It was close to 30 years ago when a “futurist” speaker at a Georgia Press Association event looked around the group in the room where he was speaking and said, “Yep. I suspect everyone in this room can expect to live to be 100 years old.”
IF, he added, you don’t die in an accident, smoke, drink to excess, etc.
I was one of the older, if not the oldest, person in the room at about 40 years old. The other 35 or so people gathered there were young journalists.
A futurist is a person who studies trends closely, and based on those studies, makes statistically supported predictions of things that will happen in the future.
He based his opinion about the longevity of the people before him on the startling advances in medicine that had taken place in the last few decades. And they were startling, indeed.
The average age of death in the United States had risen dramatically in the decades following his presentation. And in the decades since, it has continued to rise.
On that day, three decades ago, I had never considered living to be 100 years old. Now I’ve considered that to be a consideration of some merit.
But, if I were to live to be 100, I want it to be a productive, enjoyable journey. Not only to me, but to loved ones who will help me get there.