Only just short of a third (32%) of the UK population will reach retirement “healthy”, according to discussions that took place at an International Longevity Centre–UK, (ILC-UK) event.
Gains in life expectancy have apparently outstripped gains in healthy life expectancy, meaning that potentially over two thirds of people in the UK could find that they are living their retirement years in ill-health.
The debate highlighted that issues such as the government plans to encourage people to work longer and the standard of living that people will have, as well as level of care available, may all be undermined if these challenges are not tackled now. There is a need for greater awareness of the implications, so that Government, the financial services industry and individuals together may identify solutions to start addressing the issues now.
Professor Les Mayhew of Cass Business School said: “The good news is that we are all living longer than previous generations. However, if policymakers fail to respond to the longevity challenge, taxes could increase, public spending including pensions could be squeezed and pressures for immigration could increase.
“Longevity needs to be managed if we are to protect living standards of future generations. While a bigger population leads to greater GDP, it does not necessarily translate into higher living standards. Part of the solution lies in re-calibrating our approach to health by recognising the importance of prevention and how health and social care are delivered.”
ILC-UK statistics show that:
- Around one-third of babies born in 2012 in the United Kingdom are expected to survive to celebrate their 100th birthday.
- Latest life expectancy statistics for England & Wales show that a man aged 65 will live for 18.2 years and a woman aged 65, for 20.8 years.
- Of the top four diseases in the UK, dementia, cancer, stroke and heart disease – dementia contributes to over 50% of the care costs, but receives only 6% of the funding.
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