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August 20th, 2009
08:33 AM ET

How Long Do You Want to Live?

The CDC announced yesterday that life expectancy in the U.S. has reached a new high. The average baby born in 2007 (that’s the latest date available) will live to age 78. That’s up 3 months from babies born in 2006.

Our question for you: how long do you want to live?

Post your responses below.

Filed under: Heidi Collins
soundoff (53 Responses)
  1. Kovith

    As long as I can do things on my own!!!!

    August 20, 2009 at 8:41 am |
  2. Eric

    Don't care how long I live. As long as I life a pain free life.

    August 20, 2009 at 9:27 am |
  3. Raymond

    I have realized for a long time that the human body can live for at least 150 years so I will live at least that long with no problem.

    August 20, 2009 at 9:27 am |
  4. Veronica Hynes

    I would like to go now, but I'm Canadian and our health system keeps us in good health, so I feel like I'll live till I'm 100.

    August 20, 2009 at 9:27 am |
  5. Rick

    Probably till retirement age. Getting old is not pretty

    August 20, 2009 at 9:27 am |
  6. Broce

    I think the question is better worded if you ask how long we'd like to live if we are *healthy* and able to provide financially for ourselves.

    My expectations changed rather rapidly when I was diagnosed in December with Multiple Sclerosis. I am currently insured, but if I lose my job, I'm probably both unemployable and uninsurable due to the cost of the medications I take (one of which is $500/week). If I cannot support or care for myself, I'd be ready to go tomorrow.

    August 20, 2009 at 9:28 am |
  7. Grnthing

    I want to live til I'm 112. I'd like to live to see the Tricentennial of the good ole US ofA

    August 20, 2009 at 9:28 am |
  8. Carol

    At least long enough to be able to be featured on the Smucker's Jelly Jar presented by Willard Scott. 🙂

    August 20, 2009 at 9:28 am |
  9. Jose R Garcia


    I would like to live until i can see my children married and have their sons if god permits

    August 20, 2009 at 9:28 am |
  10. Jim

    78 will be just fine as long as I still have my health.

    August 20, 2009 at 9:29 am |
  11. kwesi

    Hi! Don, i think 80 years will be my wish.But is rather unfortunately no one can control destiny.

    August 20, 2009 at 9:29 am |
  12. Tonya

    I would like to live to be 105. Since I will not graduate college until I am 47, I'm now 46, I feel I need a few extra years to do what I want to do in my career field. I would like to live as long as possible.

    August 20, 2009 at 9:30 am |
  13. Haib Brooks

    The day that I no longer have control over my TV remote, and am subject to a steady diet of D-list celebrity reality shows, I'll be ready to pack it in.

    August 20, 2009 at 9:31 am |
  14. Carol

    As an 'older' mother who just had babies in 2007 AND 2008, I hope to live a whole lot longer! If I can make it to my early 90's with soundness of mind and body, I'll be extremely grateful!

    August 20, 2009 at 9:31 am |
  15. Marilyn - FLorida

    Don, If I can stay reasonably healthy and active, I'd like to live to be over 100. My great-uncle, my mother's uncle, lived to be 106, healthy and sound of mind to the end. He was able to take long, neighborhood walks until a fall which put him in the hospital and ended his life. He died in hospital. This was back in the 1970s, so his longevity was mostly due to good genes, which I probably have too.

    However, I haven't had access to health care since 2005. My great-uncle, back then, always had the best access to health care and dental care, and used it to stay healthy and strong. HMOs have pretty much distroyed that kind of preventive care, so even with good genes, I may well not be able to have that kind of excellent health care that Americans had in the 50s, 60s, and 1970s. HMOs started ruining things in roughly the 80s, and so few in this country still can have that kind of care. It is very sad that health care in this country LOWERS the possibility of many Americans living to be older.

    August 20, 2009 at 9:31 am |
  16. eugene

    I would like to live forever, so many things i want to do and see. At the very least i would like to live long enough to see the US not @ war with anyone, anywhere.

    August 20, 2009 at 9:34 am |
  17. Denise

    I've lived long enough in this crapy place. I'M ready for perfect paradise with the Good Lord. Sick of greedy back stabin people.

    August 20, 2009 at 9:34 am |
  18. Idris Elmi

    I want to live as long as I am a sound and healty.

    August 20, 2009 at 9:34 am |
  19. Ramona Sprague

    I keep telling my grandson that I plan to live until 120, but I think I will live until 94 according to family history. The real answer is until our money runs out. Please don't use my name.

