Like the normal people of Earth, the very rich people of Earth don’t want to die. Unlike the the normal people of Earth, the very rich people are capable of betting enormous sums of money to avoid a near-certain doom.
To that end, it seems there are no limits to what capital-B Billionaires will drop bags of cash on in hopes of achieving agelessness.
Be it a $120,000 (per week) physical exam or a half-a-million dollar flight off the very planet we live on, the modern aristocrat’s great wealth affords them an even greater wealth of weapons to fend off aging—and some, as it turns out, are more effective than others.
Here’s how to live forever, like a billionaire.
Get the Ultimate Physical ($5,000 to $120,000)
Most folks get a physical annually. Small blood samples are taken, blood pressure is checked, questions are asked, and you are on your way. Altogether, it probably takes 90 minutes out of your day.
Unsurprisingly, billionaires get physicals too, though they’re a touch more intensive.
“Executive physicals” are physicals in which big company executives—or indeed anyone with the cash—spend a few days with a stable of doctors having every cell in their bodies mulled over. The Mayo Clinic’s Executive Health Program, one of the more well-known options for the monied, asks the patient to spend a variable (based on age, gender, and health status) amount of time at one of its locations going over every facet of your health with doctors of all stripes.
“I met with a cardiologist, a dermatologist, an ophthalmologist, a physical therapist—pretty much all the ‘ists,'” Sam Grobart wrote in Bloomberg Businessweek in 2017. The cost was $5,000, which of course doesn’t include airfare, lodging, or food.
In contrast, the Kusnacht Practice in Switzerland makes the Mayo Clinic’s exec program seem downright frugal. Situated in a posh Zurich neighborhood, you’ll pay roughly $120,000 a week for a personalized health journey, which might include everything from an intensive physical to biomolecular regeneration to clinical hypnotherapy.
Absorb the Blood of the Young ($8,000 to $285,000)
Five years ago, HBO’s Silicon Valley aired an episode in which Gavin Belson, its central tech-billionaire-villain, was hooked up to a young “blood boy” in an attempt to reverse aging. Belson of course believed the younger blood might make him younger. And as is often the case with the show’s bizarre punchlines, reality was barely more tame than fiction.
Taking a page from Homer and the Ancient Greeks (and then wrapping the page in futurist nonsense), Silicon Valley’s depiction of the hapless blood boy was tied to young blood therapies that were gaining steam in the Bay Area at that time. On the low end, commercial operators like Ambrosia charged $8,000 for young blood transfusions (though they did so by calling it a clinical trial). Other snake oil salesmen, like Bill Faloon, were pushing young blood at $285,000 a person.
Most commercial young blood services ceased operation after the FDA put out a statement that made clear young blood transfusion for the purpose of anti-aging are not founded in science. But it seems the young blood enthusiasts can’t help themselves. Companies like the cartoonishly evil sounding Young Blood Institute offer young blood plasma replacement therapy to this day. Inquire for pricing within.
Optimize Your Hormones (from: $45)
It turns out there are millions upon millions of men who, for any number of reasons, have problematically imbalanced hormone levels. Hormonal imbalance could manifest as constant fatigue, low sex drive, low energy, shrinking muscle mass, increase fat stores, and loads of other not-so-pleasant things. Diet, exercise, and lifestyle changes can make a dent in the issue, but the most direct solution is, mercifully, not extremely expensive or dangerous: Hone Health.
Forty-five dollars gets you an at-home biomarker test which you then mail—we cover shipping both ways—to an accredited lab. When your results are in, we facilitate an in-depth video consultation with a certified physician who will carefully explain what your personal results show, and offer an array of potential treatment options.
Treatment options may include things like tried-and-true options like testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) or more cutting-edge supplements like Metformin, which recent research has suggested shows a potential reduction in risk of things like cancer, inflammation, neurodegeneration, and other age-related diseases.
From there, it’s your call whether to go forward with treatment or not. Relative to other means of extending your healthspan—the length of time your body is consistently strong and healthy—the investment demanded to start out with Hone is marginal, while the gains are limitless.
Plan to Be Reanimated ($80,000 to $200,000)
The folks behind Alcor, a cryonics company in Scottsdale, Arizona, take the ol’ Ben Franklin failing to plan is planning to fail adage to heart—or, well, the whole body. For $200,000, the company will do the good work of “preserving life by pausing the dying process using subfreezing temperatures with the intent of restoring good health with medical technology in the future.”
If $200,000 is a bit rich for your blood, you can also opt for neuro cryopreservation (brain freeze instead of body freeze) for $80,000. You can even pay via life insurance policy, should you name Alcor as a beneficiary.
And insurance is essentially what the company considers itself—insurance against the lagging technological era in which you “die.” The company’s website is littered with mentions of unknown medical technology of the future that might reanimate the frozen masses—just over 200 of them, by the website’s current count—into good physical and mental health. No word yet on when that health tech will arrive (or what shape it will take).
