Can we really afford to live ever longer?

Could you predict your life expectancy? Dr Benjamin Holdsworth gives advice on preparing for a 40-year retirement.

125th-birthday-cardAccording to Aubrey de Grey, a biomedical gerontologist – or life extension expert – the first person to live to be 1,000 years old is alive today.

Reading this statement two years ago prompted Dr David Goldhill, former head of ICU at the Royal London, to write his new book ‘Longevity: why we are living longer than ever and the discoveries that may allow us to live to 1,000’.

David looks at the time that each of us has been allotted and how life, thanks to the complex and dynamic human body, may eventually be extended into the hundreds – even if such a feat sounds far-fetched now.

As doctors, our first thought might be how the NHS could sustain the pressures of supporting post-centenarian clients, as well as how far back our retirement age would be pushed to cope. Would the 85-year-old consultant or surgeon become the norm?