Stayin’ alive

News & Insights

MoneyPlus Features Team

28th October 2014 at 11:20am

Make no (old) bones about it: our population’s getting older.

Did you know over the past two generations we’ve seen over a decade added to the life expectancy of a man? Back in the early fifties he could bop till he dropped at 66 however by 2010 he could rock on to 78, and, if you’re a woman you’re in luck, you can remain on the dance floor for a further 4 years.

The top 100

The Office for National Statistics also estimates the number of centenarians those living past 100 in the UK has risen by more than 70 per cent in just the last decade alone. This increase in life expectancy saw the number of people reaching 100 hit nearly 14,000 last year.(those living past 100) in the UK has risen by more than 70 per cent in just the last decade alone. This increase in life expectancy saw the number of people reaching 100 hit nearly 14,000 last year. And, women have the edge again, topping the centenarian chart at around the 12,000 with men much further down the parade charting at 2000.

It’s a trend that’s not gone unnoticed even by the Department of Work and Pensions, they’ve had to increase their “centenarian staff” seven-fold to ensure congratulations cards and letters are sent on time – I’m sure Her Majesty would not be amused at missing your 100th. In fact, with the spiralling reliance on digital communication and it’s continued innovation, future heads of State may require considerable time and no measure of IT skills to congratulate their ageing subjects, as stats now suggest that one in three children born today will reach the grand age of 100.

This large increase in life expectancy even led one scientist Dr Aubrey De Grey to predict the first person to reach 150 years old has already been born. Even more incredibly, he also believes that the first person to live for 1,000 years will be born in the next two decades. De Grey suggests ‘’We have a sufficiently comprehensive panel of therapies to enable us to push back the ill health of old age faster than time is passing’.

Will money be too tight to mention?

Simply said, whilst it’s wonderful that the fountain of youth appears to be drip feeding its life preserving nectar into the gene pool, this has wider implications for the world and how we thrive in it – yes we’re living longer but will we prosper?

A life after work can bring space and time not previously enjoyed. It’s an opportunity to collect experiences and engage in activities you perhaps struggled to manage alongside a busy career. Research shows 43 per cent of people imagine their retirement years will be some of the most exciting of their life, while two thirds want to use the time to fulfil all their ambitions. Other research also show’s 34 per cent would like to see their loved ones financially secure. However, that quality of life may require some significant savings. A little prior thought and responsible retirement planning could make your retirement years a time to thrive and indulge yourself and others.

Brass in your pocket

Also, when you retire, you don’t want to have to become the great pretender, it’s also not prudent to become a big spender (your nest egg needs to last), however it would be pleasant just to have the ‘confidence to spend’. A phrase actually a coined by one of our customers, it was what she felt getting financial advice did for her prior to retirement. Her adviser gave her the confidence to spend her money because he explained what the retirement landscape might look like and the challenges that we face as individuals and as a society by people living longer.

My way

Let retirement be on your own terms – your way. It increasingly looks like we could be spending in excess of 30 years in retirement, which could be almost as long as the amount of time we spend in work. It’s never too early or too late to start planning for the future, but the sooner you can get it on the radar the better. Taking control, seeking advice where necessary and being the ruler of your extended destiny, not only means you may have the necessary funds to enjoy a comfortable retirement, but it could also reduce any level of uncertainty around when you’ll actually be able to start enjoying it.