Don't Bet Against Longevity

(From The world has a way of presenting us with tiny and fleeting replicas of the vast, slow and complex dances that take place behind the scenes of everyday life. Actuarial concerns are engaged in a years-long process of education and change in response to a future of increasing longevity. Billions of dollars are moving with the times - but you'll find that same advance wherever money changes hands over the length of healthy life. "A man who bet £100 ($240) a decade ago that he would live to be 100 is preparing to pick up his £25,000 ($60,000) winnings. So confident was bookmaker William Hill in 1997 that it gladly offered Alec Holden odds of 250/1. ... When we started taking these bets, 100 years old seemed to be an almost mythical landmark and we were prepared to offer massive odds. But these age wagers are starting to cost us a fortune and from now on we are going to push out the age to 110. I am sure that Alec will get more pleasure from our letter than he will from the Queen's."


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