For most of us living longer is one of the benefits of modern life but has it occurred to you that this can also be a problem?
This means is that you may last longer than your savings. As it becomes a reality for many people, this is something we really need to talk about, especially as a recent report claims that old age starts at age 74.
For many of us the idea of old age starts at 65 with that being a traditional retirement age in many countries but new research by academics at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis in Vienna argues that old age should be defined not by age itself but by how long people are likely to live.
As an example, in the 1950s the average 65 year old in the UK could expect to live for up to another 15 years. Today however, people are living much longer and with better health. A recent estimate by the Office of National Statistics suggests that someone retiring today at age 65 could live for another 24 years, significantly longer than their parents’ generation. With this in mind the Austrian researchers claim that old age should be defined as having something in the region of 15 years to live so that would mean that old age doesn’t start until age 74. Is this a good thing or a bad thing?
Although many of us will relish and enjoy the extra years they will not be much fun if money is tight. With the demise of traditional occupation pension schemes and the overall cost of living meaning that state pension provision will simply not be enough, the onus is on us all as individuals to provide for ourselves.
Many governments are slowly raising the state pension age and this is inevitable with the demographic pressure on government finances. As a society we will need to alter both our expectations and perceptions as we realize that working for say, 40 years and being retired for another 30 years simply won’t work without proper planning.
It is easy to find excuses to put off saving but putting off the expenses of being retired is not an option and we won’t all have the ability, or even the desire, to carry on working into our 70s. The sooner we start saving and investing for the long term, the better the choices we will give ourselves in our later years.
There are a number of options available to expats, many of which are flexible, and these will take into account your specific circumstances.
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