The pros and cons of longevity

By: Talbot Boggs, The Canadian Press

(Special) – Statistics clearly show that Canadians are living longer. While a long life can be a good thing, longevity also brings with it some unique financial challenges on both a micro and macro level.

A recent study on longevity by the Office of the Chief Actuary of Canada predicts the country will continue to have one of the highest life expectancies of the world along with Japan, France, Switzerland, Italy and Australia.

Life expectancies at birth of Canadians are projected to increase from 86 to 90 for men and from 89 to 93 for women over the period of 2013 to 2075.

Currently, five out of ten Canadians aged 20 are expected to reach age 90 and one out of ten is expected to live to 100.

In 1970, for example, the average life expectancy at birth in Canada was 69 years for males and 76 for female. By 2011 that had increased to 79.3 years for males and 83.6 years for females.

Between 1979 and 2009, life expectancy has increased as a result of a reduction in mortality rates after age 65 largely due to a decrease in death from heart diseases.

“If mortality rates continue to decrease at the same rate as experienced over the last 15 years, a life expectancy at birth of 100 could be reached in 2094 for men and in 2121 for women. In addition, male life expectancy could exceed that of females from 2026 onward,” the report predicts.

Today, according to Statistics Canada, there are more than 5.3 million people in the country 65 or older, accounting for about 15.3 per cent of the population. By 2061, it is estimated there will be more than 78,000 people 100 years or older living in Canada.


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