North Scarborough Rotary Club
May 22, 2013
Acting President Charles Whitney took the podium
Anthem: Al Meredith
Grace: Carolyn Nicholson
Attendance: 10 including our guest speaker
- Carolyn Nicholson announced a board meeting at her home on May 27th at 7:30 pm.
- Carolyn also encouraged everyone to sign up for the Charter Party on June 14th. The cost is $75pp.
- Peter Masson announced that the Paul Harris Scholarships ceremony will be held on Wed. June 12th at the Radisson Hotel. This year we are the "host" club. Our June 12th club meeting will be canceled.
- Joan Manuel announced that the club had sent a get well card to Past President Peter Lightfoot.
- Acting President Charles announced that we need 28 for the Day at the Races and only have 24 signed up at this time. It is on June 9th at 12:00.
Marbelous Draw was won, and lost, by Jack Holman.
Acting Sgt-at-Arms Al Meredith asked for Happy Bucks:
- Barry Smith was happy that he didn’t have to take the Sgt-at-Arms job, because he had the reporter job, but this didn’t stop Al Meredith from becoming the triple threat today.
- Frank Alison had a great trip to the UK.
- Mike Conway was happy to be invited to be our fill-in speaker.
- Peter Masson was happy to have been a "drag-along" to a high school reunion for Joan' class which was held in Ottawa at the height of their Tulip Festival. But unhappy to report the death of his oldest brother, Tom, last Monday.
- Charles Whitney was happy that the meeting was almost over.
- Jack Holman donated his winnings.
Al Meredith introduced Michael Conway as an itinerant economist and a well known member of the Agincourt Rotary Club. Mike’s talk was entitled “The Economics of Aging” or “100 or bust”!
Using numerous charts and statistics, Mike proved that, despite popular belief, there will be lots of Canadians coming after the baby boomers, many of whom were the result of Canada’s immigration policies. Right now there are fewer seniors than there will be in 40 years, so the government is actually saving money on pensions and health care right now.
Mike also pointed out that it will be another 20 years before births in Canada will be less than deaths, so that at present the net birth rate is still positive.
Mike then explained that there are three basic views on this subject:
1. The Government View, which uses mean numbers from the census stats, representing averages only;
2. The Business View, that makes provision for multiple variables, such as insurance companies who cover their profits by factoring in all of the statistics; and,
3. The Personal View, in which median numbers are used in order to determine what age 5% of the population will attain.
Concentrating on the Personal View, Mike then indicated that there are two basic theories on longevity:
1. That we can determine the natural limits of human longevity through the use of medical technology; and,
2. That we don’t know the natural limits of human longevity, and probably no one has lived anywhere close to those natural limits, i.e. very few have reached 130 years of age, but it is possible.
Mike accepts the second of these theories.
Looking at life expectancy charts, longevity has been increasing over the past 100 years. In 1921 life expectancy was around 60-65 years, but in 2011 it had reached 80-85 years. The government has now conceded that it can no longer predict the growth of longevity, because they’ve got no base upon which to predict the natural limits of human longevity. They have been looking at past data, but cannot predict future trends.
Mortality rates dropped by a fifth over the past decade. Once we gained the ability to combat infections and viruses, commencing with the discovery of penicillin in 1931, our life spans have increased. Mike says that life expectancy has increased by 3 months a year over the past decade, so every year we live, we only get 9 months older.
For the generation born after 1931, when penicillin was discovered, probably 20% of the population will reach 100. Mike pointed out that WW1 veterans, who suffered shorter life expectancies from their exposure to gas attacks, and WW2 veterans, who also suffered war-related maladies, are still in the statistics and when they drop off the charts, there will be a sudden increase in the longevity tables.
Mike’s prognosis is: Plan to live past 100 and arrange your retirement funding accordingly.
Peter Masson thanked Michael for a very interesting and informative talk, pointing out that the study of aging is not a dismal science any longer. Michael looked admiringly at one of our 50th anniversary Scotch glasses which Peter assured him would help his aging.
Meeting was terminated