Why You Live to 100 in Our Financial Planning Models

When we sit down with our clients to analyse the model of their financial positioning right through to age 100, some question why we don’t simply stop at say, 85? Whilst varying statistics typically show life expectancy to range from the late 70s to late 80s, each use differing data and assumptions. Also, these are averages, and as we tell our clients, ‘you are not average!’. Hence, we apply cautious assumptions, to give you peace of mind.

So How Long Will I Live?

By way of background, in 2016 the Office for National statistics (ONS) drew the following conclusion from their research: 1 in 3 of today’s babies will live to see 100. Yet what if, like me, you have already been around a while, what are our odds? At age 57, my ONS life expectancy is 86. This statistic is based upon the 75% of people who are fortunate to survive to retirement age, as 25% of us sadly don’t due to a variety of factors. Check out your life expectancy prediction here, and if it comes up with a negative number, pat yourself on the back and share the secret with us!

Before You Get Carried Away…

If you wish to get a more accurate outlook, the Risk Prediction Organisation (yes, it exists) digs deeper into family history, weight, exercise, alcohol and tobacco consumption, and more to establish life expectancy. Factoring in these adjustments, my expectancy drops to 75 (I’ll skip the sound reasoning of why this is the case). Check out yours here.

The trouble is, how much credence is given to these. The two main things to draw from them, however, are:

  • Our lifestyle factors massively influence these figures, with excess or absence of certain factors increasing or decreasing the overall age. That said, we have all heard about Uncle Jack, who only ate fish and chips, liked his beer, and smoked 60 Woodbine a day, and went on to live happily until he dropped dead at 90!

  • With better dietary knowledge and a more plentiful food supply; better healthcare; and better safety standards across most aspects of our lives, longevity is on the whole increasing, albeit with the paradox of research showing increasing sedentary lifestyles and obesity!

Takeaways

No one can truly predict how long you or I will live, for as much is outside our control as is within. However, we can be quite sure that were you to live the life of Jeanne Calment, who took up fencing at 85, and cycled till she was 100, you would be less than happy to find yourself trying to get by on your State Pension alone for much of your twilight years, with your wealth having been exhausted during your 80s. So, we apply an old military maxim, where we hope for the best and plan for the worst, thereby creating for you, a robust financial plan, which will enable you to live the life you desire with peace of mind.

Karl Lavery

Director