# How much would you pay not to die of old age ever?

Homework Helper
If you are offered a "cure" for dying of old age, how much would you pay for it? It is not a cure against all causes of death - accidents, acute diseases, etc. can cause death. Additionally, suicide could still work. Aging continues, but it is much slower and asymptotic to infinity. Would you pay anything for the rest of your life to be like that?

I won't, what's the point of taking it anyway. The older you grow the weaker your metabolism becomes, the cure just slows down the expiring process of the body but it will still expire. Since it would expire slower than before you would have to bear a lot more pain than if you wouldn't be had took it. In addition to that, you have to pay for it!? . Unless and until you have an ultimate project to change the world or something like that and you need additional 5 years, then you can consider taking it.

These are all my opinions

Sophia and EnumaElish
Choppy
I can't put a dollar amount on it, but I have a perpetual motion device of the second kind that I'd be willing to barter.

Hoophy, Sophia and EnumaElish
I can't put a dollar amount on it, but I have a perpetual motion device of the second kind that I'd be willing to barter.
Reminds me of Big Bang theory, physics bowl Wolwitz dialogue

EnumaElish
If you are offered a "cure" for dying of old age, how much would you pay for it? It is not a cure against all causes of death - accidents, acute diseases, etc. can cause death. Additionally, suicide could still work. Aging continues, but it is much slower and asymptotic to infinity. Would you pay anything for the rest of your life to be like that?

davenn and EnumaElish
Dr Transport
Gold Member
Life is a terminal disease, you don't get out.....

davenn and EnumaElish
If you are offered a "cure" for dying of old age, how much would you pay for it? It is not a cure against all causes of death - accidents, acute diseases, etc. can cause death. Additionally, suicide could still work. Aging continues, but it is much slower and asymptotic to infinity. Would you pay anything for the rest of your life to be like that?
What is meant by "acute" disease, and what does "asymptotic to infinity" mean?

EnumaElish
jtbell
Mentor
You'd have to pay me enough money to live on, forever.

Hoophy, Sophia, QuantumQuest and 1 other person
Homework Helper
What is meant by "acute" disease, and what does "asymptotic to infinity" mean?
What I mean by (fatal) acute disease is a malady that can cause death in an otherwise healthy adult who is not "old." Deadly epidemics is a primary example. But it could also be e. g. fast-growing terminal cancer. (In the latter case if someone is dying of e. g. fast-growing terminal brain tumor, that's more or less like an accident having happened to them.)

Today relatively few people actually die of old age, most die from diseases that would not generally be fatal except for old age. I will refer to them as NFDEFOA (Non-Fatal Disease Except For Old Age). Pneumonia is an example. Another may be embolism. More generally I will posit that NFDEFOA can lead to death when "multiple complications are present" (MCAP). Assume that MCAP is caused only by old age. Asymptoticity says that "you will not ever reach to a point where you will die from an NFDEFOA because of MCAP." Another example may be bone density. Suppose that there is a threshold for bone density, above which one would be safe from endogenous ("spontaneous") fractures that old people are prone to. Asymptocity says that someone would never cross that threshold.

Homework Helper
You'd have to pay me enough money to live on, forever.
How much would I have to pay? (Serious question) Thanks.

jtbell
Mentor
At some point, maybe 25 or so years from now, I'd probably need to move into an assisted-living facility. I have no idea what those cost nowadays, let alone 25 years from now. It's been more than 20 years since my mother-in-law spent a few years in one before moving into a nursing home when she could no longer walk on her own.

EnumaElish
QuantumQuest
Gold Member
If you are offered a "cure" for dying of old age, how much would you pay for it? It is not a cure against all causes of death - accidents, acute diseases, etc. can cause death. Additionally, suicide could still work. Aging continues, but it is much slower and asymptotic to infinity. Would you pay anything for the rest of your life to be like that?
The trap is that the first thing coming in mind, is that somehow we'll live as we are now - in a logical abstraction fashion, forever. After some milliseconds the bare truth is revealed: there will be no advantage to that whatsoever. Just a pure torture. So, why anyone could want it??

EnumaElish
How much would I have to pay? (Serious question) Thanks.
I wouldn't be immortal in a human body for anything. Boring, and it would be too frustrating a) watching human behavior for eternity or b) outlasting the human race.

Reincarnation where you forget everything is much better.

EnumaElish
Gosh, just put a price guys. Even if it's not true and you wouldn't go through with it. Forget the wacky details.

I'd pay 99 cents.

ProfuselyQuarky and EnumaElish
Homework Helper
At some point, maybe 25 or so years from now, I'd probably need to move into an assisted-living facility. I have no idea what those cost nowadays, let alone 25 years from now. It's been more than 20 years since my mother-in-law spent a few years in one before moving into a nursing home when she could no longer walk on her own.
So as I understand it you'd demand to be paid "the cost of living." In this thread I do not wish to demean the process of moving through life. Surely it costs to grow old. Speaking generally, not necessarily about @jtbell, isn't it logical to think that our expected income-generating potential will never actually become zero, or negative? Many, perhaps most "jobs" in today's post-industrial economy are not menial but cerebral. If anything we can expect the menial/cerebral ratio to decrease further in time. Does that not mean that ageing adults' income potential will not become zero or negative over time?

***I am not trying to sell anything whether a product or an idea. I'd like to find out about the net present value of "perpetual existence." ***

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Ryan_m_b
Staff Emeritus
Aging continues, but it is much slower and asymptotic to infinity.
These two statements contradict. Aging as a biological process is intimately linked, if not defined, by a variety of health concerns. You can be a elderly and healthy but the baseline of good health for a 60 year old will be worse than that of a 20 year old.

