In my last Blog, we addressed the shift occurring from the traditional retirement planning conversations to that of life planning to address this subject in both a more holistic way, as well as to support the changing aspects of retirement itself.  But there’s a new trend and opportunity for the financial industry to take this concept a step further via Longevity Planning/Management as an all-encompassing approach to better help people prepare for the second half of life and ensure quality of life in this new longevity too.

As one of the only financial gerontologists, my work has predominantly focused on helping the industry better understand not only the longevity story, but to better position products to support the financial ramifications of this new longevity.  Regardless of whether it’s referred to as Longevity Planning or Longevity Management, it’s ultimately about helping people live long and live well physically, mentally, and financially.

Having spent the last 15 years working exclusively in the financial space giving over 1K presentations, some of the most positive feedback I’ve received from advisors revolves around Longevity Planning/Management and the three primary focuses key to helping consumers understand and address these issues: Lifespan, Healthspan, and Wealthspan.  In fact, based upon this feedback I’ve received, many advisors shared that they actually put these three words in front of them before every client and/or prospect meeting to guide the discussion to be sure they hit all the marks!

While we’ll break down each of these issues in more detail in future Blogs, let me provide just a basic overview of each one.  Lifespan is about the reality of living long and what that actually looks like today; Healthspan is about how we’re going to be here long; and Wealthspan is how we’re going to finance it.

So let’s start with Lifespan by sharing some significant facts:

  1. Life expectancy is up 30 years in the last century;
  2. The 65+ population expected to be the majority for the first time ever;
  3. The 65+ population at work is up 58% in the last decade;
  4. The 85+ population is the fastest growing segment of the population;
  5. The 90+ population has tripled in the last 30 years;
  6. The 100+ population has doubled in the last 20 years;
  7. The chance of living to 100 is up 44% in the last 10 years;
  8. Retiree healthcare costs up 500% in the last 20 years … and climbing!

Sources: U.S. Census 2010/Center for Disease Control (CDC) 2016

Most Americans recognize that we’re experiencing an historic aging boom – more people are living longer than ever.  But when you put all these statistics together, it confirms and expands the story even further.  Yet the majority of people are completely unaware just how much we’re aging … and how much aging itself is changing too.

Clearly this is one of the reasons why Longevity Planning/Management is becoming such an important part of retirement/life planning discussions … and why so many in the industry are shifting their client/prospect focus to this more holistic approach to address the numerous financial aspects and ramifications of this new longevity.