How to Calculate Your Life Expectancy

About how to calculate your life expectancy based on your lifestyle and health.


If you are between 20 and 65 and reasonably healthy, this test provides a life-insurance-company's-eye view of the future.

(1) Start with 72.

(2) Gender. If you are male, subtract 3.

If you are female, add 4.

That's right, there's a 7-year spread between the sexes.

(3) Life-style. (a) If you live in an urban area with a population over 2,000,000, subtract 2.

If you live in a town under 10,000, or on a farm, add 2.

City life means pollution, tension.

(b) If you work behind a desk, subtract 3.

If your work requires regular, heavy physical labor, add 3.

(c) If you exercise strenuously (tennis, running, swimming, etc.) 5 times a week for at least a half-hour, add 2.

(d) If you live with a spouse or friend, add 5. If not, subtract 1 for every 10 years alone since age 25. People together eat better, take care of each other, are less depressed.

(4) Psyche. (a) Sleep more than 10 hours each night? Subtract 4.

Excessive sleep is a sign of depression, circulatory diseases.

(b) Are you intense, aggressive, easily angered? Subtract 3.

Are you easygoing, relaxed, a follower? Add 3.

(c) Are you happy? Add 1. Unhappy? Subtract 2.

(d) Have you had a speeding ticket in the last year? Subtract 1.

Accidents are the fourth-largest cause of death; first, in young adults.

(5) Success. (a) Earn over $50,000 a year? Subtract 2.

Wealth breeds high living, tension.

(b) If you finished college, add 1.

If you have a graduate or professional degree, add 2 more.

Education seems to lead to moderation; at least that's the theory.

(c) If you are 65 or over and still working, add 3. Retirement kills.

(6) Heredity. (a) If any grandparent lived to 85, add 2.

If all 4 grandparents lived to 80, add 6.

(b) If either parent died of a stroke or heart attack before the age of 50, subtract 4.

(c) If any parent, brother, or sister under 50 has (or had) cancer or a heart condition, or has had diabetes since childhood, subtract 3.

(7) Health. (a) Smoke more than two packs a day? Subtract 8. One to two packs a day? Subtract 6. One half to one? Subtract 3.

(b) Drink the equivalent of a quarter-bottle of liquor a day? Subtract 1.

(c) Overweight by 50 lb. or more? Subtract 8. By 30 to 50 lb.? Subtract 4. By 10 to 30 lb.? Subtract 2.

(d) Men over 40, if you have annual checkups, add 2. Women, if you see a gynecologist once a year, add 2.

(8) Age Adjustment. Between 30 and 40? Add 2.

Between 40 and 50? Add 3.

Between 50 and 70? Add 4.

Over 70? Add 5.

It's no fun playing the game unless you know how well you've done. The table below tells what percentage of the population you will outlive, providing you make it to the specified age.

Age 60 65 70 75 80 85 90 95 100

Men 26% 36% 48% 61% 75% 87% 96% 99% 99.9%

Women 15% 20% 30% 39% 53% 70% 88% 97% 99.6%

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