    August 20, 2009 at 9:34 am |
  20. Michael Nettles

    Hey Don and Heidie,

    I am a 38yr old black male and will turn 39 on the 30th of August. I am a former Marine and played semi-pro football for 8 yrs. I am from New Orleans La and see what over eating/drinking can do to a body after attending my 20yr high school reunion (West Jefferson High School) and seeing some of my classmates. I want to live past 102 as long as I am able to drive, walk, and take care of myself. When I am no longer able to care for myself then it's time to join my fellow Marines in Heaven,,,until then Let the good times roll,,,,say that in french if you know what to say.

    Semper Fi.

    August 20, 2009 at 9:35 am |
  21. Jean

    Hi Don:

    There is longevity in my family. I usually joke, if I had my way, I would like to live 600 years... youthfully and healthily. I realize that this is an impossibility in this day and age. I will opt for 100 years and hope that I will be healthy. It all lies with God and, of course, how I live.

    August 20, 2009 at 9:35 am |
  22. Jean

    The Lockabee bomber. It does not matter how long he has to live. He bombed a plane with numerous people on board. People who were going on vacation and looking forward to seeing their relatives. Consider the pain of the living relatives to this day and until they die. I recall the news and how my heart hurt when I heard of the bombing and approximately 182 people(?) lost their lives. This man should have been executed. Speaking of compassion, he does not deserve such compassion when Scotland itself probably execute people for one murder or do they? This week the US executed a man for killing one person. The Lockabee bomber should be left in prison until he dies. When he dies, his family should come and get his body for burial. This is as far as it should go. How does one make restitution and to God Himself for premeditating and wilfully killing so many people? This man's eternal judgment is awaiting him when he dies.

    Toronto, Canada

    August 20, 2009 at 9:45 am |
  23. Donna

    I have a chronic health condition & am currently on social security Disability & Medicare. As a result I live a very confined life. I hope to live as long as I can be reasonably happy and enjoy my life

    August 20, 2009 at 9:48 am |
  24. Jacqueline Corbett

    Life expectancy is just that... "life expectancy". I EXPECT to live a VERY long time.. and I have set absolutely no upper "cap" or "limit" to that "expectancy".

    I am currently 69 years old, and am in spectacularly good health. I have paid for Medicare for 4 years, and haven't had a reason to use it once... nor do I 'expect' to use it! So I really don't care, for myself, if I get Universal Health Care, or not.

    In fact, it rather annoys me that I, who take care of myself, would have to pay for people who don't.... and I'm a staunch Democrat!

    I believe that we are all responsible for our sickness and our wellness.... through our mindset, through our diet, through our lifestyle.

    But right now, most people don't realize that. They prefer "recreational eating" of lots of disease-causing, life shortening, anxiety-producing foods... and then turn to doctors for an 'antidote' to the poisons they are putting in their bodies.... or the stress from the crazy lifestyle they lead.

    I think we should take a very long look at the people who are my age... and older... who ARE in great health... and and find out why.

    And then I think we should REWARD people for STAYING HEALTHY!

    The 'insurance system' actually penalizes people who spend more on healthy food... either in time or money or both.... because it relies upon THEM to fund the illnesses of people who DON'T take care of themselves.

    I truly believe in individual responsibility ... and in doing whatever it takes to be the best possible person we can be.

    I also believe in helping others... by teaching them how to fish!

    I would love to see more government $$ spent on finding out what is keeping people like myself who are in the healthy but older population so healthy... and then spending $$ on EDUCATING the entire population on how to be healthy.... with prizes for those who are the healthiest.... instead of 'rewarding' people for being sick!

    –Spending $$ on subsidizing farmers for growing healthy green veggies and low glycemic fruit.

    -Turning our prisons into places where people can regain their health through proper eating... instead of feeding them food that makes them sick and a bit crazy.

    - Turning our schools into places where only healthy meals are served.

    - Encouraging and even subsidizing urban gardens in vacant lots.

    There is SO much that can be done if only people would think 'outside of the box'!!!


    One key to health and longevity is being really interested in and engaged in life! I cannot imagine EVER being bored. One of my 'hobbies'... which pays me around $1200 to $1400 a month (and growing) is building websites in things that interest or fascinate me... so that I can share my information and love of life with others.

    Here are some of them:

    www. (has information on all kinds of things including how to get your prescriptions at a reduced rate or even free, how to get a free bank account and get paid to save $$ while avoiding bounced check fees, etc. lots of good information on how to achieve optimum health with right eating. The beautiful part of the world in which I live, surrounded by natural beauty, and lots of creative people.

    August 20, 2009 at 9:53 am |
  25. Idris Elmi

    It is easy to pick a number now but when we reach that number, we dont want to die. Nobody likes death, Don!!!!

    August 20, 2009 at 9:54 am |
  26. Katherine Davis

    I will leave that up to God.

    I'm a 71 year old female in perfect health. I do NOT have to take any prescription drugs. I do NOT have any chronic illnesses. I show NO signs of bone loss ( 5'7" tall and weigh 136 lbs.) and my cholesterol level is within normal range.

