Our survey says: Big data on the 50+ age group

 28 April 2023
Our survey says: Big data on the 50+ age group

With life expectancies rising, it is small wonder that both government and commerce are finally waking up to the power of the retiree pound - and vote. Big data from surveys and statistics is also throwing aside the cliches and stereotyping of ageing retirees / seniors and their interests, needs and wants.

You can already see this in action in the Saga Cruises “Experience is Everything” TV adverts for example. Footage of truly terrible 1970s family holidays as a young couple contrast with the enjoyment and activities of the clearly now much older couple enjoying life on a luxury cruise. (I know, as I am on a cruise now and certainly do not class myself as ‘old’! What’s more the age range on our ship is huge.)

Longer lives, and getting longer

Anyone aged 65 in the UK can expect to live for another 20 years for men, and 22 years for women. There is even better news for any children born in the 2020s, as boys can expect to live on average to the age of 87.3 years, and girls to 90.2 years.

Just how many people are aged 65 or over?

The Census 2021 reveals that approaching 20% of the UK population are aged 65 or over.

“Over 11 million people – 18.6% of the total population – were aged 65 years or older, compared with 16.4% at the time of the previous census in 2011. This included over half a million (527,900) people who were at least 90 years of age.”

What’s more, in 20 years’ time, over 17 million people, a quarter of the population, will be aged 65 and over. (Of course, not all of those aged 65+ people will be retired, just as there is a percentage aged under 65 who are retired or not dependent on working for an income.)

Banishing stereotypes with big data

Dr Elizabeth Webb, head of research at Age UK, points out that:

“Older people don’t all fit neatly into convenient boxes and stereotypes. They are enormously varied in terms of their age, health, capabilities, independence, disability, their caring responsibilities, engagement with the labour market, incomes, and the extent to which they're dependent on the state … Later life is diverse and complex.”

Big data can also show the strong economic advantages of longer life and better health. According to the International Longevity Centre UK:

“Good quality data presented in really clever ways can identify and target interventions better, that can help address inequalities … If you keep people healthier for longer, they work more, they volunteer more, they care more and they spend more money.”

So, what does this mean for estate planning?

In short, you need to plan for the long term in terms of your potential care needs. Not everyone will be fortunate enough to live to a ripe old age without some measure of physical and cognitive decline. (That’s just the reality of the nature of aging.) By planning now for long-term care you may need when older, you can ensure you have sufficient funding in place to continue to enjoy life with the support you need in place. That provision will also help the next generation/s, who otherwise might need to help fund your care.

The cost of living and care

A recent survey by Age UK revealed the impact of the cost-of-living crisis on older people in January 2023, and it did not make comforting reading.

  • 9.6 million over-60s (60%) were worried about being able to heat their homes when they wanted to
  • 7.2 million (45%) were worried about affording other essentials such as food

In addition, a November 2022 survey had already found that:

“10% (1.6 million) of over-60s in the UK are already cutting back or stopping their social care, or expect to do so in the months to come, because they can’t afford the cost. This particularly affects older people who pay for their own care.”

The Care and Support Alliance (CSA) also found that 2.6 million people in England aged 50+ are now living with some level of unmet care requirement

So, the more you can plan and budget for your future care now, the better.

Want to discuss your estate planning?

Just get in touch - we’re happy to help.

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I have no reservations about Panthera - they appear to be a forward thinking company making life for the client a pleasure to deal with. I would thoroughly recommend them to anyone who needs sound professional advice concerning Estate Planning.

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