Living Longer and Retirement Planning

Last week I watched a video about the oldest practicing lawyer in India. He is 99 years old and has been practicing law for 74 years. He will not take any new cases, but he has 15 left to finish this year. He will then retire at the age of 100 and hope to enjoy a “long and happy retirement.”

Today this is considered and oddity but, could it become the norm at some point? The world population is getting older, the number of people and older is expected to increase from 516 million in 2009 to 1.53 billion in 2050, according to data released by the US Census Bureau.

The number of centenarians (100 years) has increased to more than 340,000 worldwide versus a few thousand in the fifties. By midcentury, the number of centenarians in the US could grow from 75,000 to 600,000.

Advances in medicine, healthcare and education concerning lifestyle choices have been big factors in longer living. Problems like heart disease, and many types of cancer a few years ago were the beginning of the end, now with proper treatment and monitoring they have become health issues rather than life-ending.

As a segment of the population grows fast another slows down, while the age group over 65 is expected to see a jump by 2050, the group under 15 years old will grow at a much slower rate, from 1.83 billion to 1.93 billion. In 2017, the number of people over 65 will exceed the number under age 5.

The aging population will stress Social Security, Medicare and health services, while the disappearance of pensions and lack of savings for retirement will them modifying their original thoughts of retirement. Longer and healthier life expectancies will find people working longer at their current job or starting a new career to provide income, benefits, or to remain active will be the norm rather than the exception.