Posted on Sun 13 July 2014

Immortality is already here, it's just unevenly distributed

Often we are told to "pursue what you really want, not just what pays the bills" by pithy blog posts, filled with thoughtful quotes from successful people. We are encouraged to follow our dreams, to stop doing things that don't bring us enjoyment. After all, we all only have a finite amount of time, 24 hours a day, a few paltry decades, maybe close to a century if we are lucky.

But what if this advice is terribly wrong? What if doing some more of that horribly boring work could get you disproportionately more time, if you could just buy an additional decade or two? The positive correlation between higher income and longer life expectancy certainly holds at the country level:

Of course you might argue that this is just because most of the countries with low life expectancy are still relatively poor, surely by the time they reach first world status they'll all end up at roughly the same expectancy.

Not so fast - the same correlation continues to hold true when looking at county level data just within the US, arguably one of the richest nations:

Higher Income leads to Higher Life Expectancy

From [cached]Income Gap, Meet the Longevity Gap

You might not be able to directly buy your increased life span just yet, but we are certainly getting there. And if you are like me in your early twenties, a lot of medical advances are going to happen before you even reach middle age. Shines a whole new light onto compressing your working life into a few years.

But how do you actually go about extending your life?

You could take a look at what current rich people are doing - [cached]Brazilian Billionaire Creates Plan to Beat Death, Calico: How Google’s stab at the fountain of youth could transform health care - but personally I think most of the really significant discoveries are still to come.

Get rich, or die trying.

Yes, cynical, but the world doesn't care if you think it's horrible. For now, just try to keep some baseline health (regular exercise, low body fat, enough sleep), keep up with things that are bad for you and most importantly get a head start on your financial independence.

Tags: life, rationality

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