By 2061, there may be more than 78,000 people who are 100 years old or older in Canada, according to a BMO report about longevity.
The report (called Living to 100: The four keys to longevity) examines topics such as people’s common aging fears and how much they expect to spend on medical expenses after age 65.
In 1970, the average life expectancy in Canada was 69-years-old for males and 76-years-old for females, says the report. By 2011, life expectancy had increased to about 79-years-old years for males and about 83-years-old for females.
Currently, based on Statistics Canada data, there are more than 5.3 million people aged 65 and older. That means they account for roughly 15% of the country’s total population.
“There’s a major demographic shift happening,” says Chris Buttigieg, senior manager of Wealth Planning Strategy for BMO Financial Group, who adds people should think far in advance about the health and financial issues that may face if they live longer than expected.
4 questions for clients
Before and during retirement, people need to consider whether they’re positioned to handle emergencies and still maintain their lifestyles, says the report. So ask the following four questions.
1. Have you saved enough?
As people age, they need to consider all possible expenses. For example, they need to save to cover potential medical costs, especially since BMO finds 74% of respondents are most worried about covering health-related bills. The report says that’s followed by covering the costs of food, clothing and other daily essentials (57%). Overall, Canadians expect to spend an average of $5,391 per year on out-of-pocket medical costs after the age of 65.
2. How are you staying healthy?
The report notes maintaining proper health is essential to living a long life and to helping minimize health-related costs. It also looks at the ways in which most people choose to keep their bodies healthy. This includes eating well (55%), exercising (47%) and visiting doctors regularly (43%).
3. What health concerns worry you?
Since mental alertness is fundamental to living a comfortable life, the report finds many people are worried about losing their mental abilities (56%). They’re also concerned they’ll have to rely on others to take care of them (47%) and about losing loved ones (46%).
4. Are you active in your community, and are you staying connected to family/friends?
In retirement, more than half (66%) of Canadians plan to spend more time on hobbies. As well, about one-quarter want to start a new part-time job and another 19% aim to learn a new language. For most, this will help them stay active both physically and mentally. In addition, they’ll be able to remain social by saying in contact with family and other support networks, which is a goal for 27% of those approaching and in retirement.