Would you like to live to 120? 130? How about 140? In this episode of the New Home Insights podcast we have a life-changing chat with Dr. Michael Roizen of the prestigious Cleveland Clinic. Dr. Roizen and his co-authors Peter Linneman, Ph.D., and Albert Ratner have just released The Great Age Reboot: Cracking the Longevity Code for a Younger Tomorrow. Longevity is the next great disruptor, they argue, bigger than the microchip. If you’re wondering what this has to do with housing, we will get there. But first let’s find out how you might soon be able to feel younger and be more productive at an age advanced enough to have made Betty White feel like a tween.
Dr. Michael Roizen, Chief Wellness Officer, Cleveland Clinic
If 90 is the new 40 what does that make 60?
- Dr. Roizen and his co-authors say that soon we will be able to “reboot” our aging process through gene editing. There are more than a dozen lines of research working toward this goal and some are bound to hit.
- In just a decade our life expectancy will be 108 and keep rising after that.
- But we will not feel 108. Technology and medical breakthroughs will let us live like we’re 40 when we’re 90, with repaired organs and recycled cells. We will even have bionic organs!
Dollars and sense
- Roizen, et al. argue that our productive working life will extend for decades beyond its current span. You might have to reinvent yourself every few decades, but the economy will boom.
- We are all going to have to be smarter about saving money, but the economic expansion wrought by expanding productivity will pay for all those new body parts and still allow us to cut taxes! (No, I didn’t buy that one either.)
But where are we going to live?
- A gradually increasing population will necessitate something like two million more housing units annually than we currently build. Does that mean we will live in little pods filled with some kind of icky fluid like Neo in The Matrix? Maybe, but we will feel so much younger.
- Multi-generational housing will not just be a hot trend, but the norm. And there might be as many as five generations in that house. Imagine being worried about your 60-year-old granddaughter staying out too late with the wrong crowd.
- Homes will have more common spaces to accommodate these blended families. Other homes might house unrelated—but healthy and productive—people of around the same age. We will figure it out.
So will we really live almost forever? Can the planet handle that? Can we feed it? House it? Keep it clean and cool? Who knows. But if it means my kids will be living with me into their 70s, I want no part of it.