How Many Years Will You Live In Retirement?

The latest official statistics give some idea of how long men and women in Britain are likely to live after retirement.

Issued by the Office of National Statistics (ONS), the figures show that longevity for people over 65 years old has risen by 40% for men and 23% for women between 1980 and 2012.

A man can now expect to live 83.3 years and a woman until 85.7 years old.

That leaves men having to fund 18.2 years and a woman 20.7 years from their state pension, private or workplace pension and savings after giving up work.

If the trend continues to grow at the same rate, retirees can expect to add an extra two and a half years to their lifespan for every decade between now and their retirement.

Longevity gender gap

The gender gap is narrowing for longevity between men and women.

The ONS figures show that a new born boy should expect to live 78.7 years and a new born girl 82.6 years if mortality rates remain the same as they are now throughout their lives.

Between 2010 and 2012, a man aged 85 had an average further 5.8 years of life remaining and a woman 6.8 years.

“Baby boys and girls have the highest life expectancy ever in Britain,” says the report.

“Women still live longer than men, but the gap has closed. Although both sexes have improved life expectancy at birth, over the past 30 years the gap has narrowed from six years to 3.9 years with men showing a faster improving in mortality than women.”

Life expectancy

The figures also show life expectancy is different depending on which United Kingdom country someone lives in:

  • In England, life expectancy at birth has risen to 79 years for men and 82.8 years for women
  • In Wales the figures are 78.1 years for men and 82.1 years for women
  • Men in Scotland have a life expectancy at birth of 76.5 years and women 80.7 years

The ONS also look at life expectancy for someone aged 85 years old and found the average gave a man another 5.8 years to live and a woman 6.8 years.

Those figures would give a man of 85 a life expectancy of 90.8 years and a woman 91.8 years.

“Expected life at age 85 has improved for both men and women,” says the report. “From 1980-1982 to 2010-2012, the time has improved by 1.5 years for both sexes. The gap between life expectancy at age 85 for men and women has remained fairly consistent.

“In 1980-1982 the difference was a year; this increased to 1.2 years for most of the 1990s and has fallen to a year again in 2010-2012.”

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