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The Implications Of Longevity – Some Things To Know

The Implications Of Longevity – Some Things To Know

By Susan Williams

The world is aging. The World Health Organization shared “the number of older persons — those aged 60 years or over — is expected to more than double by 2050 and to more than triple by 2100“.

The implications of this increased longevity will undoubtedly bring both challenges and opportunities.

To help us better understand the impacts of this increasing longevity, we spoke with Michael Nuschke from Retirement Singularity. Michael’s previous experience was in the financial sector helping individuals ensure that they had saved enough to fund their retirement. He now specializes in understanding the future of longevity and the implications that this may have on retirement.

Here is our Learning Bites episode discussing this topic;

These are some of the highlights of our discussion;

How Longevity Has Evolved

  • Longevity is defined as living a long life. Michael suggests that the terms life span and health span are also now being used in reference to longevity
  • Life spans have been steadily increasing over time. For example 200 to 300 years ago, the average life span was 30 years. With the medical advancements, improvements in hygiene, discovery of antibiotics and our ability to treat conditions that were previously terminal along with reducing the number of child deaths have all contributed to increasing our longevity
  • Over the last decade, we have seen an increase in life expectancy by about 3 months per year. Average life span has now increased to approximately 80 to 85 years which is almost double to what it was 150 years ago
  • What is interesting however is that lately however there has been a slight dip in average life spans as a result of some of our social and cultural issues. For example the opioid crisis and addictions, specific health issues and even suicide have been contributors to this drop

The Future Of Longevity

  • With the advances now being realized in science and technology along with the discoveries associated with DNA are all beginning to have an impact on our future longevity as we begin to better understand our genetic makeup and creating the potential opportunity to change our genes to increase longevity
  • Medical innovations and breakthroughs are also coming much faster than in previous years. With the addition of computing power and high tech tools we are now able to more quickly engineer these advances much quicker then over the last fifty years
  • Some people are projecting that the next ten years advancements will come at the pace that was previously set over a one hundred year span

Some Implications Of Extended Longevity

  • We are getting closer to having people live in relatively good health past the age of 100 if this is the case then the idea of retirement as we previously know it will need to change. Possibly becoming a next phase in life where someone embraces a new career or activity will become the new norm
  • For example, the idea of living to 120+ is now potentially within reach. Should someone retire at the age of 65, they would then really be only around half way through their lifespan. So the idea of “winding down” or retiring at that age in the traditional sense is really no longer viable
  • Here are some of the significant implications of longevity should someone live a longer life;
    • People will need to be prepared to fund a much longer lifespan
    • People will need to be prepared to spend money on getting and staying healthy
    • People will need to be prepared to be open to accepting things that possibly haven’t been discovered yet
    • Pension plans and their calculations will need to be reviewed and revised based on new life span expectations
  • Some of the positives of an increased life span are better health, more time to enjoy our lives and potentially the opportunity to explore more aspects of our lives
  • Previously, people used to get old and die. Now with increase longevity we can change this mindset. For instance, here is a thought – what if aging became something optional. With so many changes and advancements coming, anyone who is aging will more than likely be impacted.

Things To Focus On Today To Embrace Your Longevity

  • Mike has a code on things you can do today to help you live a longer life tomorrow. The acronym is RECIPE;
    • R – Reframing retirement. Rethink your views of retirement in this new world we are entering. Does your current views reflect the new realities?
    • E – Elevate our health. Stay healthy, eat a nutritious diet, ensure you get enough sleep and exercise
    • C – Stay connected. You need to stay socially connected and engaged with other people
    • I – Sustainable income and investment. You may need to take a look at ways to ensure an ongoing sustainable income with potentially other sources of income and cash flow options. Also ensure that you invest in yourself and your earning power. You may need to develop new skills and capabilities to remain employable as you age
    • P -Planning. Plan out this portion of your life. From your finances to your career to your lifestyle
    • E – Enlighten yourself and others. Stay informed and engaged with what is happening. Educate yourself on the different developments and options

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Susan Williams is the Founder of Booming Encore. Being a Boomer herself, Susan loves to discover and share ways to live life to the fullest. She shares her experiences, observations and opinions on living life after 50 and tries to embrace Booming Encore's philosophy of making sure every day matters.