Impact of health

It's great that we're now living longer, however this does make income planning in retirement even more important.

What is longevity?

It’s another word for ‘life expectancy’, or how long you’re likely to live. You may think longevity is down to your parents, your family and your genes but it’s more likely to be affected by your lifestyle, behaviour, and to some extent your level of wealth.

What’s so important about longevity?

It’s an important concept when you’re thinking about retirement. Your health will alter as you get older, and the amount of time you live is likely to affect your finances as well. This is why you should take responsibility for organising your finances now, and of course, looking after yourself – in body and mind – so that you promote healthy living, for the longer term. 

How does longevity affect my income then?

Longevity can affect your income in two specific ways. First, the providers offering you products like annuities will ask you questions to try and determine how long you’re likely to live. They'll use your answers when making an offer to provide you with an income that is guaranteed to last a lifetime.

HUB Financial Solutions, part of the Just Group, offers an annuity comparison service that could help you make sense of your options.

Go to the online annuity planner

The financial impact of living longer

Take a look at the video below which explains how living longer can affect your finances.

So, how long will I live?

Perhaps it’s a good thing that none of us know. But looking backwards, we can see that people are living longer – which puts even greater emphasis on planning carefully for your retirement. Some of the most thought-provoking statistics that put this into perspective come from the Office for National Statistics:

  • Currently, the average female life expectancy at birth is 82.8 years – it’s 79.1 years, on average, for men.
  • People aged 75 can now expect to live an average of 13.0 years if they are a woman, or 12.0 years if they are a man.
  • A baby born in 2011 is almost eight times more likely to reach 100 than one born in 1931 – and while a baby girl born in 2011 has a one in three chance of living to 100, a baby boy has a one in four chance of celebrating with a ‘happy birthday’ from the monarch.

When you think about it, and consider that you spend only 30 or 40 years of your life earning an income – it's clear how important it is to plan your income in retirement.

Curious about the chances of living to a certain age?

We’re no Mystic Meg, but we do have a calculator which helps give an indication of the chances of living to a certain age.

Based on UK Pensions Industry Data* and your own assessment of your general health, this tool provides a fascinating insight – so why not take a look?

*The Continuous Mortality Investigation (2015)