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# Life expectancy and odds...

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by hvnit2gd, Mar 8, 2010.

1. ### hvnit2gd

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I understand the life expectancy of US people is in the mid to high 70s, but my question is what are the odds of actually reaching that age?

The reason I ask, is because a janitor at my kids' school fell and hit his head on Friday, and later died this weekend. I got to thinking about how many things can kill you, and how just a simple little accident can end it all. That led me to wonder what the actual odds are of someone actually reaching their full life expectancy.

Anyone have a clue or know of any studies done on the topic?

Do we have a 50%, 75% chance etc., of reaching full life expectancy?

2. ### CarrysInquisitive

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Almost impossible to state.

Too many "random" occurrences and "unknown" events can skew the results for them to have any real meaning.

Man up and take your chances.

3. ### hvnit2gd

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I guess, but there has to be some sort of odds of certain people. Say Americans or Canadians etc.. Just randomly take 100,000 births and see what the odds are... I dont know, I just thought it would be interesting. I am sure they are odds for plane crashes, car crashes, etc.. there has to be some odds on achieving life expectancy.

4. ### BigKid

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For it to be known as our "life expectancy" over half of us would have to reach that age, no? Otherwise I'd think it would be called "life goal" or "life possibility"

5. ### CAcop

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By definition life expectancy is the 50/50 point.

To a certain extent if you reach say 65 you have a very good chance to make it beyond the statistical life expectancy. It means you have not gotten cancer at a young age, driven off a cliff, drank yourself to death in your frat house, get shot in a drug deal gone bad, and all the other avoidable deaths.

I remember seeing a bell curve for life expectancy. The early side of life gave the bell a bulge, the late side of life had a nice smooth curve down.

6. ### hvnit2gd

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Ok... so at birth, we basically have a 50% chance of living to whatever the life expectancy is?

7. ### longhair

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I believe that is the pervue of actuaries.

8. ### Buki192327

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It seems to me that the older you get without, meeting an early demise, the better your chances of reaching that life expectancy.

Then again, think what life expectancy would be, if so many people did not meet their demise early.

But then again, I am not an insurance actuary.

9. ### racerford

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No,
Typically life expectancy is expressed as a mean, or arithmetic average. The median is the point at which 50% die below that age. The median is typically a little older than the mean.

There are tables that would show if you are 50 now that the life expectancy at that age is older than that of a 2 year old.

10. ### KevinFACE

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With all the dangerous variable activites we subject ourselves to every day, it's impossible to know. Yes, even driving is a dangerous activity... you could also choke on a piece of food one day.. it's all pretty random and impossible to predict.

11. ### windplex

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I agree with both.

If you reach 60 your chances of exceeding the life expenctancy is much higher. 70 much higher and so on. It is age dependent and rage/background dependent as well to a degree.

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Maybe has something to do with living in Florida but everyone dying down here of natural causes appears to be living well into their 80's and a very good portion into their 90's. I would say it is much more common to live well past the 'natural life expectancy'. Yes I hear of the occasional young person that drops from a heart attack but other then that all young age deaths are suicides, drugs or murders. I will say that every old person (male) down here has had open chest surgery heart related pacemaker, stints, bypass etc. etc.. I wonder if there is some calculation of how many lives have been extended because of these medical procedures. I dare to say I do not know a single person over 70 that has not had a heart procedure.

13. ### void *Dereference Me!

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What do you mean by 50/50 point?

It's usually computed in a more complex way for populations within which not everyone is dead yet, but it's an arithmetic mean - which means it's not automatically the 50/50 point in that you can't say that just because the life expectancy is a particular number, half the population will get to that number (which is why I ask, because it's possible you could mean something else).

As a simple example, If you have a population for which you want to compute the life expectancy and everyone in that population is dead, you can just do a normal average over how old they were when they died.

So lets take make a small pretend population of four people - one lived two years, one lived five, one ten, and one to lived to a hundred and five. And let's say this population is all already deceased, so we don't have to worry about accounting for still-living individuals.

That population's life expectancy is 30.75, but only 25% of the population made it past age 10.

14. ### NestorLean & Mean

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You may play all this life expectancy thing all day long, but the only real expectancy out there is death

15. ### windplex

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life expectancy is real and reliable when applied to large enough populations (significant samples). it is a science; actuarial science. actuaries do it for insurance companies. insurance companies make money at it but not on each and every person.

16. ### CAcop

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You got sort of the idea with life expectancy but in real life the sample size is much greater.

What you realy need to do is find an actuarial table that shows you the length of time left you statistically have at and given age.

Okay I looked for you:

http://www.ssa.gov/OACT/STATS/table4c6.html

Take a look at males age 0, their life ecpectancy is 74.81 years.

Now look at males age 50, life expectancy 28.49 year for a total of 78.49. Why? He has made it trough his "young and stupid years."

60 years old? 20.42 years left or 80.42 years old. You probably made it through the early cancer/heart diesease years.

Now remember how that baby who was expected to live to 74.81 years? If you make it to 75 you are expected to make it to 85 years old!

I once found a graph, it kind of looked like a bell curve with some warping when it came to life expectancy. Let me do some google-fu and see if I can find it for you.

17. ### hvnit2gd

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So is there a percentage at birth of a person reaching life expectancy or not?

For example, a white male born in the US has a 48.9% chance of reaching their life expectancy... or whatever the percentage may be...

18. ### CAcop

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Last edited: Mar 8, 2010

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