    I have been a long distance walker for most of my life. Five years ago, I joined a fitness club and take weight lifting and Spinning classes.

    I've been married to the same wonderful man for 51years. He is 72yrs old and in great health too. He takes 1 pres. drug for cholesterol: 10mil of Lipitor keeps his choles. below 200! He's still working and doesn't intend to quit. His form of exercising is walking the 2 miles to work 5 days a week.

    Our meals center around lots of fruits, vegetables, lean cuts of meat, fish, chicken.

    August 20, 2009 at 9:55 am |
  27. Yolanda

    I desire to live to be 100! Will the new healthcare system allow for me to be treated with holistic care or by a naturalpathic doctor?

    August 20, 2009 at 9:56 am |
  28. thomas ayton

    I want to live long enough to see the republican party die a painfull death. Where do people get these lies that they blog on this site? One blogger said, " 53% of the american people don't want the government messing with their healthcare" Fox news! where else.
    First of all 90% of americans want something done with healthcare,as illistrated by the last blog at 88% Yes president obama should go it alone, without the republicans, and this is not MSNBC.

    August 20, 2009 at 10:03 am |
  29. michael armstrong sr.

    Im not going to die I cant afford it .

    August 20, 2009 at 10:03 am |
  30. christa

    I do not understand Irish politicians, this man had no pity for other people on that plane. To me it is a great error of justice, he should have stayed til he died in prison. What is wrong with Ireland, I thought they were our friends.

    August 20, 2009 at 10:18 am |
  31. James of Houston

    I question the validity of the new data. How can we expect to live longer when so many of us are obese, inactive and very unhealthy?

    August 20, 2009 at 10:45 am |
  32. Al

    Till tomorow!

    August 20, 2009 at 11:18 am |
  33. Rob McGuire

    I want to live as long as I can! As long as I can enjoy my life and not be a burden to those around me (and still look good of course 😉

    August 20, 2009 at 11:22 am |
  34. christa

    Only until I cannot take care of myself. Than I probably will take it in my own hands and will not be a burden to my family.

    August 20, 2009 at 11:24 am |
  35. Dionne

    I only want to live for as long as I can talk. If I can't speak or give my coherent opinion anymore, I'll pull the plug myself!

    August 20, 2009 at 11:47 am |
  36. EJD

    I want to live the 120 years that I see in God's Holy Word. I celebrate life, and I do not believe that people have to end decrepit or ill. There are rules to follow for excellent health - knowing and following those rules will enable us to live long and to live strong - may we all do so.

    August 20, 2009 at 12:01 pm |
  37. Richard Vienneau

    One of my great-grandfathers lived to 109. One of my grandfathers, same family lived to 98. Both took care of themselves, could walk till their last days. As long as I can walk and feed myself, I want to see what is next in this fast changing world. I saw gas street lights and now LED christmas lights. First TV and now digital flat screens. What next.

    August 20, 2009 at 12:17 pm |
  38. James of Houston

    This response is for Jacqueline Corbett.... Jacqueline , I agree with you completely when you say, " In fact, it rather annoys me that I, who take care of myself, would have to pay for people who don’t"…. and I too am a staunch Democrat!

    I am very concerned our current health care bill with the "public option" will, in one way or another, provide the illegal immigrants and their families with free health care, courtesy of you and me! The reason they will qualify for free health care is because their wages are not reported by their employers and tracked on any W-2 Tax Statements. Consequently, these persons are considered “indigent” and in need of federal assistance.

    By classifying them as “indigent”, we will provide them with free benefits for which they and their unreported incomes do not qualify. Also, these benefits will became a “magnet” for people from other countries to come to the U. S. where they can gainfully work, receive good, unreported incomes and obtain free health care for their families. The new costs of providing these free benefits to our future non-citizens will grow beyond all proportions.

    Possible solution? ...The e-card system used for hospital admission and outpatient services must be designed so only U.S. citizens will have access to these cards! They must also be verifiable and tamper proof!

    August 20, 2009 at 12:33 pm |
  39. J. Kent

    I guess it depends on whether health care reform takes place or not. I'm 5 years away from Medicare, self-employed and unable to buy health insurance at any price because of a pre-existing condition. Recently I've been told one hip is severely deteriorated and that I need a joint replacement. The pain is neverending. I've had a countdown going on in my head since the election last November – counting down the months until I anticipated health care reform would be passed and I might get the medical care I need. If reform fails, I will probably lose my mobility and therefore my income. It's frightening to age in a country that doesn't have affordable medical care.

