“Over the past number of years headlines and front pages have revealed the adverse impacts of the ageing population on our society. So there is likely to be a mixture of emotions as the UK faces a slowdown in life expectancy improvements, with the period between 2015 and 2017 showing the lowest improvements in life expectancy since the Office for National Statistics started recording this data in 1980.
“An ageing population has been putting additional pressure on public finances and more broadly those that look after their ageing family members. With the social care system inadequately equipped for an increasingly ageing population, and insufficient pension provision beginning to crystallise, policymakers and businesses will be monitoring life expectancy trends closely. Still, people may feel disconcerted that advancements are stalling, or that increased life expectancy is not being matched by health improvements. However, historical data shows us that life expectancy does not increase at the same steady pace, it goes in bursts that correspond with medical advancements.
“A plateau should not be mistaken for a decline. It’s critical people are realistic about the possibility of surviving into their 90s. Separate data has revealed the 90 years and over population continues to increase despite a decline in births in England and Wales 90 years ago.
“We still need a sustainable social care policy and the pressure on the state pension and company pensions won’t be going anywhere. As we are in the midst of party conference season, with a Budget approaching, pressure remains on policymakers to provide practical policy solutions to tackle the issues an ageing society brings.
“Those trying to figure how much they need to save for retirement are faced with what appears to be an impossible equation. There are numerous variables: including how old will you live? Will you need care? If so, for how long and how much does it cost? There will be no perfect answer for everyone, so for many people working from where they would like to end up, and working backwards from there, will probably deliver the most helpful picture of how much they need to save. It is crucial that people plan properly and take expert advice.”