How Long Do You Want To Live?

The answers Pew received:

Ideal Lifespan

Saletan expects that medical advances would change these numbers:

People don’t want to live past the age at which severe diseases and disabilities are expected. When respondents are asked how long they’d like to live, fewer than 10 percent choose 100 or older. Twenty percent want to live into their 90s. Thirty-two percent want to live into their 80s. Thirty percent don’t want to make it past 80. Why do most people want to die before they reach 90? Probably because being 90 sucks. But that’s true only because of the current rate of physical decline.

If resistance to life extension is based on the assumption that the extra years would be frail and painful, look out. That resistance will dissolve in the face of contrary evidence. If modern medicine learns how to slow aging, making the average 90-year-old feel as good as a 70-year-old feels today, people will recalibrate. Those who in our time would have preferred to die at 80 might be happy to live to 100.