It is a rare opportunity that presents itself from time to time when some aspect of the future is known about and can be profited from. Lottery numbers, winners of the Grand National and end-of-day trading results on the stock market aside, we are left with the known facts of the world, some of which should be used when addressing any plans that we make for the future.
The population is getting older. According to research from the University of Southern Denmark, over half of the children born in the last few years will live to see 100 years of age. The Department for Work and Pensions predicts that of all the people alive in the UK today, one in six will live to be 100.
Compare those statistics to the fact that if you were born in the year 1900 as a male, you would have a 50/50 chance of living to the age of 50.
The advancing average age of the population means that society has changed and continues to change to accomodate the resulting problems. Dementia, Alzheimers, extended time spent in retirement are all causing strains on society and on governement funding to pay for care and longer pension entitlement. Personal assets are vulnerable to the errors made with failing mental capacity, increased risks of scams and cons as technology advances at ever increasing speeds, and long-term-care costs rise.
The incredible advances of medical science to keep us alive longer and handle more of our illnesses and ailments are, of course, to be celebrated. At the same time, the resulting adavanced ages and the challenges that brings should be taken into consideration when planning retirement and the end-of-life passing on of our wealth. Good quality estate planning encompasses the consideration of these factors and should help us to look to the future, predict the possible challenges that lie ahead and accomodate those challenges now - at a time when we are of sound mind, and can act to prevent problems.