What if you live to 100?

Will you have money left at the end of your life or life left at the end of your money?

Only one generation ago people did not need to think that much about creating wealth and saving for retirement; they often worked until they could work no more and then died soon after.

Now the current retiring generation seems to retire around age 55 and statistically about half will live into their 80s. So they need to ensure their wealth lasts at least 30 years.

With the advances in science we must seriously face the possibility of having life left at the end of our money.

Aubrey de Grey, British researcher on aging, provocatively proposes that the first human beings who will live to 1,000 years old have already been born. In his presentation to the elite TED conference De Gray proposes that first generation therapies to provide moderate life extension (30 years) are just around the corner. Following which there will be a rapid pace of develpoment of second and third generation therapies. Consequently, by the end of each life extension we’ll be able to further extend. (View the video of Aubrey de Grey’s presentation at the TED conference here.)

A fascinating perspective and a topic likely to cause lively discussion at dinner parties. Do you want to live forever?

What about our money?

But, let’s also consider that whilst we may scientifically be able to live forever what kind of life will it be? How much will it cost to participate in the medical solutions that delay aging and make aging less painful?

If you like the idea of a long and comfortable life, perhaps even living forever, what are you doing right now to ensure you have the financial resources to support your choice?

Clearly our financial habits will need to evolve to keep pace with our social evolution; but can we change our habits as quickly as society is changing?

My experience is that the current generation of baby boomers have not changed their financial habits anywhere close enough to the pace of change in their lifestyle expectations. Compared to their parent’s generation they want to retire much sooner and live a much better lifestyle in retirement. But just like their parents they are saving very little of what they earn through their working life. The equation just does not compute.

What do you think?

If we are to live much, much longer our life experience will need to change. But how?

Leave a comment and let me know what you think…will we stay in education for longer, work longer, increase our financial savvy, become more welfare oriented?

Author: Matt Hern

Certified Financial Planner professional, Matt Hern has three times been awarded as one of Australia's Top 50 Financial Planners by The Australian Financial Review Smart Investor. He is passionate about guiding you on the right financial choices to achieve what you really want. Matt Hern is an Authorised Representative of Charter Financial Planning Limited AFSL 234665. All information is general advice only.