Life Expectancy Questionnaire

What's Your Life Expectancy?

Your past and your current lifestyle have a lot to do with how long you're likely to live—as well as the quality of the life you're creating. If you want to see just how your lifestyle affects your life expectancy, fill out the Life Expectancy Questionnaire.

This questionnaire was developed by insurance companies—who are very interested in how long people live. To stay in business they must be able to make reasonably accurate predictions about large groups of people. The Life Expectancy Questionnaire reflects what they've learned about the impact of many hereditary and lifestyle issues on individual longevity. By completing the Questionnaire for yourself, you'll have a reasonable estimate of your life expectancy. This can be useful perspective for thinking about where you are in your life and how much time you have to plan for.

This Questionnaire sets the stage for addressing the multitude of issues involved in "life-planning" as more thoroughly addressed at

If you are between 20 and 65 and reasonably healthy, this set of guidelines provides an estimate of your life expectancy.

Add or subtract as you go, putting a new total in each box as you go down the list.

Start with 76
2. Gender:
If you are male, subtract 3. If you are female, add 4. That's right, there's a 7 year spread between the sexes.
3. Lifestyle:
a. If you live in an urban area with a population over 2 million, subtract 2.
If you live in a town under 10,000 or on a farm, add 2.
b. If you work behind a desk, subtract 3.
If you do regular, heavy physical labor, add 3.
c. If you exercise strenuously (tennis, running, swimming, etc.) five times a week for at least a half hour, add 2.
d. If you live with a spouse or friend, add 5. If not, subtract 1 for every 10 years alone since age 25. People together eat better, take care of each other, are less depressed.
4. Psyche:
a. Sleep more than 10 hours each night? Subtract 4. Excessive sleep is a sign of depression, circulation diseases.
b. Are you intense, aggressive, easily angered? Subtract 3. Are you easygoing, relaxed, a follower? Add 3.
c. Are you happy? Add 1. Unhappy? Subtract 2.
d. Have you had a speeding ticket in the last year? Subtract 1. Accidents are the fourth largest cause of death, first in young adults.
5. Success:
a. Earn over $50,000 a year? Subtract 2. Wealth breeds high living, tension.
b. If you finished college, add 1. If you have a graduate or professional degree, add 2 more.
Education seems to lead to moderation.
6. Heredity:
a. If any grandparent lived to 85, add 2. If all 4 grandparents lived to 80,
add 6.
b. If either parent died of stroke or heart attack before the age of 50,
subtract 4.
c. If any parent, brother, sister under 50 has (or had) cancer or a heart condition, or has had diabetes since childhood, subtract 3.
7. Health:
a. Smoke more than 2 packs a day? Subtract 8. One to 2 packs a day?
Subtract 6. One-half to one? Subtract 3.
b. Drink the equivalent of 1 / 4 bottle of liquor a day? Subtract 1.
c. Overweight by 50 pounds or more? Subtract 8. By 30 to 50 pounds?
Subtract 4. By 10 to 30 pounds? Subtract 2.
d. Men over forty, if you have annual checkups, add 2. Women, if you see a gynecologist once a year, add 2.
8. Age Adjustment:
Between 30 and 40? Add 2. Between 40 and 50? Add 3. Between 50 and 65? Add 4. This is your life expectancy:

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