Life expectancy for us OLD type 1s already past our sell by date

One of my favorite thinking-type pastimes is to think about how our family’s retirement portfolio is doing. If you do that too, you may know that “forecasting” (aka guessing) how long your money may last is a real crapshoot! One key factor (aka guess) is how long will I live and will I have enough money that I’ll run out of money and breath at the same time?

So…what do some of you know about current studies, forecasts, or outright guesses on life expectancy for any of us type 1s, particularly a 78 year old type 1 in otherwise not too bad health? Last I read, about five years ago, I got the impression that by now, at 78, I’d already be past my sell by date and would be living on borrowed time! So I’m not complaining!

Any thoughts, one way or another? If you’ve seen any recent articles could you pls send me links to them? If I can help get an interesting discussion going, that’ll be enough! :laughing:

There are many calculators that give range/estimates on spend down. Financial Advisors can also help with portfolio mgmt and asset mix for your situation/concerns.
Consider annuity in addition to pension and SSA income to cover minimum. Check if a QLAC annuity may be helpful for your situation.

However, given the medical tools we have today, and more likely to attain closer to normal A1Cs, I don’t consider having diabetes as a reason to assume shorter life expectancy. However, very likely it will mean higher medical costs, particularly with pump and cgms, and more doctor appts/tests to remain in good control.

Some interesting stats here.

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Thx but my Q wasn’t about the $ issues at all. I’m simply curious what the current thinking is re life expectancy for type 1 diabetics. I’ve seen studies saying you could make a case it cuts a decade off, plus or minus. I’m just curious if there are other thoughts on the topic.

This article states that “well controlled” Type 1 diabetics have same life expectancy.

“It’s important to note that this study did not find that type 1 diabetes, itself, shortens a person’s lifespan. Rather, the study showed that poorly controlled blood glucose levels over time could lead to a poorer prognosis and shortened life expectancy in people with diabetes.”


Yeah that’s the sort of input I wanted to learn about. Thx. And I appreciate the distinction btwn the disease itself and the effects. That’s a good point too.

Not to forget “average” life expectancy includes many people with A1C >10%

Many people with T1DM unfortunately die in their 30s and 40s. You make it to 70 with decent control, you may reasonably expect another 15 years.

But! . . Make the most of it. :grinning:


When I got life insurance 20 years ago, they had this calculator.
Entered my last a1c and my weight and my waist measurement height, and major complications and minor complications.
Wether or not I wore glasses and checked my hearing.

All that went into a projected age of death to be 81.

I had no complications so 81 seemed ok at the time.

Then the calculation for money was on top of that.

They also did a long term disability calculator, which projected a very good chance I would be disabled by the time I was 50.

I’m 55 now and not disabled… they didn’t offer me disability insurance at all, but it would have been a good bet.
Think of all the money they didn’t make off of me.


I’d look at family members age of death to make estimates. The more family members you have data for, the better the estimate will be. I don’t predict that T1 is going to be a significant factor in cause of death at this point, for you. I think diabetes is over represented in cause of death statistics. Anytime a diabetic has anything wrong with them, they blame diabetes. I’m certain diabetes will be cited as part of my cause of death, but I don’t believe I will die from diabetes.


:laughing::laughing::laughing: I agree completely! I’ll pbly die with diabetes not directly from it. Same as for my prostate cancer, which is in remission so far. As for family, both parents reached their nineties but neither was diabetic!

Depends on whether there is a distinction for Type 1, Type 2.


@MM1, Good point. I think I was at an autopsy once where everyone in the autopsy room was diabetic. I recall looking closely at the paperwork to identify if they were T1s or T2s. It was not clearly distinguished upfront and prob had to go into the formal medical records to know for sure.

Hey @Tom_in_SC, Can I ask you a question about the prostate cancer? I had an old friend who just received treatment and got the prostate cancer into remission…about a month ago. He’s been nervous about getting his covid booster. I’m worried he might be a little immunocompromised from the cancer treatments. I’ve heard that sometimes people with cancer treatment need to time their covid shots appropriately.

His wife has a newly diagnosed clotting disorder and I’m not touching that one. She needs to talk to her hematologist. I kinda hope he can be a brick wall between covid and her and I scheduled him on the 9th. Everyone here is getting covid and I’m worried about them both, but a little apprehensive about the complicating conditions.

The internet seems to think vaccination is ok for him. COVID-19 vaccine - information for people with prostate cancer | Prostate Cancer UK

Mohe: my cancer treatment was in 2018 by external beam radiation using a new technique called CyberKnife, which administers the dosage in five applications over a ten day period, vs the usual way which is five days a week for several weeks. It uses a machine just like the dentist uses to X-ray your teeth, only a LOT bigger!
I asked my urologist if he considered me immune compromised and he said no.

But as they always say when discussing prostate cancer and treatments, every guy is unique! Your friend’s mileage definitely may vary from mine! So the fact that I never had any side effects at all from either of my first two Pfizer shots or my Pfizer booster is completely irrelevant to your friend!

this is a joke but I think they put you on medicare at 65 in the hope that you won’t last too long. If the disease won’t kill you the hassles with medicare will.


I am an insulin dependent type 2 who will turn 80 in April. I have an IRA annuity that i can annuitize in April which will pay me $32 k a year for as long as I live, but it ends if I die. Or, I could leave the $300k ($250 after tax) balance earning about 4% pa but have an RMD of about $15 k pa. I need to make a decision by April. Any thoughts?

It will take you 13+ years to break even, and you would not have the 300k anymore. After that you might do ok gaining 32k a year. How do you feel about the likelihood you will live that long or longer?

If you took 300k and put it in and invest it, you would only need to get 10% yield to get the same benefit plus you would still have the 300k to leave to your kids.

I am not a financial advisor, but I have researched these things a few times. Generally annuities are bad investments and they make lots of money for the people who set them up, not so much for the investor.

The only one I would consider is a QLAC, depending on my IRA balance (or estimated balance) and RMD estimates. Basically postponing/spreading out RMD $.

Could this info / study be the same for a T2?

I could live a long life with well controlled D?


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There are actually quite a few of us long term T1’s running around. Ive read anecdotal evidence that those of us who used animal based insulin for decades have a kind of protection the current human DNA insulins dont have. Im sure there are studies about this, but Ive read it enough it seems legit.

I had not heard that, but I was on animal lente, regular and nph for 25+ years starting 1965. Although many laser treatments on eyes in 80s, haven’t had much else (diabetes-wise) since then. Improved A1Cs after DCCT results and started insulin pump, then lower carb.