Who wants to live forever?
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According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), one in three of today’s babies will live to see their 100th birthday. We are living longer due to improved working conditions, reduced smoking rates and improved healthcare – all of which have contributed to increasing life expectancy from generation to generation.
Worldwide, life expectancy is higher than ever before. In fact, a United Nations report shows that 20% of the population will be aged 65 years and older by 2050 — a figure which is likely to continue rising.
With living to 100 now an achievable possibility, is there anything we can do to help us along the way?
A website called ‘A Place for Mom’ has collected words of advice from centenarians around the globe on what it is which has seen them achieve such a great age. Somebody looking for the secret to long life will most probably be disappointed though…
Here are the top ten things centenarians say helped them live to 100:
1 Ignore traditional dietary advice
2 Eat a healthy diet
3 Stay active
4 Keep a positive attitude
5 Drink alcohol regularly
6 Abstain from alcohol/smoking
7 Maintain meaningful relationships
8 Get a good night’s sleep
9 Be nice to others
10 Have faith
To be honest, there are no real surprises – we all know that keeping active and eating a healthy diet are probably important. There are some conflicting messages though. Should we drink alcohol or not?
Scrolling through some of the ‘longevity secrets’ from UK-based centenarians would suggest that they are falling on the side of having a little tipple:
Grace Jones (111): “A little drop of whisky every night.”
Jack Reynolds (105): “Whisky with tea in the morning, whisky with lemonade at night.”
Pauline Dunhill (104): “Gin and tonic every night.”
Doris Olive Netting (100): “Daily pint of Guinness.”
Widening the search to more international folk, the messages are more mixed and include ‘delicious food, sleeping well’; ‘staying out of others’ business, no junk food’; and ‘going with the flow’.
The oldest person on the list, 127-year-old Leandra Lumbreras from Mexico (who has since passed away) said: “Chocolate, avoiding marriage, sleeping for days on end.”
Imagine, though, if we all lived to 127 – that’s an incredible 60 years of retirement to enjoy and, of course, to fund. According to the ONS, anecdotal evidence suggests that we typically under-estimate our life expectancy. While the evidence suggests that we probably won’t live to nearly 130, we could well live longer than we think we will.
This increase in longevity means the demand for care and care home places is increasing. Funding is predominately dependent on Local Authorities, whose own stretched resources are limiting their ability to pay. In consequence, care homes are having to look to self-funders to subsidise this short-fall.
Here at Goodman Care Fees Advisers we specialise in providing truly independent advice to clients, deputies and attorneys on later life financial planning issues, including how to meet the cost of care fees.
Our advisers, Neil Whitaker and Andy Kirk, have attained the Later Life Adviser Accreditation and are proud to be full members of the Society of Later Life Advisers (SOLLA). This means they are well-placed to provide trusted advice for those in later life.
Find out more about care fees funding options at home or in a residential setting by visiting our "Financial Advice for Care Fees" page.