of months of income that we need to last and the number of years we’ll need to live.

A few days ago I spent a bit of time looking into what the sources of retirement income should be. Through the Internet, I learned about a lot of different kinds of retirement income. It’s an idea that’s well thought out.

Understanding the Risk of Uncertainty in Life

Is it possible that I’ll get a heart attack or experience some other kind of sudden event that may keep me from living this forecasted three decades. I am not a patient person and I’ve found that any day that I plan to spend with someone is easier to endure when I know there’s a good chance that the event that would stop me from living will never occur.

I don’t know how I could live to age 90, but from what I understand, there are physical barriers and mental barriers that prevent us from living much longer than the 22 to 32 years that actuaries say we should. There may even be a psychological barrier that stops us from following the expectations of our existing expectations. As humans, we want to live, but we don’t know where that next breath is going to come from.

Will you be able to live to age 90? Will you be able to live to age 95? Will you live to 120? In this economic and political climate, you probably won’t find a lot of people who are super excited about that prospect.

By Will Schwalbe

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