Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

The danger of underestimating how long we will live

21.06.2004


People retiring in the next decade or so will live considerably healthier, more active and longer lives than their predecessors. But according to research by James Banks and colleagues, many are drastically underestimating the chances of their retirement lasting at least 10 years – and hence may not be saving ‘enough`.

The first results of Banks et al’s study of people’s expected longevity – which draw on data gathered in the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing and are published in ESRC’s new report Seven Ages of Man and Woman as part of Social Science week – show that:

People currently approaching retirement will receive the most generous state pensions of any generation – and will enjoy considerably healthier and longer lives.



But on average, both men and women aged 50-64 are underestimating their chances of living to 75.

Women report chances only slightly greater to those of men. As a result, women underestimate their longevity chances by considerably more than men.

The ‘true’ probability of a 60-64 year old woman reaching the age of 75 is greater than 80%. But, on average, 60-64 year olds report a chance of just 65%.

Those with more education and income report a higher chance of living to 75 than those with less, although the effects are rather small – less than five percentage points – and less significant for men than for women.

Different dimensions of health are strongly correlated with expectations: those with better self-reported health report higher chances, and those with previous conditions such as heart attack, along with smokers, report lower chances.

The data also include measures of attitudes to age that may capture unobserved vitality and health as well as attitudes, optimism or differences in reporting behaviour. These are positively correlated with longevity expectations over and above the measured health and socio-economic variables – those who think old age ‘begins’ later also report higher chances of living to later ages.

Social engagement (as measured by the frequency with which people see friends) is also positively correlated with subjective life expectancy.

Expected longevity is a key variable for individuals and governments planning their retirement resources. Errors in expectations could have important policy implications. If, as seems likely, people take decisions based on their subjective expectations rather than the true probabilities, unrealistic expectations could well generate adverse consequences in the future.

Becky Gammon | alfa
Further information:
http://www.esrc.ac.uk

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Statistical method developed at TU Dresden allows the detection of higher order dependencies
07.02.2020 | Technische Universität Dresden

nachricht Novel study underscores microbial individuality
13.12.2019 | Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Skyrmions like it hot: Spin structures are controllable even at high temperatures

Investigation of the temperature dependence of the skyrmion Hall effect reveals further insights into possible new data storage devices

The joint research project of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) that had previously demonstrated...

Im Focus: Making the internet more energy efficient through systemic optimization

Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, recently completed a 5-year research project looking at how to make fibre optic communications systems more energy efficient. Among their proposals are smart, error-correcting data chip circuits, which they refined to be 10 times less energy consumptive. The project has yielded several scientific articles, in publications including Nature Communications.

Streaming films and music, scrolling through social media, and using cloud-based storage services are everyday activities now.

Im Focus: New synthesis methods enhance 3D chemical space for drug discovery

After helping develop a new approach for organic synthesis -- carbon-hydrogen functionalization -- scientists at Emory University are now showing how this approach may apply to drug discovery. Nature Catalysis published their most recent work -- a streamlined process for making a three-dimensional scaffold of keen interest to the pharmaceutical industry.

"Our tools open up whole new chemical space for potential drug targets," says Huw Davies, Emory professor of organic chemistry and senior author of the paper.

Im Focus: Quantum fluctuations sustain the record superconductor

Superconductivity approaching room temperature may be possible in hydrogen-rich compounds at much lower pressures than previously expected

Reaching room-temperature superconductivity is one of the biggest dreams in physics. Its discovery would bring a technological revolution by providing...

Im Focus: New coronavirus module in SORMAS

HZI-developed app for disease control is expanded to stop the spread of the pathogen

At the end of December 2019, the first cases of pneumonia caused by a novel coronavirus were reported from the Chinese city of Wuhan. Since then, infections...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

70th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting: Around 70 Laureates set to meet with young scientists from approx. 100 countries

12.02.2020 | Event News

11th Advanced Battery Power Conference, March 24-25, 2020 in Münster/Germany

16.01.2020 | Event News

Laser Colloquium Hydrogen LKH2: fast and reliable fuel cell manufacturing

15.01.2020 | Event News

 
Latest News

Electric solid propellant -- can it take the heat?

14.02.2020 | Physics and Astronomy

Pitt study uncovers new electronic state of matter

14.02.2020 | Physics and Astronomy

Researchers observe quantum interferences in real-time using a new extreme ultra-violet light spectroscopy technique

14.02.2020 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>