In any case my answer would likely be: whatever tax I can afford. Given that my nation has socialised healthcare any treatment that prevents aging (and the costly health complications it brings) would almost certainly be available on the NHS.

EnumaElish and AshUchiha
I would imagine that people would pay the same or more money for a 'cure' then they would normally pay for medical aid that you would associate with aging. You have 2 options here, you could pay X amount of money on surgery, medicine, care, and what-not or you could pay the same amount for a cure that eliminates the (most likely) need for these expenses. So if you paid the same either way I would prefer the cure because maybe it is more reliable and also less painful. (it is painless right?) I would not want to live beyond 115 years though. This is an opinion. :)

EnumaElish
I would pay a great deal of money to stop aging altogether. (Not exactly your scenario, I know.)
Not so much that I would be in debt for more than 40 years, though. (So slightly more than the price of a nice house.)
The trick would be getting the money. I can't mortgage myself. :<

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EnumaElish
These two statements contradict. Aging as a biological process is intimately linked, if not defined, by a variety of health concerns. You can be a elderly and healthy but the baseline of good health for a 60 year old will be worse than that of a 20 year old.
Yes, I find it confusing, and can't really figure out what's being offered here. At 61, I'm not in bad health, but am not as invulnerable to any health stress as I was at 20. It seems to me to free someone from the hazards of aging you would have to freeze their age at about 20 to 25. After that, everyone is already on their way toward system breakdowns due to aging. At 30, most people can start to make out slight wrinkles around the eyes, for example, meaning the cells aren't 'rebounding' as they used to.

EnumaElish
I can't put a dollar amount on it, but I have a perpetual motion device of the second kind that I'd be willing to barter.
But a cure for ageing is actually plausible. There are many known examples in nature of organisms which do not age. Naked mole rats show far less symptoms of ageing than most mammals, and are almost immune to cancer and other ageing-related diseases. Ageing is not required by the second law of thermodynamics, but is a biological process than can be altered.

EnumaElish
I think the topic is being over analyzed. I think that EnumaElish was more interested in a response detailing what you would do when presented such a situation rather than why it is not currently possible. However, I think that responding with both ends is very interesting and provides some fun reading! Such as the post from Ryan_m_b. :)

EnumaElish
Homework Helper
I do not have a clear answer myself, just some thoughts. Firstly, I am startled with the pitiful value I should be placing on eternal life from a financier's perspective. Unless my math is way off, someone with a perpetual net income of, say, $100K/year and a real discount rate of, say 0.05, works out to having a capitalized value of$2 million. Suppose the discount rate is 0.01 instead (or equivalently there's a built-in 4% income growth after removing inflation), which is probably the rock bottom as far as a rate for future discounting, then the NPV of eternity is just $10 million. That may sound a lot of money, but think about what is being valued here. Secondly, suppose that the subjective value of life is ten times its economic value, so one should be offering$100 million to buy the "cure." But that number runs into a borrowing constraint, because no investor worth their salt would lend more than $10 million today, or any other day. So even the value one might like to offer is way more than$10 million, the amount they *can* offer seems to be $10 million under the best circumstances and reasonably favorable assumptions, like a$100K annuity.

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Hoophy
Homework Helper
Whoever invents that cure would own the world, give or take a few hundred trillion dollars, IMO.

Fervent Freyja
Gold Member
But a cure for ageing is actually plausible. There are many known examples in nature of organisms which do not age. Naked mole rats show far less symptoms of ageing than most mammals, and are almost immune to cancer and other ageing-related diseases. Ageing is not required by the second law of thermodynamics, but is a biological process than can be altered.
All humans have at least a few cells that are cancering at any given moment throughout life. The different diseases where 'cancer' becomes difficult to manage develop under certain conditions. The probability of those conditions occurring increase throughout life. The 2nd law of thermodynamics doesn't apply to organisms, cells are not closed systems (the fact that we process oxygen shows you this). So really, you want to cure aging, but don't care about finding cures for babies that are born blind or with genetic disorders? That doesn't make sense. There are millions of disabled people in the world, why not at least improve the quality of their lives first? My brother has a rare genetic disorder and I only observed a fraction of the difficulties he experienced. He endured an incredible amount of pain, dozens of serious symptoms, and cognitive difficulties (not to mention social)- his bones were constantly being rebuilt and growing throughout his childhood. He spent years in leg braces and began walking very late. He never learned to read and I was one of the few people that could understand his speech- I failed him yet again there like everywhere else.

He is only 24 years old. We found out 2 years ago that the seizure medications he had been on throughout childhood had permanently damaged his heart. Only months ago we learned that another consequence of his failing heart also affects his lungs. He is now on a breathing machine at night for COPD. Yet, he doesn't complain about any of that. He is a volunteer sports coach for his old high school and I'm very proud of him. But, how much longer will he be able to live with this? Nobody ever wants to talk about that. I'm worried. When I look at his condition I already know that it would be risky to assume he will survive to old age.

Will he find a girlfriend before he dies- he adores women? Will he ever get to make love to a woman or hold his own beautiful child? Will I get to plan his wedding or host the baby shower? Will he achieve his dream of becoming a coach for the college football team he is so very passionate about? Will he die before having the collection of experiences in life that the average human is promised upon birth? The small things I take for granted- will he get to experience those too? Surely, if you can create a cure for aging, then a cure for his syndrome shouldn't be a problem. He is very strong and could endure the symptoms (don't worry about that)- can you 'alter' him to at least survive? Can you also alter all the other children in the world that already desire to experience life to it's fullest, but simply have a tiny little problem barring that from ever happening?

Oh! Please tell, I beg of you, what will my baby brothers 40th year look like?

Hoophy and EnumaElish