    August 20, 2009 at 12:43 pm |
  40. Jennifer

    I work with people with Alzheimer's. When your mind goes, and you can no longer do basic things for yourself like use the toilet, it is so degrading and I have seen such frustration and sadness from the elderly in this condition. I personally would like the option of including euthanasia in a living will if I got to the point where I could not function in this world (though easier to say than define). What is the point if I am at the end of my life and I can no longer contribute to the people I care about and am miserable myself?

    August 20, 2009 at 12:53 pm |
  41. Greg

    Its not about how long you live, but the quality of your life. You can help to improve the quality of your life and health through Get out and get active and enjoy a healthy lifestyle. Check out for suggestions on exercises and activities that are fun and good for you.

    August 20, 2009 at 1:38 pm |
  42. jl hale

    I think we can work to stay healthy and live longer by being consicious of your body's needs, eat healthy, stay hydrated, exercise, don't smoke or drink alcohol and stay away from doctors and hospitals. After that , pray that no accident or disease befalls you. In life some things just happen.

    August 20, 2009 at 6:44 pm |
  43. Mark

    WHAT the average age is going up in can this happen with, what we are told, is our horrible health care system. We should all be dying a lot sooner. And how in the world is the word unexepectantly not showing up in this article. I just don't understand

    August 20, 2009 at 10:42 pm |
  44. James of Houston

    Wow! That was a great interview yesterday with President Obama! The lady from New York had the perfect solution. Instead of the government-run "Public Option", let the states pick up the uninsured and include them in their Medicaid programs. This way, we won't have one-size-fits-all for states with different populations and different health insurance needs!

    The president also had the perfect solution. Let families keep their kids on their policies until they are 26 years old when they can afford health insurance on their own. … Case closed ...problem solved!

    If we now pick up the people without health insurance and include them in the state Medicaid systems, then these people will be insured, and they will have access to the medical care they need. If the private companies don't get their acts together and their costs under control, more-and-more people will switch to the state Medicaid programs because they cannot afford to purchase private insurance.

    Eventually, if this happens, we will end up with a Government-run Medicaid health care system for almost everyone (Federal employees and large corporations with price leverage excluded), and many of the private insurance companies will be forced out of business because no one will be able to afford the high monthly premiums for their expensive policies! ... Again, case closed ... problem solved!

    August 21, 2009 at 11:01 am |
  45. ProudNative

    living long doesn't matter, it's how you live that matters!!!!!!

    August 21, 2009 at 12:18 pm |
  46. MTmike

    Will they bury Michael already or what. He's been dead how long now? Its getting ridiculous now. Really, how long can they keep a dead body around for these days? I understand its a huge deal and all, but come on, let the man go to his final resting place all ready.

    August 21, 2009 at 10:01 pm |
  47. Don D. Brock

    For me their is no choice, I Live until I die. suicide in any form is A cowards way to die, However If a person was to take care of him or herself to the best of there ability and does not get greedy and does what is right, Then there is a good chance you will die happy if not in your sleep.
    but if you die a painful death or an early death maybe others will learn from it and you will save lives

    Don D. Brock

    August 21, 2009 at 10:57 pm |
  48. MR.AL

    I would like to live as long as god will let me!! But while I'm waiting I would like to see better treatment for the retired the diabled and the poor.Ive been on disability for 15 years I call it poverty wages thanks to the cuts by GHW BUSH while he was in office all new recipiants got less.Even with raises you still don't get but 20% and medicare gets 80%.I know my complaints will never be heard and if the are nobody will take them serious!!!!! I fought long and hard 5 years for these benifits WHAT HAPPEN? I think lawmakers should explain about their retirement and health care plan and who pays for it.I know theres a balck hole of difference between the both of them.

    August 22, 2009 at 1:13 am |
  49. David

    Why is the cash for clunkers post closed?

    I wanted to say that though the govt was caught in a compromising position when it comes to making payment for clunker purchases, I heard a retailer on tv saying that the program resulted in 700 thousand plus cars being sold, an overwhelming amount of sales. The dealerships were probably giddy and auto production received a desperately needed boost. The govt can work to improve the flow of payments going to dealerships, but the fact is this upswing has come smack in the middle of a time when it was needed with two companies going into and coming out of bankruptcy. It's reassuring to know the demand is there.

    Sorry to put this comment here, but I wanted to post this follow up.

    August 23, 2009 at 2:55 am |
  50. James

    No, Attorney General should not be launching an inquiry into the CIA interrogation....waste of time and money.

    August 25, 2009 at 9:40 am |
  51. Gary, Washington

    As long as the quality of life is worth living (in my estimation not someone elses)

    August 25, 2009 at 11:27 am |
  52. Mary


    August 28, 2009 at 10:33 am |
  53. Mike

    As long as I can still manage financial dependance and take care of my wife and children.

    September 20, 2009 at 10:19 pm |