How to Live Forever

A Tongue-in-cheek Longevity Tip

When deciding whether to retire or work another year I asked myself, “Will I outlive my retirement funds?” This is a hard question because many factors governing the decisions are uncertain.

The Bible Thumper in me hastens to point out Luke 12:16-21 tells us this uncertainty is unavoidable by the early retiree.

As you know, the Federal Government of the USA is benevolent and wise. As a public service, they research every aspect of life. The man said, “All within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state.” Concern for our well-being extends from the cradle to the the grave.

For instance, if you have an IRA, the federales are concerned about your longevity. They use this to figure out your IRA’s “Required Minimum Distribution” (RMD) at age 70½.

Sarcasm aside, government actuaries are smart cookies. I trust their estimates of my longevity know more than anyone on Earth.

Recently, I was reading this article about retirement savings drawdown strategies. (If you have an interest in funding your retirement, this series is pure gold.) Within this post I stumbled upon this formula for Life Expectancy:


The Green Swan guy went on to graph this formula.

In the spirit of Psalms 90:12 I tossed this expression into Excel and started running numbers.

Life Expectancy age age + LE
36.1634708 62 98.1634708
7.115974504 98.1634708 105.2794453
4.340068745 105.2794453 109.619514
3.12164217 109.619514 112.7411562
2.467621456 112.7411562 115.2087777
2.082281845 115.2087777 117.2910595
1.847553909 117.2910595 119.1386134
1.708593336 119.1386134 120.8472068
1.638084206 120.8472068 122.485291
1.622815662 122.485291 124.1081066
1.658203747 124.1081066 125.7663104
1.746297848 125.7663104 127.5126082

Note that a curious change in the life expectancy occurs at around age 122.

They start increasing.

Just live to 122 and you’ll live forever.

Now, either the Federal Government is wrong, or everyone living past 122 will go on forever. (Or I goofed up my Excel spreadsheet.)

…then I took a shower…

I think a shower is almost as good as a tinfoil chapeau for devising conspiracy theories. Suppose the gubmint’s formula intentionally yields numbers that are a year or two too large to lure us into a false sense of security.

If you take this too seriously, you might cut back on exercise and eat more junk food.

Steve Poling

Masters degrees in math and computer science. Poet in several computer languages. I write stories about Sherlock Holmes' brother Mycroft, steampunk, and SF.

Grand Rapids, Michigan