More Fun with Mortality Tables

There’s an interesting, and I think, encouraging thing about mortality tables. No, seriously, I mean it. Here’s a table right from the social security website.

Actually, there’s a lot of good stuff on the social security site. I think I’ll add it as a Platinum Web Site …. There, that’s done.

Let’s start with my current status. I am a male, age 61. The table says that out of 100,000 of us born in 1946, there are 83,653 of us left. No that’s not the encouraging part, although it’s undeniably happier to be among the 83,653 than among the 16,347 … but I digress.

The table also says that my probability of death this year is .014617, or 1.4617% No that’s not the encouraging part, either, especially if you’re among the 1121 of us who will croak this year.

No, here’s the encouraging part. When I was born, my life expectancy was 74.40 years. Having reached my 61st birthday, my life expectancy is 80.24 years. On my 62nd birthday, my life expectancy will be 80.50. In other words, for every year you and I beat the odds, our life expectancy, in age, increases!

Of course my life expectancy, itself, in number of years left, drops. But it doesn't drop by a year for every year we survive. In this case, my age 61 life expectancy was 19.24 and by age 62 it will be 18.50, for a drop of 0.76 years. But having lived one more year, I EXTENDED my life expectance by 0.24, which accounts for the increase, in age, from 80.24 to 80.50.

This is an interesting phenomenon, and as a result, our life expectancies never reach zero, at least until the last of us kicks the bucket, which the social security administration says will be at age 110, in 2056.... No, check that. That's the last MAN. The last woman will of course, outlive us guys, finally kicking the oxygen habit at age 112 in 2058!

So here's the secret. Take one year at a time and just avoid being in that "dying group." Every day, get the paper, check the obituaries, and if you're not in there, you're a winner. What could be simpler? :-) Bob


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