When EML first presented our Longevity research I wasn’t ready for the response. Our octogenarian groups told us ‘this is all very interesting but it’s too late for us – we’re set in our ways and don’t want to change – talk to the young people’. Responding to the same research findings the 20-30 year old group told us ‘this is all very interesting but we don’t have the money – talk to the old people’.
Both groups were telling us the same thing – ‘your research requires me to change my understanding of ‘Life’ – that’s a big ask – please let me pretend it doesn’t apply to me?’
– in short ‘No!’
Octogenarians need to accept that, as a group they are living much longer than anyone expected and are collectively:
– Placing significant extra demands on the Health Service
– Under occupying much of the countries housing stock
– ‘Blocking’ huge sums of inherited wealth
– Hoarding under-utilised possessions
Near the other end of the age spectrum 20-30 year olds should:
– Recognise that they will not benefit from a ‘gold plated’ pension and will retire only when they can afford to do so
– Accept they are unlikely to own a property without some form of financial assistance
– Look after their physical and mental health – as they are likely to need their bodies for longer
– Learn to ‘learn’, as they can expect multiple careers during 70 years of working life
The good news is that, once the realities of our changing world are accepted, then all of us can do much to enhance and improve our lives – and the lives of those important to us.