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Life expectancy

Posted Dec 21 2009 5:38pm
I have been thinking really hard about this for the last couple of weeks. It started with me having to decide about a pension plan. My bank sent an executive to suggest some investments and I thought it might be a good idea to start investing in a pension plan. Every year I would need to put in some money and when I retire, I would have different options, one of which would be to get a monthly income to take care of my expenses. I asked for a plan that would allow me to retire at around 50. The numbers came.

At that point I started thinking about it, asked a few experts on the dialysis forums and also talked to my nephrologists about it. How much longer can I hope to live? That is a loaded question. No one wants to answer it straight. I understand that. But it is a very important question for me. From a very practical standpoint. If I were to live till 60 or more, investing in a pension plan makes a lot of sense. That is because when I am about 50, I may not be able to work and earn enough to meet my expenses - medical and general. Now, when I am able to work, I should save some money to take care of this.

If, on the other hand, I am not going to be around after just a few more years, what's the point in investing in this kind of a plan? I might as well spend the money. I don't have any dependents to take care of. So, without sounding depressed or worried about this, I needed an accurate answer. Now, I totally understand that no one can give me an accurate answer. I also know that each individual is different and that statistics are made up of extremes and you cannot really rely on statistics to arrive at this answer.

I understand too that people without any chronic conditions could get run over by a bus or die in an accident. No amount of planning can avoid these kinds of things. Nevertheless, I believe that I really need to keep this in mind while deciding about how to go about my life in the next few years.

Bill Peckham quoted some statistics related to the US population which said that the life expectancy of a person on dialysis at my age would be about 11 years. This could be the average of extremes. When I think about my condition, I have almost all the co-morbidities associated with dialysis and more. So, should I consider myself close to one of the extremes?

These things can be really depressing. No, please don't leave a comment about how not to worry about the length of life; live each day to the fullest and all that. I usually do that.
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