Planning can easily go onto the back burner
when so much change is around us. Stepping
back and refocusing on the future helps our
perspective on the present. There could be a
longevity bonus ahead.
What’s a longevity bonus?
Your longevity bonus is how much longer you
are now expected to live than at birth
As the first Baby Boomers turn 75 this year,
the women are living four years longer than
expected at birth, and the men 9 years. What’s
more, the men (on average) will live another
12 years (according to the Government
Actuary) and the women an extra 14. Across
both genders, that’s nearly a 30% bonus
increase in their expected longevity at birth.
What lies ahead for them? On average, they
can expect 5 more years of ‘able’ living, 4
‘less able’ (but still independent) and 4 years
dependent (men 3, women 5). Some bonus!
Is it such a big deal?
The personal benefits are large. The longer
we live, the longer we are likely to live and
with less dependency at the end.
Managing longevity as well as possible from
an earlier age increases our potential to live
well, longer and independently.
It also prepares us better for further changes
along the way. For example:
Governments have reacted slowly to the
increased numbers of older people. One
result is the pressure on aged care.
Managing our longevity better increases
the possibility of staying independent of
aged care longer.
Since health costs are on the rise,
governments are increasingly likely to
reward people for staying healthy.
Planning to stay well can result in a
win-win bonus for us and our community.
Staying in better shape can result in
another win-win outcome, with the
economy and ourselves both benefiting
from longer work, volunteering, active
grandparenting and many other valueadding and meaningful activities
By seeing longevity as an opportunity
rather than a threat, our mindset will be
more positive and we will be more
creative and active in our communities.
Progress in all these areas will be more rapid
if governments devote more resources to
increasing longevity awareness from midlife
so that we all understand and seek out the
opportunities for a more fruitful life
It not just the personal bonus. The longevity
dividend from greater community longevity
awareness means that the older community
increasingly pays for its share of increasing
costs as well as having a better life.
Finally, with this example to younger
generations, we set a standard for a more
responsible and healthy community.