That's right: we're about to extend your life-span with a little math.

Steve Krause has a fun post titled Why You'll Probably Outlive the Average Life Expectancy. I won't repeat the whole thing here; it's worth a quick read. Basically the idea is that, statistically speaking, you're likely to live to be older than the average life expectancy for people born the same year as you. And, he points out, this isn't, as you might think, because modern medicine will give you an edge (which isn't to say it won't, but that's not what he's examining). It's math (statistics, really)!

Here's the quick and dirty version: Start with the average life expectancy for your gender for those born in the year you were born (probably roughly 75 for men and 80 for women). That average includes a small number of people who, for various reasons, passed on before they got to be as old as you are now. No disrespect at all for the departed, but they were bringing down the average. That means that the average life expectancy for those in your group who have lived at least as long as you already have is a little higher.

The older you are, the more of a bump you get in this consideration. Steve (and a couple of clear, effective charts) points out that for those who live to about 80, the gender gap all but vanishes. This is a new way to think about the life expectancy gender gap: it's not necessarily that octogenarian males are passing on years before octogenarian females, it's that men are a little more likely to pass on before they get there.