rate yet another good reason
to be Canadian
are many reasons why itís good to be Canadian. Top among
them is the fact that we are not Americans.
proof of that is the latest life expectancy figures. According
to a study conducted south of the border, the average
life expectancy for a male born in the United States in
2018 is 76.1 years. Thatís down one-tenth of a year from
2017 and two-tenths since 2016.
of the biggest reasons for the decrease in life expectancy
in the United States are drug overdoses which have been
on the rise since the use of synthetic drugs and especially
opioids became more widespread five or six years ago.
in Canada, the average life expectancy for a male born
in 2018 is 80.9 years. Thatís a difference of nearly five
years. Now if youíre 20 or 30 years old, an extra five
years at the tail end of your life doesnít seem like a
whole lot, but if you are 57 pushing 60, five years is
average life expectancy for a woman born in the United
States in 2018 is 81.1 years. In Canada, women born in
2018 have a life expectancy of 84.7 years.
at it another way: if I lead a fairly healthy lifestyle
and avoid any life-threatening diseases, I should expect
to live until Iím 81. Anything after that will be a bonus.
I donít understand is what is your life expectancy if
you werenít born this year. In other words, what was the
average life expectancy in 1961, the year I was born.
it turns out it was 71 years and three months, which,
coincidentally, happens to be when I plan to retire.
researching this column, I came across another set of
figures which laid out life expectancy by age group, and
interestingly enough, a 54-year-old male living in 2015
could expect to live another 30.2 years and a 57-year-old
could expect to live another 27.5 years.
figures had increased a tenth of a year every year for
the past seven or eight years. If I extrapolate those
numbers over the past three years, a 57-year-old male
like myself can expect to live another 27.8 years. That
would take me up to 84 and possibly 85. Things are looking
better all the time. In the meantime, my male brethren
south of the border will be dropping like flies.
expectancy is a very weird term. In reality we shouldnít
expect anything, especially when it comes to our own mortality.
Itís the classic case of an oxymoron.
personally donít expect anything beyond 80. My only hope
is that if I do live until Iím 85 or even longer, the
good Lord will bless me with the health to enjoy those
extra years. My dad always said that every day over 80
is a blessing. He will celebrate his 87th birthday in
March and except for a few mobility problems is still
reason why the World Health Organization and countries
like our own keep track of life expectancy is to be able
to plan ahead. Estimating how many people will be around
in 20 and 30 years is hugely important when planning health
care services and estimating how long the Canada Pension
Plan will last.
2006, there were 1.17 Canadians over the age of 80. By
2017 that number had increased to 1.57 million. Thatís
a 30 per cent increase, or roughly 400,000 people, which
lesson to be learned in all this is that unless you are
a teacher, a health care professional, or a full-time
federal government employee with a gold-plated pension,
ainít no one going to help you but yourself. It also means
a heck of a lot of people are going to have to work a
heck of a lot longer before they can ever think of retiring,
at least in the traditional sense.
also means that all those kids who are currently in their
20s will have to wait a lot longer for that wave of retirements
theyíve been told about since they were in high school
Ė unless of course they want to take care of us themselves.
always joke about wondering which will happen first Ė
retirement or death Ė and right now the odds are on death.
In the meantime, I plan to enjoy what-ever years the good
Lord allows me. I will also count my blessings that I
will likely have an extra five years for no other reason
than the fact that I was born on the right side of the
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