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 Deep Brain Stimulation Provides Sustained Relief for Severe Depression
19.03.2019 | Universitätsklinikum Freiburg

nachricht AI study of risk factors in type 1 diabetes
06.03.2019 | University of Gothenburg

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: The taming of the light screw

DESY and MPSD scientists create high-order harmonics from solids with controlled polarization states, taking advantage of both crystal symmetry and attosecond electronic dynamics. The newly demonstrated technique might find intriguing applications in petahertz electronics and for spectroscopic studies of novel quantum materials.

The nonlinear process of high-order harmonic generation (HHG) in gases is one of the cornerstones of attosecond science (an attosecond is a billionth of a...

Im Focus: Magnetic micro-boats

Nano- and microtechnology are promising candidates not only for medical applications such as drug delivery but also for the creation of little robots or flexible integrated sensors. Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) have created magnetic microparticles, with a newly developed method, that could pave the way for building micro-motors or guiding drugs in the human body to a target, like a tumor. The preparation of such structures as well as their remote-control can be regulated using magnetic fields and therefore can find application in an array of domains.

The magnetic properties of a material control how this material responds to the presence of a magnetic field. Iron oxide is the main component of rust but also...

Im Focus: Self-healing coating made of corn starch makes small scratches disappear through heat

Due to the special arrangement of its molecules, a new coating made of corn starch is able to repair small scratches by itself through heat: The cross-linking via ring-shaped molecules makes the material mobile, so that it compensates for the scratches and these disappear again.

Superficial micro-scratches on the car body or on other high-gloss surfaces are harmless, but annoying. Especially in the luxury segment such surfaces are...

Im Focus: Stellar cartography

The Potsdam Echelle Polarimetric and Spectroscopic Instrument (PEPSI) at the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) in Arizona released its first image of the surface magnetic field of another star. In a paper in the European journal Astronomy & Astrophysics, the PEPSI team presents a Zeeman- Doppler-Image of the surface of the magnetically active star II Pegasi.

A special technique allows astronomers to resolve the surfaces of faraway stars. Those are otherwise only seen as point sources, even in the largest telescopes...

Im Focus: Heading towards a tsunami of light

Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology and the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, have proposed a way to create a completely new source of radiation. Ultra-intense light pulses consist of the motion of a single wave and can be described as a tsunami of light. The strong wave can be used to study interactions between matter and light in a unique way. Their research is now published in the scientific journal Physical Review Letters.

"This source of radiation lets us look at reality through a new angle - it is like twisting a mirror and discovering something completely different," says...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

International Modelica Conference with 330 visitors from 21 countries at OTH Regensburg

11.03.2019 | Event News

Selection Completed: 580 Young Scientists from 88 Countries at the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting

01.03.2019 | Event News

LightMAT 2019 – 3rd International Conference on Light Materials – Science and Technology

28.02.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Solving the efficiency of Gram-negative bacteria

22.03.2019 | Life Sciences

Bacteria bide their time when antibiotics attack

22.03.2019 | Life Sciences

Open source software helps researchers extract key insights from huge sensor datasets

22.03.2019 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>