Education and Wealth: Strongest Predictors of a Long Life
Work Until 100, Just Like Warren Buffett Plans
Not so fast. How about
Longevity has taken up residence in the corner office. Many business leaders routinely work beyond age 65. That's not new. But increasingly, they're keeping the lights on for decades after reaching what used to be the traditional retirement age.
And while we see this trend in business, longevity experts tell us that it can be found throughout society. Truth be told, academic research has consistently found two variables that are powerfully associated not only with old age but being highly productive in old age.
"Higher education and higher incomes are consistently associated" with successful aging and high-achieving older persons, says
"This group of people has very little in the way of functional disabilities," Carstensen says of Buffett and other older business leaders. "What we know about them is that they're doing incredibly well, physically and emotionally."
There is a truly heartening and profound implication of seeing a group of such high-functioning older persons, she notes. "It proves that aging itself is not what is limiting human activities as we get old."
Of course, Carstensen notes, the ranks of the wealthy and highly educated are not enormous. What about the rest of us?
Older people of all backgrounds have some good tools they've developed to help them age successfully, she says. "As people age, they tend to narrow their worlds," Carstensen says. "They are pruning their worlds and their social networks. In the process, they are keeping the best things, and letting go of things they don't care about." This helps them be more selective, make better judgments, use their time well, and be more in control of their environments and their lives.
"People with more resources can do this even better," she says. "This is just a hunch, but I bet people aren't very successful at pushing
Actually, it has been reported that Buffett's wife, Astrid, has had modest success in convincing him to trade in cheeseburgers and Cokes for healthier fare. He also exercises but makes no claims to a meaningfully healthy lifestyle.
Nutritional dentist (yes, there are such)
Buffett wrote back: "My diet, though far from standard, is somewhat better than usually portrayed. I have a wonderful doctor who nudges me in your direction every time I see him."
"All in all, I've enjoyed remarkably good health -- largely because of genes, of course -- but also, I think, because I enjoy life so much every day."
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Education and Wealth: Strongest Predictors of a Long Life
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