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By Staff | Oct 4, 2013

I was born Sept. 26, 1952. A friend who is the police chief of a large-sized Northwest Iowa town told me recently that he was retiring in a year.

He told me that the police officers pension fund is in great financial condition because the actuarial for the life span of the retired police officers is just 69 years old. That was pretty short. He looks to be in great shape and I expect him to long outlive me, but it made me curious as to how long a heavy-set farmer/commodity analyst/investor can expect to live.

There is no stress in my job either. I went on line and found the information that I was looking for.

At the time of the “White Queen,” a new Starz network miniseries, the average life expectancy in 1400 to 1500 A.D was 48 years though few then actually died of what could be described as old age.

By 2010 the world average life expectancy had grown to 67.2 years, so the longevity of retired police officers does exceed the world average.

White women outlive white males by about five years. White men have about the same life expectancy as black women. The more education that you have lengthens the life span which probably ties in with wealth.

Focused on Americans, professional men, doctors, accountants, lawyers have a life expectancy of 80 years. Manual laborers such as plumbers, electricians, truck drivers have a life expectancy of 76.5 years.

Unskilled laborers live just 72.7 years. According to my friend, police officers must need to dig more ditches. I was looking for specific information on me and found it in an on-line life expectancy calculator.

It asks myriad questions from basic information about gender, height, weight, fitness, profession and marital status as well as the family history of heart disease, cancer, diabetes and stroke.

What is your diastolic blood pressure? Are you a smoker? What are your driving habits? What are your drinking habits? What did your father do? What was your first job? What do you do now? How sedentary are you? What is your diet? How is your sex life? How many things have happened to you on a list of 10 life stresses? How much sleep do you get?

Answer all the questions to the best degree of accuracy and push the button to calculate your life expectancy. According to my results I should get to open my last Christmas presents in December 2030, but may not have to worry about getting the crop in the next year.

I am 61 years old and have a life expectancy of 78.56 years. That is the median life expectancy results for the information that I imputed. There is a 75 percent chance that I will live 72.16 years, but only a 25 percent chance that I will live longer than 84.82 years.

That would mean that I would not quite make it to another set of Christmas presents in 2036. That just means that my children need to give them to me now while I can appreciate them.

Is there anything that you can do about it to lengthen your life expectancy? They let you analyze your health risks to re-calculate the impact of several risks on your expected life span. They include smoking, alcohol, driving, stress, exercise, nutrition, sexual partners and sleep.

Frankly there was not a lot I could change to increase my life span. I had maximized my lifespan in almost all the categories except exercise. Where I to become a conditioning exerciser they calculate that I could lengthen my life span 2.12 years longer.

In other words if I would be willing to be miserable for the next 17.56 years or longer, I could have the median expectation of living a couple more years , assuming that I am not hit by a truck.

No, thank you.

I’ll just try to pack more good stuff into the time that I have and if that leads to more accidental exercise then so be it. I do have one unique advantage.

According to Time magazine, people who are creative and do creative jobs outlive others. The theory is that creative people are happier and happier people have been shown in studies to have less heart disease and other health factors contributing to a longer life.

Artists, chefs, painters, “writers”, musicians, architects use their brain more for creative purposes “as opposed to sitting around looking at the wall, repairing things centrally,” according to UCLA doctors.

The Time article talked of going to bed thinking about a problem and waking up with an answer. I have done that quite often sometimes I even get the right answer.

So now on my birthday I need to thank all of you for giving me the opportunity to be creative. I hope that I can make you happy, too, so that we can all live longer.

David Kruse is president of CommStock Investments Inc., author and producer of The CommStock Report, an ag commentary and market analysis available daily by radio and by subscription on DTN/FarmDayta and the Internet.

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