Watch Those With Money at Risk

If you want to see what people really think about the future of longevity, don't listen to what they say. Rather, watch what they do when money is at stake. The pension, insurance and actuarial industries are good places to start: the institutions are very conservative in their worldviews, but a great many people stand to lose a great deal of money by being wrong about the timeline for longevity medicine. That's a powerful incentive to make good, informed predictions. Here's an update from the BBC on a few of the changes that have been taking place in the past few years: "Many UK companies are now assuming their male pensioners will live, on average, one year longer than they assumed in 2006. ... The assumed life expectancy has steadily risen in recent years to 86. ... It was 83 in 2004, 84 in 2005 and 85 in 2006. ... It's interesting they are going by one year, every year. There is an element of catch-up but there is great uncertainty about how this trend will go in the future." That uncertainty is driven by the tremendous promise offered by research programs like the Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence, and prospects for breakthroughs in related fields.



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