When I am 64..
Well, it is not exactly about age of 64.. It's about getting old and perception of it. I am very far from it, many decades, hopefully, but today when swimming in a gym in the morning I accidentally bumped into a couple of old farts, doing that silly aquawalk excersize, and the thought that one day I might become like them crossed my mind. And not that I liked that thought.. So I thought, maybe there is some boundary, naturally different for all people, beyond which it doesn't make sense living longer..
Before I continue, lets cut the crap. I would kindly ask all people who tend to get cynical ( like CKB ), either abstain from participating or abstain from any cynicism. Also, I would also ask any people who would be basing their opinions or arguments on any demagogic, irrational, and especially religious, postulates, not to participate too. At least, I would really like not to see any flavours of "We should live as long as God allows us" here. This is not about speaking nice and beautiful things. It's about trying to understand what other people really *THINK* about that. Because, obviously, this question has no answers.
OK, lets think about what is it being old.. From your own prospective. You can no longer enjoy movements and strength of your own body because it becomes weak and not obeying. You can no longer enjoy someone's else body, obviously. But what is the worst, your mind (logics, memory, everything ) is deteriorating, and you might be not even realising that. You might become trouble for other people, and they would pity you, and won't tell you that. That's the prospective that really horrifies me. I look at older people and the first thing that comes to my mind is pity. Would you like others to pity you? What's a point of living old, being decrepit? What would you be doing? Watching TV all day long? Spending your time chatting with old farts just like yourself? Creating nothing, giving nothing to society, being useless old wreck.
Now, lets think about what other would think about that, how others would think about you being old.
Suppose, you are old and poor. That means pity again.. Other than that. Imagine that you are old and you die. Lets think about that not in short term, but rather in integral prospective. Of course, first couple of weeks, it will be mourning, they will be thinking about you, but after that it all will gradually go. And in five years it won't really matter for them that if you died four years ago instead of five, you'd have lived one year longer. No difference, except that because you died 5 years ago, you saved them an year of caring about you (because you are poor and you needed help ), tolerating your weak and whimsical mind, pitying you. And as a bonus, they remember you being one year younger, and who knows what you could turn into during that year.
Now suppose you are old and rich. All the same stands, except that if you die one year earlier, it will give your younger heirs one extra year ( and the best year of all ) to use what they would inherit from you for their own success.
All in all, it comes to the point that when you are really old, in long-term prospective, it is better for your relatives if you die sooner rather than late, no matter how they love. Did I miss something?
So, if this is correct, while I am young I'd better define some attributes, by appearance of which I would know that it is time to go.. How would I do that? Suicide doesn't make much sense. But when you are geting really old, trying to keep the same lifestyle as before, like when you were younger, ignoring your age, trying to keep up with younger people will kill you very reliably and quickly.