What’s the solution to the ageing dilemma? As we grow older and live longer as a nation it puts strain on the state and on our own resources. According to the 2017 book The 100-Year Life: Living and Working in an Age of Longevity by Lynda Gratton and Andrew Scott half the babies born in wealthier countries since 2000 will see their 100th birthday – 103 in the UK – changing everything from work and economics to our relationships. While living longer, potentially to 100 years and more, is to be welcomed, no-one would want to live it in poor health and relative poverty.
The challenges of long-term care are well documented. State pension ages for men and women have been increasing and governments have launched new initiatives such as pensions freedoms and auto enrolment in recent years in order to boost individual retirement savings, which for most people are inadequate. As the 100-year life states, what this means for individuals is: “If we live for longer we need to invest more in our financial assets to support a longer life. However, a longer life is not just about getting the finances right but also about making sure you invest in your health, your families and friends and your own productive abilities. A longer life will lead us to reassess how we balance these financial and non- financial forces over our lives.”*
A recent survey shows that women’s retirement savings are set to fall short by 16 years, while men are on average likely to come up 10 years short. So, although the average woman in the UK wants to retire at 63, if they did so their savings at retirement would run out by the time they were 69, assuming they are spending £27k per year. The survey based this on an average life expectancy of 85 and average savings of £392 per month. It says that in order for Brits to fund their living expenses to age 85, they either need to drastically increase the amount they save or continue working for significantly longer.
I believe Advisers such as ourselves, are in a unique position to add value and expertise to clients’ wellbeing by helping them do this by building the products and tools that enable them to meet the wealth and health challenges of the future.