Hire a Health Expert Squad ($300,000 per year)
Anyone who watched Cribs on MTV in the early 2000s knows the real flex isn’t just having an enormous house, it’s having a group of people that take care of your every need that you call “your team.”
Seeing as capital is a non-issue, the intrepid billionaire can take this “team” to the next level like, say, hiring a personal trainer to stay in good physical condition. The average personal trainer makes about $50,000 a year, but billionaires aren’t looking for average, so we’ll earmark $100,000 a year for a super-premium trainer.
But we want abs to be visible, so we need a private chef, which—for a good one—should run us another $100,000 or so. Private chefs need to know what the billionaire’s body needs, though, so an onsite nutritionist seems a sensible purchase—another $100,000. For about $300,000 annually, then, an Avengers-like team of health professionals can be assembled. Seems like a steal, no?
(Estimated salaries from ZipRecruiter, doubled to account for billionaire math.)
Alter Your Atmosphere (from: $30,000)
Hyperbaric chambers, or HBOT chambers, increase air pressure to two or three times the norm. Historically, they’ve been used most as a solve for decompression sickness, but in recent years the technology has found its way out of the strictly necessary and into the somewhat-lawless world of wellness.
Take the Oxynova 9, for example, which starts around $30,000. The gist behind it, and other machines like it, is that 10 or 15 minutes in the tank at regular intervals pumps the level of oxygen in your blood way up, facilitating a wide array of potential benefits.
The brand touts growth of new blood vessels, immune system boosts, pain relief, inflammation suppression, wound healing, lower stress levels, better sleep patterns, quicker physical recovery, detoxifying the body, energy amplification, and more on its site.
Edit Your Genes (from: Absurdly Expensive)
Liz Parrish, the CEO of BioViva, believes that attaching a number to the question of human longevity is cowardice—Parrish believes we’re at war with death itself, and victory is nothing short of total temporal agelessness.
Sure, you can die because of a tornado or a car wreck, but time-related death? Don’t be silly.
BioViva and other companies like it are pushing gene therapy tech aimed at aging to new heights. Instead of addressing common issues that come with aging—high blood pressure, high cholesterol, etc.—the company is targeting the aging of the body at a cellular level.
The company has patented a gene delivery process called adeno-associated virus delivery, which is effectively a virus loaded with genetic material that’s going to slow and even reverse aging, as well as something called a CMV, which works similarly but with vastly larger genetic payloads. The what of age-fighting genetics hasn’t been outlined publicly yet, though. Coincidentally, neither has nor the cost of such a therapeutic treatment. Our best bet: very, very high.
Commission Body Armor (from: $250,000)
Enormous wealth can safeguard most things, but the fragility of the human body is apparent no matter the space one places between them and the rest of the world. Thus, for those hugely rich schmucks whose physical well-being might move global markets, somewhat extreme measures are taken.
In the instance of one unidentified billionaire, those measures take shape as customer body armor made by supercar maker McLaren. After a series of operations left his body extremely vulnerable to even day-day-day collisions (bumping into someone at a party, let’s say), he worked incognito with the McLaren Human Performance team, a subsect of the company’s Applied Technologies division.
The chest plate—which looks like it might appeal to Tony Stark—is made of materials like Zylon, which has a cross-sectional strength greater than carbon fiber or steel, and some traditional touches in the form of Dyneema fibers, which are often used in the manufacturing of bulletproof vests. Ultimately, the life-proof vest cost the billionaire a mere $250,000—or about what you’d need to spend on a new McLaren.
Buy an Island (from $90,000)
Buying an island has been cool for decades or more, but one of the ultimate acts of capitalism had a moment in the early 2000s. Leo DiCaprio bought some of Belize in 2005. David Copperfield took a slice of the Bahamas in 2006. Mel Gibson spent a fortune on a Japanese island in 2003 then made Passion of the Christ. Johnny Depp got so deep into Jack Sparrow he bought some of the Caribbean in 2004. But aristocrats have been doing it for ages (though at one point it was fashionable to simply annex the land rather than use currency).
The benefits to one’s eternal health are both obvious and less so. For one, it’s easy to imagine one might be in a more relaxed state of mind if one could hop, skip, and jump to an island they are the de facto masters of (no bickering over beach chairs or worrying about having your sun hat stolen is a huge plus).
On a more grim note, though, owning land inaccessible by land has the added benefit of being a safe haven should a zombie-like event shake the planet. As you probably know, islands come in all shapes, sizes, and prices. (This Nicaraguan enclave seems like a steal at 90K.)
Leave the Earth (from $450,000)
Though we’re at least tens of thousands of years into betting on the total destruction of the earth, one could be forgiven for thinking we’ve edged a bit closer in recent years (something something, 100 seconds to midnight, something something).
Such as it is, it’s not far fetched to assume the world’s bougiest humans have some kind of plan in place should the planet begin shooing us off of it. At present, there is really only one way off Earth: up. Companies like Virgin Galactic, run by billionaire Richard Branson, are selling tickets to the great void for $450,000 a pop.
Do you get a discount for a one-way ticket?