This is something I'm seeing a lot more frequently. Even though everyone is aware that the population is living longer, for some reason they don't think this applies to them. People will often look to see how long their parents or grandparents lived for and use that as a benchmark. Whilst there might be some element of this in our DNA, we are living a lot longer than previous generations, and my children can probably expect to live well beyond 100.
When I prepare lifetime cashflow forecasts for my clients, the default age to death is 100. This surprises some people but I find the conversation of expected and perceived longevity to be a valuable one. We have to make the assumption that not everyone is average and they might live longer than they think they will.
Analysis by Retirement Advantage shows that the average 50-64 year old man will likely live until 88, while the average 50-64 year old woman is expected to live until 90.
As a 45 year old I can expect to live 3 years longer than today's 65 year olds, some of which will be in better health.
I also know from talking to clients that they expect their capital to survive longer than they will, usually without any evidence to support this too. What I have to do with my clients is show them how long their money will last if they live for longer than they anticipate and work out what they are likely to spend in the meantime, factoring in potential long term care costs at later life. Hopefully then they will have a clearer idea of what their financial future looks like.
‘Planning for retirement can be a complicated business and no one knows how long they will actually live,' said Andrew Tully, pensions technical director at Retirement Advantage. ‘The pension freedoms have given people the opportunity to plunder pension pots early, often before planned retirement ages. This is potentially storing up trouble for the future, especially if people are underestimating how long these pensions need to last in retirement,' he added.