In the business of financial planning, we are constantly developing projections of outcomes under various sets of assumptions. In almost every case, one of those assumptions is the year in which the client embarks on their final journey. Our default is that people live to age 95 and we can then adjust that general assumption as we work through the planning. Often, clients will strongly comment that they hope that they don’t live that long. I always take that to mean that they don’t want to live that long if it means years of declining health, pain, and suffering. A story in The New York Times last week may give us all hope that we can live healthy and productive lives well beyond age 95.
On April 19, Kane Tanaka died at the age of 119.She was born in 1903 and survived world wars, pandemics (two of them), a surgery for pancreatic cancer in 1948, colon cancer in 2006 and she observed incredible advancements in almost all facets of life.
The Times article noted that in 2019, when she was only 116 years old, she fielded questions from reporters. “What, they asked, was the secret to living so long? Being myself, she replied. Happiest moment? Now. Best diet for staying healthy? Appreciate anything I eat.”
She noted that she thinks she stayed sharp by reading, doing math problems, and playing board games. One of her grandsons noted that “She hated losing.” I think that another contributing factor was her grateful disposition. As noted from that interview, her happiest moment was the present and best diet was to appreciate the food she ate. I’ve commented many times in these weekly musings that living in the present is important to minimizing anxiety and being content. I think that Kane’s life is another example of how attitude and a spirit of gratefulness can impact our health and well-being. May we all be fortunate enough to live out our lives with grace and happiness.
This week’s selection is:
WeCrashed (Apple TV)
The greed-filled rise and inevitable fall of WeWork, on the world’s most valuable startups, and the narcissists whose chaotic love made it all possible.